Would Lendl have won a Wimbledon with current conditions?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by OrangeOne, Jul 22, 2006.

?

If Lendl played his Wimbledon years with today's slower conditions,would he have won:

  1. Still no Wimbledon titles (the conditions wouldn't have affected him / his opponents enough)

    31 vote(s)
    27.4%
  2. 1 Wimbledon title

    51 vote(s)
    45.1%
  3. 2 or more Wimbledon titles

    31 vote(s)
    27.4%
  1. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    What do you think?

    Premise: Imagine that the 80's and 90's Wimbledon tournaments were played on the current, slower surface, with the current, slower balls.

    Under these conditions, would Lendl have won a Wimbledon title?


    My thoughts - from things I've said before -

    1. He was good on grass part 1 - he made it to two consecutive Wimbledon finals, only to meet and lose to two excellent grass-courters (Becker-86, Cash-87) at the peak of their powers, both of whom were playing fast-court tennis at it's best.

    2. He was good on grass part 2 - The following three years (88, 89 & 90) he lost in the Semis to Becker or Edberg, on two of the three occasions to the eventual winner. He also won Queens in 89 & 90, beating Becker in straight sets in the final in 90.

    3. (And of primary relevance) - He won the French & US double in both 86 & 87, the years he made the Wimbledon final - meaning that he was *the man* for those 3 GS's that year. Just like Nadal this year - who made it through on the grass at least partly because he's playing so so well full-stop!

    Me - I think he'd have won at least one. Others?
     
  2. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    A what-if question that is actually interesting. I think that, given his dedication, he might have won it at least once, were Wimbledon as slow as it is today.
     
  3. Volly master

    Volly master Semi-Pro

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    i believe he could have.

    Lendl was untouchable in the 85-88 era, so i would have the odds on him with the current conditions at hand.
     
  4. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    Given the current conditions he would have probably dominated Wimbledon in the same way he dominated everywhere else.
    He was never a really comfortable serve/volley player. He had a very good serve and a great return game. That's how he had the success he had. His mid-court and approach game was what let him down time after time. He never had the inventiveness of McEnroe, Agassi, or Federer.
     
  5. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Great question. I say "yes", two or more. Unfortunately history such as this can't be undone.

    For what it's worth I have predicted that Wimby will speed conditions up next year. I do like the variety that the faster conditions create. This years Wimbledon was a rediculous grind fest. One French Open a year is enough.
     
  6. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I agree, great question. I said "Yes' to one, but I wouldn't rule out more than one. Lendl's game at its peak would have been damn near impossible to beat with the current conditions at Wimbledon. Think about it, Lendl had a great service game, one of the best forehands of all time, a penetrating backhand that didn't have too much top, it was by all accounts a heavy stroke like his forehand, a reliable slice backhand. His net game would have been more than adequate to put away weak replies set up by his serve or ground game. He took the best of his day on fast grass to the limit, there's nothing to suggest that he'd have not done better on a slightly slower, higher bouncing surface like today's Wimbledon.

    The more I think about it, he'd have had an easier time at today's Wimbledon than the French.
     
  7. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    I voted for one. It is possable he could have won none, or more then one, but one seems the most likely answer.
     
  8. killer

    killer Semi-Pro

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    To add to Rabbit's post, he took the best of his day on grass (Edberg, Becker, Cash et al) to the limit while playing serve and volley tennis, a style which he had to learn from Tony Roche. If he'd been able to play his 'regular' aggressive baseline style, he certainly would have won at least one Wimby.
     
  9. boris becker 1

    boris becker 1 Rookie

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    no because Becker would have still been playing and he owned Lendl on hard courts as well
     
  10. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    Uhh, yeah... if you consider a losing record on hard surfaces "owning" somebody.

    You might want to check your stats because Lendl had an 11-7 record over Becker on hard surfaces (cement and carpet).

    This is all speculative, but a slower grass surface would have given Lendl a little more time on the return and passing shots, which would have made him even tougher to beat. As dominant as he was in '85-'87, you have to think that might have made a difference in his chances at Wimbledon if the surface or balls were a little slower.
     
  11. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    He would. But there still are these uncertain bounces on grass.
    Wimbledon still forces you to improvise. Lendle has similar game
    as Federer's (Oh, I'll get burned by Federer fanatics for saying that).
    But he is more mechanical version of Federer and I don't think
    he would have been very successfull Wimbledon champion even
    with current slowed conditions. Maybe 1 or 2...
     
  12. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    Lendl's game is more about power and intensity, and Federer's more about shotmaking and creativeness. The only similarities I see between them is for both their great forehands are their best weapon and shot, but other then that not too similar.
     
  13. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    Maybe he meant in Grand Slam meetings where Becker leads 2-1, and 2-0 in Grand Slam finals.
     
  14. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    Would you consider a 2-1 or 2-0 record "owning" someone... especially when all of those matches were close?
     
  15. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    No I wouldnt. Also I would look at two of those three matches, and one of two slam finals, being when Lendl was in his 30s and past his final year of winning a slam as well.
     
  16. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    I sort of agree with you once. Lendl was too mechanical to be a sure thing on grass. So it comes down to a maybe.

    The problem with this excercise is everyone is assuming all other players would have played the same way even if the condition were different. If condition were like today in 80s, then other players wouldn't have been the same either.
     
  17. laurie

    laurie Guest

    It's a very inetersting question but unfortunately we will never know any answer to this. But I suppose, why not?

    There is one thing to look at about Wimbledon. The same logic actually still apllies today as it did ten and 20 years ago, the best and most athletic movers around the court wim Wimbledon. Federer and Mauresmo won Wimbledon this year. The Williams sisters dominated Wimbledon between 2000 and 2003. Sampras and Graf dominated Wimbledon in the 1990s. Navratilova before Graf, Novotna got to three finals. Then there are the likes of Becker, McEnroe, Edberg. The most athletic players will continue to win Wimbledon with the odd exceptions like Sharapova and Davenport who will the tourney just once in their careers.

    Lendl was a great player no question. Was he very athletic?
     
  18. nadalgirl26

    nadalgirl26 Banned

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    Not today casue my Nadal would have killed him. If Nadal lost early he would have a good chance though. He would humiliatea losers like Federer, Hewitt and Roddick and Safirn.
     
  19. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    yes, very much so. he, like navratilova on the women's side, emphasized strength, fitness and athleticism at a time when sports science started becoming more and more incorporated into the individual training methods or pro athletes. remember that before pete sampras won his first us open in 1990, he trained with lendl because he wanted to know how to attain his own peak performance level.

    with regards to the original question - yes, i think ivan would have won wimbledon under current condtions.
     
  20. nadalgirl26

    nadalgirl26 Banned

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    I was young girl when Lend was finishing playing but I did not think he was very athletic in some ways. He was fast and fit, but he was not that agile or strong reflexed or flexable so some ways more athletic than alot, other ways not. He was not a maleae Navratilova and my Nadal was more athlietc.
     
  21. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    Well, I would dissagree that he was athletic on the level of Navratilova. It's all relative. He empasized fitness and repetative motion, and technique because he didn't possess the athletisism of his peers. He was a groundstroking machine. That's not to say he wasn't athletic, just not as gifted an athlete as other great tennis players. He made himself an athlete through hard work and dedication.
    If everything remained the same (and he wasn't "alergic" to grass in his younger days) he may have won Wimbledon, but there was always a more athletically gifted player to stop him at some point.
    As the surface has slowed down, benifitting the baseliners, and the baseline game has become even more effective with passing net rushers through technique and technology, he would have had a better chance in this period.
    laurie is absolute correct when she (or he?) describes Wimbledon as a athletic event. It takes more shot making and athletisim to win Wimbledon than the French or the US Open. The French takes sheer grit and determination and shot looses it's effectivness.
     
  22. nadalgirl26

    nadalgirl26 Banned

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    If Lendl played fruity Federer in 4 Wimbledon finals he would win all 4. If hea played my sweet Nadal in 4 he would lose all 4. It depends how he palys, a loser like Federer would not stop him ever though, but My Nadal always would since Lendls best surface was not grass.
     
  23. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    i don't think he was off in terms of being a natural athlete compared to his peers. the fact that he did train harder and more scientifically than everyone else at that point gave him an advantage. he was able to tap into his potential more and bring it on court. so maybe he isn't a natural athlete like pete sampras. but the only players who i can think of that surpass him in athleticism are becker and edberg and maybe cash. but cash was often injured. i think athletically, lendl was better than wilander, mcenroe and connors.

    also, i think going back to the original question would he have won wimbledon under current conditions, his athleticism, combined with his groundstrokes and aggressive play, would have been enough to take him to the title at least once, even over the beckers and the edbergs.
     
  24. Volly master

    Volly master Semi-Pro

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    okay, stop refering to him as "yours"

    2nd, Lendl wouldnt beat federer on grass because federer is like all the grass court players who beat him at wimbledon, IE: Becker, Edberg, Cash, ETC.

    Lendl would MURDER the likes of Nadal on grass, even though its not their best surfaces, but Lendl has a better serve and better ground strokes and doesnt moon to the ball like Nadal does. Lendl for a guy who didnt have as much talent of say, a Borg, a McEnroe, a Conners, He trained UNBELIVABLY hard to match that kind of talent with sheer hard work and deturmanaton. Because he was in better shape and stronger then most guys in the 1980's, thats how he was able to be so dominate.

    and wasnt the nadal would was BAGELED in the first set of wimbledon final this year, by a guy that Lendl should be able to beat on grass?

    Your nadal obsession has to stop, hes a great clay couter, mediocure hard court player, and a horriable grass player. He isnt god, so stop treating him like one.
     
  25. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Was just watching some youtube of old wimbledon summaries, and heard this statistic, from the 4 set semi in 1987 where Lendl beat Edberg:

    "In a match lasting more than 3 hours, there were only 4 points that were longer than 6 shots".

    Wow - that gives a guide as to how much the grass - and the way people play it - has changed!. Lendl playing Edberg is in some ways similar to Fed playing Nadal, and I think there were some games in this year's final that would have had more points with longer rallies than that! :)
     
  26. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    yes! lol:)
     
  27. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    he would have won at least one if the conditions were slower. would have neutralized becker/edberg/cash a little
     
  28. Rafa's best friend

    Rafa's best friend Banned

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    Rafa would be too tough there, Lendl could not get by RAFA.
     
  29. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Please go away.
     
  30. Rafa's best friend

    Rafa's best friend Banned

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    Best of RAFA will beat BEst of Lendl anyday and anynight and anywhere....................:D
     
  31. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    you mean even on a golf course ? :rolleyes:

    and between nadalgirl and you, who's the best ?... ;)
     
  32. Rafa's best friend

    Rafa's best friend Banned

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    I don't know Nadalgirl so could not tell you, if she is hot, i can introduce her to you and maybe you and her can hook up.............??;)
     
  33. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    well...... thx for the proposition, but i'm afraid it won't match well ! ;)
    (maybe we could have some points of disagreement, her and myself)
    if possible it's better that you reproduce yourselves between nadal fanatics, i think... :rolleyes:
    how would you name the RBF Jr. ?
     
  34. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Every possible name that came to mind would get me banned from TW in a millisecond.
     
  35. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    Woulda, shoulda, coulda - this type of argument can go on forever with no real outcome. There are too many variables to consider. What if the weather was different, what if the opponents were different, what if the rules were different, what if that darn plane had not flown overhead......... :)
     
  36. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Q Would Lend have won a Wimbledon with current conditions ?

    I highly doubt it, considering Lendl would have to play against either Pete Sampras (in the late nineties) or Roger Federer (today) in the final and those two guys got too much fire power for him to overcome.
     
  37. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Yeah, but to be fair - this sort of discussion is one that happens on here! Almost any non-scientific, non-mathematical discussion is based on a level of subjectivity. For me - I think he would have, and I was keen to see if others thought so too.

    Have a look at almost any thread you participate on here, and see if many of them have a real outcome, most are not based on fact but opinion, as this one is...

    Sorry, CC, but I disagree. I was, when I created this thread, changing but two things - the court and the balls. Same rules, same weather, same era, same players, same *everything* other than the "conditions". Maybe you came into the thread at the last post and didn't see the OP?

    Nope, the players were to stay constant. I was thinking - new, slower conditions, Lendl would have had a better chance at racking up a W (and maybe a career GS) back in the 80s. Again as with CC, maybe you came in late and didn't see the OP? For the record, it posed:

    Premise: Imagine that the 80's and 90's Wimbledon tournaments were played on the current, slower surface, with the current, slower balls.

    Under these conditions, would Lendl have won a Wimbledon title?
     
  38. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Oh I see. Sorry, I missed that.
    I would have to change my vote to YES :)
     
  39. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    Okay, that's fair - if only the court and the balls were different, I still stick with my original vote - No, I do not think it would affect the outcome (perhaps the score but not the result). IMO. :)
     
  40. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    It's all good :). It's funny that this poll got resurrected anyways - it was from a few months ago.

    Harsh, very harsh :grin:. Personally, I'd like to think he'd at least have prevented Cash from getting a W title. Sure, I may be Australian, but I think even Australian's could see he was an idiot during his career. Post-career, he's lived up to that rep by proving he's just $$-for-comment with a big mouth (I wanted to say cash-for-comment, but I couldn't bring myself to!).
     
  41. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    I hear ya, and the fact that you're an Auzzie makes you a-ok in my books alone. It's hard sometimes to gauge the past with altered variables, but I try to offer a little something to the discussion. LOL
     
  42. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    so we even keep the darn plane of CC ? ;)

    you're right not to move too many things in the past, because appart from changing wimbledon results, we could disrupt the space-time continuum, and the consequences could be disastrous ! :rolleyes:
     
  43. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Heh - aussie is a right to being a-ok? Sweet :). And you have offered to the discussion, above and beyond the last line of your signature which makes me laugh everytime I see it

    If we're keeping the plane, we'll avoid butterflies with it, ok?

    (I wonder if the darn plane was a side-reference to the 9/11 threads? ;))
     
  44. Rafa's best friend

    Rafa's best friend Banned

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    Who is this Nadalgirl, she seems to be even more of a RAFA supporter than i am but then i know RAFA personally so .................:p
     
  45. nadalgirl26

    nadalgirl26 Banned

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    If he wear e playing today mey sweet Nadal would ahvea overpowerd him, just hit hims oof the court, used him excellents net games to powera past Lendl, too tough mentally tou fast runningsd won ball ssor Lendl. Lendl couldas beat Federer or Raddick on grass, burta not my sweet Nadal. If eh were playing back then on teah gress then he woulas have beter chance vs McEnreo and Connors I guess and Becker.
     
  46. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    How, oh-god-how, did an innocent Lendl / Wimbledon thread end up with the two biggest Nadal trolls in it? Disappointing.
     
  47. FitzRoy

    FitzRoy Professional

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    Rafa's Best Friend is so much more than that. But to get the thread back on track: I don't see how Lendl wouldn't have been able to win at least two of them, with the way the courts are playing currently.
     
  48. capriatifanatic

    capriatifanatic Banned

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    Well what I dont understand about the question is does it mean if the courts were like they were now when Lendl was playing and he faced the same people he did then, or Lendl was in his prime now instead of then. I am not sure which one gives a better shot in fact, but I cant really think about the question until I know which situation is being considered.
     
  49. FitzRoy

    FitzRoy Professional

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    My understanding was that he meant Lendl playing when he played, against the players he played against, but on the courts like the ones at Wimbledon now, as opposed to then.
     
  50. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    You're correct. It came from thinking that gee, Lendl struggled sooo hard for that career grand-slam, and he may well have found it much easier to come by on the surfaces as they are today. Put the AO on rebound ace a few years earlier, and make Wimbledon a little slower - and I think Lendl would be in much better GOAT contention!
     

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