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Old 09-18-2012, 05:34 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly View Post
Lendl had a winning h2h record with many of his rivals

Lend vs rival
. 21 - 15 ... J McEnroe
. 22 - 13 ... J Connors
. 13 - 14 ... S Edberg
. 15 - 07 ... M Wilander
. 11 - 10 ... B Becker
. 02 - 06 ... B Borg
Those stats are very deceiving. Connors was past his prime in most of those encounters, but even in '82-'84 when Connors was losing most of the time and clearly past his prime, he found a way to beat Lendl when it mattered the most. Despite those stats, I think Connors had Lendl's number.

Borg retired before Lendl reached peak form. I think the numbers would have been closer.

Mac, Edberg, Wilander, and Becker were closer contemporaries to Lendl. Early on, Mac had a hard time figuring out how to beat Lendl who seemed to push him around a lot. Mac finally figured out that he had more success by staying aggressive and their matches were more even after that.

I don't think Lendl ever really established a big rivalry in the manner of Borg/McEnroe or Connors/McEnroe. The McEnroe rivalry was starting to build up steam, but then McEnroe suddenly retired. Lendl is a figure that bridged two different eras of tennis. He was competitive in the era of Borg/Connors/McEnroe and also in the era of Wilander/Edberg/Becker. By the time Sampras peaked and Agassi finally got it together, Lendl was through.
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