Originally Posted by Gizo
^ Yes Lendl and Clerc did have a pretty entertaining rivalry.
1981 was probably the best year of their rivalry, with Clerc winning 3 out of their 5 matches that year. Clerc beat Lendl in their semi-final at Rome, en-route to winning the title. Then in their RG semi 2 weeks later Lendl came from 2 sets to 1 down to win in 5 sets, with Clerc having beaten Connors in 5 sets in the previous round. In the summer Clerc beat Lendl twice on the US green clay, in the semis at North Conway and the final at Indianapolis (probably one of the biggest green clay events on the tour at the time along with Forest Hills). Then in the fall Clerc reached the final at Basel where Lendl destroyed him.
Clerc also had a very good h2h record against McEnroe (5-6), with them playing each other 4 times in live Davis Cup matches from 1980-1984. Clerc beat Mac in a 6 hour 4 set match in 1980 and in 5 sets in 1983, both on the clay at Buenos Aires. Mac beat Clerc in 5 sets in the 1981 final and in straight sets in 1984, both on carpet in the US.
With his shotmaking ability and power plus his strong records against such great players, I think he is the most talented player of the open era never to have reached a slam/major final.
Lendl also had a pretty entertaining rivalry with Vilas on clay, winning 7 out of their 12 matches on the surface. Significantly Lendl travelled to Argentina and beat Vilas twice in big matches in Buenos Aires, in the 1980 Davis Cup semi-final (he also beat Clerc in the decisive 4th rubber), and in the 1981 Buenos Aires final. Lendl also beat Vilas in the 1980 and 1981 Barcelona finals, while a resurgent Vilas beat him in the finals at Madrid and Monte-Carlo in 1982, and the semis of Hamburg in 1980.
Right and those were the games I thought about plus the 1980 and 1981 Masters were Lendl beat Vilas in 2 close matches
As for Clerc he was unlucky with injuries and pulled off pretty young but for three years he was at Lendl level on cc and just behind Borg on that turf
In a very controversial match, Clerc beat Mac at the 80 rr Masters