Obviously Lendl is clearly not in the same tier of greatness as Federer.
I agree that he has been underrated though. Many people just look at his total of 8 grand slam titles and ignore his other achievements (the same goes for guys like Borg, Connors and Mac), when they all played in eras when the grand slam title count was meaningless.
It's a shame that these guys didn't have a crystal ball to predict the future, and didn't know during their primes that after they retired, people would be judging their careers and 'greatness' just based on their number of slam titles. Maybe in the 90s Sampras then would have been chasing someone else's record instead of Emerson's.
Non-slam tour events, invitational tournaments and exhos were all way more important back then. The gulf in importance between the slams and best non-slam events was significantly smaller in the 70s and 80s than it has been in the 90s and 00s, when the 'only slams matter' mentality became more common.
Also the tour was so incredibly disorganised back then. I mean a huge tournament on carpet (the WCT finals in Dallas) so soon before RG on red clay, the Australian Open held so soon before the Masters in New York.
Comparing Federer/Nadal to Sampras/Agassi is easy because all of those guys have played in eras when slam counting has actually mattered, and all 4 slams have been equally important. Comparing any of those guys to Borg, Lendl, Connors etc is far more difficult, because the tour set-up and players' priorities were so different in those previous eras.
Last edited by Gizo; 11-14-2012 at 12:40 AM.