The hypothetical discussion over who would win between Connors and Lendl at RG and the US Open in 1984, if Mac was out of the picture, is interesting.
I think Lendl beats Connors pretty easily in a hypothetical RG meeting. At the US Open, both players were of a fairly similar standard on hard courts, but there was a hugely pro-Connors and anti-Lendl American crowd at play as well. At Roland Garros, Lendl was a much, much better player than Connors on red clay, and there was no partisan crowd rooting against him and for Jimbo.
Aside from those first 2 sets in the final against Mac, the tennis that Lendl had been playing throughout that fortnight at RG had been outstanding. I know that Lendl-Wilander matches on clay were a snoozefest for many people, but Lendl was truly excellent when he destroyed Mats in their semi-final that year (better than Mac was against Connors in the other semi I think), not to mention those last 3 sets in the final. Compared to a peak Mac, the Connors of 1984 would have had very little to hurt Lendl with on red clay I think. Lendl 'bunting' the ball to Connors on red clay would lead to a lot of trouble for Jimbo.
However in a hypothetical 3rd consecutive meeting at the US Open in 1984, with Connors back at his favourite tournament and home turf, and with that crowd rooting so strongly for him, I think Connors wins once again. If Connors was to play as well against Lendl as he did against Mac during midnight madness, he wins in a big hard court match.
Last edited by Gizo : 12-02-2012 at 12:26 AM.