Originally Posted by Gizo
I agree that Lendl's RG title (when he beat the Italian Open champion Gomez in quarters, and the 1982 champion and 1983 finalist Wilander in the semis before overcoming Mac) has been downplayed here. 'If not for his RG win' is not a good arguement at all. He did win it, and thus that achievement was far more significant than anything that Connors achieved all year. Both players were very consistent throughout the whole year, regularly reaching the latter stages of tournaments big or small, but Lendl also had a very important title win where he beat the dominant player in the world in the final.
Connors failed to win any of the blue chip events in 1984 and had a terrible record overall against his 3 main rivals that year, with losing records against all of them. Not a very strong case for being the second best player of the year at all, against a player with a blue chip title win and a more respectable record against the big guns.
Even in non-official/invitational tournaments which were important back then, Lendl's body of work was probably better than Connors's in 1984 as well, with him winning the European Champions' Challenge in Antwerp for the second time plus a couple of other events.
Does anyone have their respective 1984 winning percentages? I do wonder how close they were on that particular metric. Sure, 1 RG has a lot more prestige than 5 smaller tourneys, that's true. But, over the course of the year, wins are wins in the ATP ranking system. I also agree that vs. top 3, Connors did not have a very good year...Lendl was the only one he beat....losing to Wilander twice late in the season and to Mac 6 times over. These are all truths. If he had pulled off a Wimby or USO victory, I think the POV would be quite different, but that just was not in the cards.