Ivan Lendl, father of Modern Tennis?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by nicoff, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. nicoff

    nicoff New User

    Sep 25, 2005
    After browsing around this forum I noticed very little talk about Ivan Lendl. Then today I found this web site where someone is considering Ivan Lendl the father of modern tennis. I can certainly recognize many things being done today (more baseline tennis, physical fitness, etc) but I did not know that many of of those traits may have started with Lendl. I wonder if what is said in this article is true.

    Also, does anyone know what Lendl is doing today?

    The web site link is here:

  2. gts072

    gts072 Semi-Pro

    Aug 5, 2004
    Of course it is true. This topic has already has been discussed many times in this forum. Do a search and you will come up with many comments about it. BTW, Lendl since he retired has played golf regularly and enjoying life with his 5? daughters and wife. He made an appearance recently at the Champions ceremony at the 2005 US Open and boy did he look big! ;) Looks like he has a lifetime Adidas sponsorship too.
  3. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

    Jun 1, 2004
    I agree. Lendl was really the guy that amped up the power and forced guys like Connors and McEnroe to go back to the drawing board. Like you said, he really changed the game where guys had to get in the gym and become more fit and more powerful. I think for that reason alone.....he deserves more credit than he gets. Everyone talks about who's the greatest of all-time.

    However, if Sampras, Laver, and Federer are the Michael Jordans of tennis. I'd liken Lendl to the Wilt Chamberlain of tennis......in that he revolutionized the way the game was played.
  4. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    Before Ivan Lendl there was Bjorn Borg. If anyone is the "father" of modern tennis, it's Borg. But Lendl did in fact make a number of contributions to the game.
  5. VGP

    VGP Legend

    Oct 6, 2005
    Location: Location
    How far back are we going to go? Hee Hee.

    What about Connors?

    He had the baseline, big(ger) return game, two-handed backhand, primarily singles-oriented approach.....
  6. joesixtoe

    joesixtoe Rookie

    Apr 14, 2005
    dr J i think revolutionized the way basketball was played,, so ivan would be more like him
  7. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

    Sep 8, 2005
    lendl the father a modern tennis? u mean the modern players are one dimensional robots, with a bullys mentality? coulda swore a 30+ year old connors schooled him in two straight us open finals. father of modern tennis? no. there were many before him. one of the alltime greats? yes.

    they had to change all the rules to handicap chamberlain, now theres a revolutionary. they changed the rules to help jordan.
  8. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

    Jun 1, 2004
    Obviously they didn't change any rules after Lendl came on the scene. However, you could argue that he had the biggest impact on the game and its players. It's common knowledge that Lendl and Navratilova both forced their competitors to start training seriously and get fit.
  9. Buzzlightyear

    Buzzlightyear Rookie

    Sep 29, 2005
    I started playing tennis when Lendl was in his prime. I adore his playing style and I learned my backhand drive by mimicking his stroke.

    I'm not sure whether he's the father of the modern tennis. But he's definitely the father of MY tennis. ;)
  10. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Jul 12, 2005
    I think Lendl took a lot of cues from Bjorn Borg.

    Borg introduced the western grip which Lendl copied but added a lot more pace to. He also added variety: flat, slice, chip and massive spin.

    Borg was the sport's best athlete without question, which is why he was so dominant, especially on clay. Lendl did the same thing: he trained so much harder that he blasted guys off the court with such ease that he had enough time left to go play golf in the afternoon.

    Lendl deserves credit for the game becoming much more physical. But I think Borg pioneered a lot of the things that Lendl did and subsequently took to another level.
  11. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

    Oct 11, 2005
    Lendl changed the game with his fitness level. Like Martina Navratilova did with the women's game a few years later.
    He hit harder than the other players of his day. But so did Conners. When Agassi came up in '86 he made Lendl look like dinker. Shortly after that everyone was blasting forehands like Agassi.
    I think one of the reasons he isn't as talked about now is because he had a kind of *****ly disposition. He scowled alot and showed no life. He didn't seem to be enjoying himself out there and if you read about him today it bears that out. He has said recently he would not like to see his kids play tennis.
    It just wasn't fun to watch him demolish people, and we were happy to see him get beat when his time came.
    Still you have to respect the sheer determination with which he approached his career.
  12. DaveGrable

    DaveGrable New User

    Mar 29, 2004
    Most of Lendl's success is due in part to SnapUp.... the energy drink. It made him play like he had ice water in his veins. SnapUp gave him stamina.... a drink that no longer exists but was popular in the early 90's.
  13. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

    Nov 6, 2005
    I would say that Lendl is one of the five most influential players in the history of the game, the others being Tilden, Kramer, Borg, and Agassi. It's of course a difficult assessment to make, but I think Tilden and Kramer are safe bets--each defined the way tennis was played in the several decades that followed them (and really, their innovations remain an important part of tennis even today). Borg, Lendl, and Agassi I see as a trio leading to the archetypal modern power baseliner.
  14. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Feb 13, 2004
    A not so parallel universe...
    Don't give all of the topspin credit (or blame, as the case may be) to Borg, please.

    There was also a guy named Vilas...
  15. Shabazza

    Shabazza Legend

    Jan 12, 2006
  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2004
    I think the father of the modern game is Nick Bollitieri. Borg's tactics routinely included serve & volley. Really, most of the guys back then always tried to work their way into net at some point, with some notable exceptions, i.e. the Bagel Twins. NB was the one who started the whole big first serve, bigger forehand deal from the baseline. Hitting crosscourt until you open up the court enough for a down the line winner.

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