Ivan Lendl

IVAN LENDL (CZECHOSLOVAKIA / U. S. A.)

Born: 7/3/1960

Australian Open 1989,1990

French Open 1984,1986,1987

US Open 1985,1986,1987

Ivan Lendl was a hard worker. Grim faced and at times neurotic, Lendl was one of the first players to change rackets at intervals during the match. He always carried a supply of sawdust in his pocket, which he frequently wiped on his hands to stop them getting too sweaty. Lendl had powerful groundstrokes, particularly on the forehand. He was a dominant figure on clay and hard courts during the 1980s but his brittle game could never properly adjust to grass. He often complained to umpires about line calls or people in the crowd that were irritating him and seemed a tortured soul. Lendl was booed by the crowd for his endless rituals between points in the 1986 French Open final and even annoyed that most genial of TV commentators Dan Maskell! Lendl made his Grand Slam debut in the 1978 French Open, where he lost in the opening round. At the 1981 French Open Lendl beat McEnroe in the quarters and Jose-Luis Clerc in the semis before losing to Borg in the final in five sets. At the '82 U.S. Open Lendl beat Mats Wilander and McEnroe, both in straight sets, before losing to Jimmy Connors in four sets in the final. At Wimbledon 1983 he beat Pat Cash and Roscoe Tanner before losing in the semis to McEnroe in straight sets. At the US Open Lendl beat Johan Kriek and Wilander before losing in four sets to Connors in the final. At the Australian Open he was runner up to Wilander in straight sets. Observers were beginning to wonder if Lendl would ever win a Grand Slam title but he proved the doubters wrong in 1984 when he came from two sets to love down to beat John McEnroe in the final of the French Open. After losing in the semis at Wimbledon to Connors in four sets, Lendl beat Cash in five sets in the semis of the US Open before losing to McEnroe in the final in straight sets. At the 1985 French Open Lendl thrashed Connors in the semis before losing in the final to Mats Wilander in four sets in a match where he looked fatigued. Lendl took the U.S. Open beating Noah in the quarters, Connors in the semis and McEnroe in straight sets in the final. At the Australian Open Lendl lost to Edberg in the semis 9-7 in the fifth set. By now established as the world number one, Lendl beat Mikael Pernfors in the final of the '86 French Open in straight sets but was runner up at Wimbledon to Boris Becker. Then Lendl moved on to Flushing Meadow and took his second U.S. Open beating Edberg in straight sets in the semis and Miloslav Mecir in straight sets in the final. At the 1987 Australian Open Lendl lost in the semis to Pat Cash in four sets. At the French Open he beat Wilander in the final in four sets to take his third title. At Wimbledon he beat Edberg in the semis before losing to Cash in the final in straight sets. At the U.S. Open he beat McEnroe in the quarters, Connors in the semis and Wilander in the final in four long sets to take his hat trick of titles. In contrast 1988 was a poor year for Lendl. He lost in the semis of the Australian to Cash in five sets, lost to Jonas B Svensson in the quarters of the French and lost in the semis of Wimbledon to Becker. Meanwhile Mats Wilander had won the Australian and French and was gunning for his third Grand Slam title of the year against Lendl in the final of the U.S. Open. After a classic encounter Wilander won in five long sets to inflict a Grand Slam duck for 1988 on Lendl and rob him of his number one ranking. Lendl returned to form at the 1989 Australian Open beating McEnroe, Thomas Muster and Mecir in straight sets in the final to take the title. At the French Lendl led Michael Chang by two sets to love in the fourth round but was stunned as Chang levelled at two sets all and despite cramping up badly (he actually served underarm at one stage) Chang went on to win the fifth set 6-3. At Wimbledon Lendl squandered a 2 sets to 1 lead against Becker in the semis and lost to Becker again in the final of the U.S. Open. In the final of the 1990 Australian Open, Lendl was fortunate that his opponent Stefan Edberg had to retire due injury to hand Lendl his eighth and last Grand Slam title. Lendl knew, at 30, that time was running out for him to win Wimbledon so he put all his efforts into preparing for a month on grass (missing the French) before the championships began. Edberg beat him in the semis in straight sets. After outlasting Edberg in five sets in the semis of the '91 Australian Open, Lendl lost to Becker in the final in four sets. At the US Open Lendl beat Michael Stich in five sets in the quarters before losing in straight sets to Edberg in the semis. In 1992 Lendl gained American citizenship having lived there for many years. At the 1992 US Open Lendl overcame Becker in five sets in the fourth round before losing on a fifth set tie break to Edberg in the quarters. Then injury and poor form meant Lendl slipped down the rankings. He retired at the end of 1994 aged 34, due to a long-term back problem. Although he can no longer play tennis because of his back, Lendl is able to play golf, which he devotes most of his time to these days. At the start of 2012 Lendl became Andy Murray's coach, which became a successful two year partnership.

GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE

HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 2-0, A.Ashe 1-0, B.Becker 1-5, B.Borg 0-1, S.Bruguera 1-0, P.Cash 3-3, M.Chang 0-1, J.Connors 4-3, J.Courier 1-0, S.Edberg 4-5, V.Gerulaitis 0-2, A.Gomez 5-0, G.Ivanisevic 1-1, R.Krajicek 1-0, J.Kriek 3-0, J.McEnroe 7-3, T.Muster 1-0, Y.Noah 2-1, P.Sampras 0-2, M.Stich 2-0, R.Tanner 1-1, B.Teacher 1-0, M.Wilander 5-4

Ivan Lendl's Grand Slam record

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