Archive for March 9, 2009
Ivan Lendl was a dominant male tennis player in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. He set the stage for today’s greats like Pete Sampras, who without Lendl would have had to work significantly less to achieve world records. Lendl was ranked No. 1 for 270 consecutive months, this record was only recently broken by Sampras. In addition Lendl reached at least one Grand Slam final for 11 consecutive years, an all-time record since tied again by Sampras.
Most people say to me that he can’t be that great because he did not win at Wimbledon. I have a million reasons for his lack of a Wimbledon title, but the most obvious is his playing style. He is an incredibly accurate, and powerful baseline player. He uses a top spin on cross court shots that send his opponents into a fury. Wimbledon is played on grass and produces uneven bounces for baseline players. Lendl was not strong at the net and to win at Wimbledon, you need a strong net game due to the grass courts. Plain and simple.
It is still safe to say that Lendl set an example for the next generation of tennis players like Sampras. He was practically impossible to defeat and if a competitor did beat him, he made it his goal to train harder and conquer the competition the next time!