Lendl in Miami, 2012
|Residence||Goshen, Connecticut, US (1992– ), Vero Beach, Florida, US (2004– )|
March 7, 1960 |
(now Czech Republic)
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||79 kg (170 lb; 12.4 st)|
|Retired||December 20, 1994|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HOF||2001 (member page)|
|Career record||1071–239 (81.8%)|
|Career titles||94 ATP Tour (2nd all-time)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (February 28, 1983)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (1989, 1990)|
|French Open||W (1984, 1986, 1987)|
|Wimbledon||F (1986, 1987)|
|US Open||W (1985, 1986, 1987)|
|Tour Finals||W (1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987)|
|WCT Finals||W (1982, 1985)|
|Career record||187–140 (57.2%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 20 (May 12, 1986)|
|Davis Cup||W (1980)|
Ivan Lendl (born March 7, 1960) is a former world no. 1 professional tennis player. Originally from Czechoslovakia, he became a United States citizen in 1992. He was one of the game's most dominant players in the 1980s and remained a top competitor into the early 1990s. He has been described as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Lendl's game relied particularly on strength and heavy topspin from the baseline and helped usher in the modern era of "power tennis". He himself described his game as "hitting hot", a relentless all-court game that was coming to dominate in tennis.
Lendl captured eight Grand Slam singles titles. He competed in 19 Grand Slam singles finals, a record surpassed by Roger Federer in 2009. He reached at least one Grand Slam final for 11 consecutive years, a record shared with Pete Sampras, with the male primacy of eight consecutive finals in a Grand Slam tournament (a record shared with Bill Tilden at the US Open). Before the formation of the ATP, Lendl reached a record 12 year-end championships (equalled by John McEnroe). He won two WCT Finals titles and five Masters Grand Prix titles, with the record of nine consecutive finals. He also won a record 22 Championship Series titles (1980–89), the precursors to the current ATP Masters 1000.
Lendl first attained the world no. 1 ranking on February 28, 1983 and bolstered his claim to the top spot when he defeated John McEnroe in the 1984 French Open final. For much of the next five years, Lendl was the top-ranked player, until August 1990 (with a break from September 1988 to January 1989 when Mats Wilander was at the top). He finished four years ranked as the world's top player (1985–1987 and 1989) and was ranked no. 1 for a total of 270 weeks and set a new record previously held by Jimmy Connors, since broken by Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. Starting in 2012, he became Andy Murray's coach.
Personal life 
Lendl was born into a tennis family in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). His parents were top players in Czechoslovakia. (His mother Olga was at one point ranked the no. 2 female player in the country). Lendl turned professional in tennis in 1978. He started to live in the United States in 1981, first at the home of mentor and friend, Wojtek Fibak. Later (in 1984), Lendl bought his own residence in Greenwich, Connecticut. Ivan applied for and received a U.S. Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) in 1987 and wanted to get U.S. citizenship as soon as possible to represent the USA in the 1988 Olympic Games and in the Davis Cup. A bill in Congress to bypass the traditional five-year waiting procedure was rejected in 1988 because Czechoslovak authorities refused to provide the necessary waivers. He became a U.S. citizen on July 7, 1992.
On September 16, 1989, six days after losing the final of the US Open to Boris Becker, Lendl married Samantha Frankel. They have five daughters: Marika (born May 4, 1990), twins Isabelle and Caroline (born July 29, 1991), Daniela (born June 24, 1993), and Nikola (born January 20, 1998). Lendl retired from tennis in 1994 at the age of 34 with a disability insurance payout for chronic backpain. He transferred his competitive interests to professional golf, where he achieved a win on the Celebrity Tour. Still competitive at the mini-tour levels, Lendl now devotes much of his time to managing the development of his daughters' golfing abilities. Two of his daughters (Marika and Isabelle) are members of the University of Florida Women's Golf Team. Daniela is a member of the University of Alabama Women's Golf Team. His daughter Caroline walked onto the University of Alabama Women's Rowing Team for the 2011–2012 academic year, and his daughter Nikola enjoys eventing horses. Lendl has played in the Gary Player Invitational charity Pro-Am many times for friend and golf icon Gary Player.
South African exhibition and aftermath 
In July 1983 Lendl played three exhibition matches (against Johan Kriek, Kevin Curren, and Jimmy Connors) in Sun City, South Africa, in the apartheid-era bantustan of Bophuthatswana. The Czechoslovak Sport Federation (ČSTV), controlled by the Communist Party, expelled him from the Czechoslovak Davis Cup team and fined him $150,000. Lendl disagreed with the punishment and fine.
In addition, the publication of his name and results in the Czechoslovak media were prohibited. The ban was extended not only to Lendl, but to anything about world tennis, all tennis tournaments, and both men's and women's circuits (with the exception of blank Grand Slam results).
The appearance in this exhibition in Sun City and Lendl's Americanized living style ignited a long-lasting dispute between Lendl and the Czechoslovak communist authorities, which was never settled and resulted in his decision to apply for a green card in 1987 and later on for U.S. citizenship.
Playing style 
||This section may contain original research. (April 2009)|
Lendl was known, along with Björn Borg, for using his heavy topspin forehand to dictate play, although Borg's full Western-style topspin was more of a high loop. Lendl's forehand had a tighter topspin; was faster and flatter. His trademark shot was his running forehand, which he could direct either down the line or cross-court.
Early in his career, Lendl played a sliced backhand, but in the early 1980s he learned to hit his backhand with significant topspin. This shift allowed him to defeat John McEnroe in 1984 in the French Open, Lendl's first Grand Slam victory. In the first two sets, McEnroe used his habitual proximity to the net to intercept Lendl's cross-court passing shots. In the third set, Lendl started using lobs, forcing McEnroe to distance himself from the net to prepare for the lobs. McEnroe's further distance from the net opened the angles for Lendl's cross-court passing shots, which ultimately gained Lendl points and turned the match around.
Lendl's serve was powerful but inconsistent. His very high toss may have been to blame. Lendl's consistency from the baseline was machine-like. Though tall and apparently gangly, Lendl was very fast on the court. Lendl did not win Wimbledon because he could not sufficiently improve his consistency at the net. Grass courts yield notoriously bad bounces, and that destabilized his baseline game more than other baseliners. His groundstroke setup was very complete, almost robotic, and repeated bad bounces made him uncomfortable. Wimbledon in those days required reducing baseline play by coming to the net. He devoted considerable effort to improving his net play, but fell short of a Wimbledon title. Toward the end of his days on the ATP tour, Lendl ended his long-term clothing, shoe, and racket deal with Adidas. He signed with Mizuno, and finally began to play with a mid-sized racket very similar to the Adidas racket he had used throughout most of his career, itself based on the Kneissl White Star model.
Tennis career 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
Lendl first came to the tennis world's attention as an outstanding junior player. In 1978, he won the boys' singles titles at both the French Open and Wimbledon and was ranked the world no. 1 junior player.
Lendl made an almost immediate impact on the game after turning professional. After reaching his first top-level singles final in 1979, he won seven singles titles in 1980, including three tournament wins in three consecutive weeks on three different surfaces. The success continued in 1981, as he won 10 titles, including his first season-ending Masters Grand Prix tour title, defeating Vitas Gerulaitis in five sets.
In 1982, he won 15 of the 23 singles tournaments he entered and had a 44-match winning streak.
He competed on the separate World Championship Tennis (WCT) tour, where he won all 10 WCT tournaments he entered, including winning his first WCT Finals, where he defeated John McEnroe in straight sets. He met McEnroe again in the Masters Grand Prix final and won in straight sets to claim his second season-ending championship of that particular tour.
In an era when tournament prize money was rising sharply due to the competition between two circuits (Grand Prix and WCT), Lendl's haul of titles quickly made him the highest-earning tennis player of all time.
He won another seven tournaments in 1983.
However, Grand Slam titles eluded Lendl in the early years of his career. He reached his first Grand Slam final at the French Open in 1981, where he lost in five sets to Björn Borg. His second came at the US Open in 1982, where he was defeated by Jimmy Connors. In 1983, he was the runner-up at both the Australian Open and the US Open.
Lendl's first Grand Slam title came at the 1984 French Open, where he defeated John McEnroe in a long final to claim what was arguably his best victory. Down two sets to love and later trailing 4–2 in the fourth set, Lendl battled back to claim the title 3–6, 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 7–5. McEnroe gained a measure of revenge by beating Lendl in straight sets in both finals of the US Open 1984 and Volvo Masters 1984 (played in January 1985).
Lendl lost in the final of the 1985 French Open to Mats Wilander. He then faced McEnroe again in the final of the US Open, and this time it was Lendl who emerged victorious in a straight-sets win. It was the first of three consecutive US Open titles for Lendl and part of a run of eight consecutive US Open finals. He reached the WCT Finals for the second and last time, defeating Tim Mayotte in three sets. Success continued when he also took the Masters Grand Prix title for the third time, defeating Boris Becker in straight sets.
In 1986 and 1987, he added wins in the French Open to his U.S Open victories, including the season-ending 1986 and 1987 Masters Grand Prix championship titles, where he defeated Boris Becker (86) in straight sets and Mats Wilander (87) in three sets. This took him to his fifth and last Grand Prix year-end tour title.
During each of the years from 1985 through 1987, Lendl's match winning percentage was greater than 90%. This record was equalled by Roger Federer in 2006. Lendl, however, remains the only male tennis player with at least 90% match wins in five different years (1982 was the first, 1989 the last). From the 1985 US Open through the 1988 Australian Open, Lendl reached ten consecutive Grand Slam singles semifinals—a record that was broken by Federer at the 2006 US Open.
1989 was another very strong year for Lendl. He started the year by capturing his first Australian Open title with a straight sets final victory over Miloslav Mečíř and went on to claim 10 titles out of 17 tournaments he entered. Lendl successfully defended his Australian Open title in 1990.
The only Grand Slam singles title Lendl never managed to win was Wimbledon. After reaching the semifinals in 1983 and 1984, he reached the final there twice, losing in straight sets to Boris Becker in 1986 and Pat Cash in 1987. In the years that followed, Lendl put in intensive efforts to train and hone his game on grass courts. However, despite reaching the Wimbledon semifinals again in 1988, 1989, and 1990, he never again reached the final.
Lendl was part of the team that won Czechoslovakia's only Davis Cup title in 1980. He was the driving force behind the country's team in the first half of the 1980s, but stopped playing in the event after he moved to the United States in 1986 because, in the eyes of communist Czechoslovakia's Tennis Association, he was an "illegal defector" from their country.
Lendl was also part of the Czechoslovakian team that won the World Team Cup in 1981 and was runner-up in 1984 and 1985.
Lendl's success in the game was due in large part to his meticulous and intensive training and physical conditioning regime, his scientific approach to preparing for and playing the game, and a strong desire to put in whatever it took to be successful. It is believed that a contributing factor to his run of eight successive US Open finals and long record of success at that tournament was that he hired the same workers who laid the hardcourt surfaces at Flushing Meadows each year to install an exact copy in the grounds of his home in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Lendl announced his retirement from professional tennis on December 21, 1994, due to chronic back pain. Although he did not play any official match following his defeat in the second round of the US Open in 1994, Lendl's final decision to retire came only three and a half months later.
Lendl won a total of 94 career singles titles listed by the ATP (plus 49 other non-ATP tournaments, thus making a total of 144 singles titles) and 6 doubles titles, and his career prize money of U.S. $21,262,417 was a record at the time. In 2001, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
After finishing his tennis career, Lendl took up golf, earning a handicap of 0 and organizing a charity competition in 2004 called the "Ivan Lendl Celebrity Golf Tournament".
Lendl's professional attitude, modern playing style, scientific training methods, and unprecedented long-term success have had a considerable impact on today's tennis world. A typical Lendl quote is: "If I don't practice the way I should, then I won't play the way that I know I can."
On April 10, 2010, Ivan Lendl returned to play his first tournament since his 1994 retirement from tennis. He played in the Caesars Tennis Classic exhibition match in Atlantic City, New Jersey, against his rival from the late 1980s, Mats Wilander. He lost the one-set match 3-6.
On February 28, 2011, Lendl returned to the court again in an exhibition match with John McEnroe at Madison Square Garden. It was planned to be a one-set, first-to-eight event. However, McEnroe, leading 6–3, injured his ankle and had to retire from the match.
Career as an art collector 
Tennis coaching career 
On 31 December 2011, Lendl was appointed coach to Andy Murray. Coincidentally, Lendl and Murray are the only two players to have lost in their first four appearances in Grand Slam finals during the Open era. Lendl has been credited with improving Murray's maturity and consistency, guiding the Scot to his first Grand Slam victory in the 2012 US Open.
Career statistics 
Grand Slam tournament and Year-End Championship performance timeline 
|Australian Open||2R||F||4R||SF||NH||SF||SF||W||W||F||QF||1R||4R||2 / 12||48–10|
|French Open||1R||4R||3R||F||4R||QF||W||F||W||W||QF||4R||2R||1R||1R||3 / 15||53–12|
|Wimbledon||1R||3R||1R||SF||SF||4R||F||F||SF||SF||SF||3R||4R||2R||0 / 14||48–14|
|US Open||2R||QF||4R||F||F||F||W||W||W||F||F||QF||SF||QF||1R||2R||3 / 16||73–13|
|Win–Loss||0–1||4–3||9–4||9–3||9–2||20–4||20–3||20–3||20–1||24–2||20–4||21–3||16–2||13–3||12–4||1–4||4–3||8 / 57||222–49|
|Masters Grand Prix||F||W||W||F||F||W||W||W||F||SF||SF||SF||5 / 12||39–10|
|WCT Finals||SF||W||F||W||SF||2 / 5||10–3|
- These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis.
- Combined year end championships are: WCT Finals and Masters Grand Prix
- Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
- ^ Denotes consecutive streak.
|Time span||Selected Grand Slam tournament records||Players matched|
|1981 French Open —
1991 Australian Open
|11 runner-up finishes||Stands alone|
|1981 French Open —
1989 US Open
|9 consecutive years with 1+ runner-up||Stands alone|
|1981 French Open —
|Runner-up finishes at all 4 Majors||Roger Federer|
|1981–1991||11 consecutive years reaching 1+ final||Pete Sampras|
|1981 French Open —
1983 US Open
|First 4 finals lost||Andy Murray|
|Grand Slam tournaments||Time Span||Records at each Grand Slam tournament||Players matched||Refs|
|Australian Open||1989–1991||3 consecutive finals||Mats Wilander
|French Open||1984–1987||4 consecutive finals||Björn Borg
|US Open||1982–1989||8 consecutive finals||Stands alone|||
|US Open||1982–1989||8 finals overall||Pete Sampras|||
|US Open||1985–1986||26 consecutive sets won||Stands alone|||
|Time span||Other selected records||Players matched|
|Year-End Championship[a] records|
|1980–1988||12 combined WCT and GP finals overall||John McEnroe|
|1980–1988||17 combined WCT and GP semifinals overall||Stands alone|
|1985–1987||3 consecutive titles||Ilie Năstase|
|3 titles won without losing a set||Stands alone|
|1980–1988||9 finals^||Stands alone|
|1980–1991||12 semifinals^||Stands alone|
|1980–1991||12 consecutive appearances||Stands alone|
|1985–1987||14 consecutive match wins||Roger Federer|
|1981–1983||66 consecutive carpet court match victories||John McEnroe|
|1981–1983||18 consecutive finals||Stands alone|
|1981–1982||8 consecutive titles||John McEnroe|
|1982–1989||5 years with match winning percentage of 90%+ (417–36)||Stands alone|
|1980–1993||14 consecutive years winning 1+ title||Stands alone|
|1982||9 carpet court titles in 1 season||Stands alone|
|1983–1993||5 Tokyo Indoor titles||Stands alone|
|1980–1989||6 Canadian Open titles||Stands alone|
|1982–1989||19 finals against same player (John McEnroe)||Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal|
Professional Awards 
- ITF World Champion: 1985, 1986,1987, 1990.
- ATP Player of The Year: 1985, 1986, 1987.
- ATP Most Improved Player: 1981.
- Tennis magazine named him as one of the ten greatest tennis players since 1966, calling him "the game's greatest overachiever" and emphasizing his importance in the game's history. In his book Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis, Bud Collins included Lendl in his list of the 21 greatest men's tennis players for the period from 1946 through 1992.
- In July 1986 DPR Korea issued a postage stamp depicting Ivan Lendl in play.
See also 
- An account of Lendl's dramatic exit from the 1989 French Open
- Tennis male players statistics
- World number one male tennis player rankings
- List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players
- Lendl–McEnroe rivalry
- Lendl–Wilander rivalry
- Known as "Masters Grand Prix" (1970–1989) and "ATP Tour World Championships" (1990–1999).
- Potter, Jerry (7 December 2006). "Fatherhood, golf keep Lendl busy - USATODAY.com". USA Today. Retrieved 25 July 2012. "He lives with his family in Florida, splitting time between Vero Beach and Bradenton"
- "Top 10 Men's Tennis Players of All Time". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Lendl's bid to get U.S.citizenship earlier denied". The New York Times. September 6, 1988. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
- "Lendl becomes U.S.citizen". The New York Times. July 8, 1992. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
- "Lendl gets married". The New York Times. September 19, 1989. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
- De Jonge, Peter (June 20, 2012). "Can Ivan Lendl Lead Andy Murray to Tennis Greatness?". New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
- 2009 Women's Golf Roster
- "Connors beats Lendl in the final of the Sun City round robin exhibition tournament". New York Times. July 11, 1983. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
- SPORTS PEOPLE; Lendl Suspended
- "Chronic back problems bring an end to Lendl's career". New York Times. December 21, 1994. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
- Fishpool, Nick (21 May 2012). "Lendl takes to court at ITF Pro Circuit event in Prague". ITFTennis.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Andy Murray appoints Ivan Lendl as his new coach". BBC Sport (BBC). December 31, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Ornstein, David (8 September 2012). "Andy Murray beats Tomas Berdych to reach US Open final". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- Clarey, Christopher (July 8, 2012). "Federer Beats Murray, and Britain, for Seventh Wimbledon Title". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2012. "The only other man in the Open era to lose his first four major finals is Ivan Lendl..."
- "Grand Slam History". ATP World Tour. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
- "US Open Singles Record Book". US Open. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Clarey, Christopher (November 2, 2012). "The Man Behind Federer's Fitness". The New York Times. Retrieved November 3, 2012. "[H]e will play in his 11th straight year-end championship, one short of Ivan Lendl’s record."
- "Ivan Lendl Player Profile – Activity". ITF Tennis. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- "40 Greatest Players of the Tennis Era". Tennis magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
- USSR Philately (in Russian) (Moscow) (4): cover's 4th page. April 1991. ISSN 0130—5689. – photo of this postage stamp
Further reading 
- Jiri Janousek, Pavel Vitous (1990). Ivan Lendl. Lidove nakladatelstvi, Praha, Czechoslovakia. ISBN 80-7022-088-0.
- Ivan Lendl, George Mendoza (1986). Hitting Hot: Ivan Lendl's 14-days Tennis Clinic. Random House, Inc., New York. ISBN 0-394-55407-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ivan Lendl|
- Ivan Lendl at the Association of Tennis Professionals
- Ivan Lendl at the International Tennis Federation
- Ivan Lendl at the Davis Cup
- Ivan Lendl at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
- Father of Modern Tennis