Connors–Lendl rivalry

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Jimmy Connors (World No1
8 Major singles
3 Year end championships
Ivan Lendl (World No1
8 Major singles
7 year end championships)

The Connors–Lendl rivalry was a tennis rivalry played between American Jimmy Connors and Czech-American Ivan Lendl, who met 35 times.[1] Connors, who is 7 and a half years older than Lendl, won the first 8 matches, while Lendl won the last 17 and ended up leading the rivalry 22–13.

Lendl and Connors were both world number ones and both Grand Slam winners with each of them winning eight slam titles. At the Grand Slams they met seven times with Lendl winning the final four meetings with Connors winning the first three, of which the first two were finals. The rivalry between the two and McEnore has been described as spikey.[2]

The rivalry was first noted in the 1982 US Open final when Connors dared Lendl to drive the ball past him. Connors subsequently won the final in four sets. In the rematch in 1983, Connors was rushed to the locker room late in the second set before coming back out to defeat Lendl once again in four sets. The final match up between the two was also at the US Open, in 1992, Connors for a set and a half pushed Lendl before falling to his 17th defeat in 8 years to Lendl.[3]

Head to head[edit]

Official matches (Lendl 22–13 Connors)[edit]

Legend (Lendl-Connors)
Grand Slams (4-3)
Masters (4-1)
WCT Finals (1-1)
Davis Cup (0-1)
ATP International Series (13-7)
  • Note: The ABD 1984 Rotterdam final does not officially count as a victory according to the ATP. Lendl was leading 6-0, 1-0, when the final was abandoned due to a bomb scare.
Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score
1979 Indianapolis Clay QF Jimmy Connors 6–2, 7–6
1980 Memphis Carpet R16 Jimmy Connors 6–2, 6–3
1980 WCT Finals, Dallas Carpet SF Jimmy Connors 6–4, 7–5, 6–3
1980 North Conway Clay SF Jimmy Connors 6–4, 6–2
1980 Cincinnati, Cincinnati Hard QF Jimmy Connors 6–2, 6–0
1980 Masters, New York City Carpet RR Jimmy Connors 7–6, 6–1
1981 La Quinta Hard F Jimmy Connors 6–3, 7–6
1981 Davis Cup Quarter-Final, New York City Hard QF Jimmy Connors 7–5, 6–4
1982 Cincinnati Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–1, 6–1
1982 US Open Hard F Jimmy Connors 6–3, 6–2, 4–6, 6–4
1982 Masters, New York City Carpet SF Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–1
1983 Queen's Club Grass SF Jimmy Connors 6–0, 6–3
1983 Montreal Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–1, 6–3
1983 US Open Hard F Jimmy Connors 6–3, 6–7, 7–5, 6–0
1983 Masters, New York City Carpet SF Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–4
1984 Rotterdam Carpet F Ivan Lendl 6-0, 1-0 ABD
1984 Forest Hills Clay SF Ivan Lendl 6–0, 6–0
1984 Wimbledon Grass SF Jimmy Connors 6–7, 6–3, 7–5, 6–1
1984 Tokyo Indoor Carpet F Jimmy Connors 6–4, 3–6, 6–0
1984 Wembley Carpet SF Ivan Lendl 6–4, 6–2
1984 Masters, New York City Carpet SF Ivan Lendl 7–5, 6–7, 7–5
1985 Fort Myers Hard F Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–2
1985 WCT Finals, Dallas Carpet SF Ivan Lendl 6–3, 2–1 RET
1985 Roland Garros Clay SF Ivan Lendl 6–2, 6–3, 6–1
1985 Stratton Mountain Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–0, 4–6, 6–4
1985 US Open Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–2, 6–3, 7–5
1986 Boca West Hard SF Ivan Lendl 1–6, 6–1, 6–2, 2–6, 5–2 DEF
1986 Fort Myers Hard F Ivan Lendl 6–2, 6–0
1986 Stratton Mountain Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–4, 3–6, 6–2
1987 Key Biscayne Hard SF Ivan Lendl 3–6, 7–6, 7–6, 6–3
1987 Washington Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–4, 7–6
1987 Montreal Hard SF Ivan Lendl 7–5, 6–4
1987 US Open Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–4, 6–2, 6–2
1987 Masters, New York City Carpet RR Ivan Lendl 4–3 RET
1988 Toronto Hard SF Ivan Lendl 6–4, 6–4
1992 US Open Hard R64 Ivan Lendl 3–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–0

Head-to-head breakdown[edit]

  • All matches: Lendl 22–13
  • All finals: Connors 4–2
  • Grand Slam matches: Lendl 4–3
  • Grand Slam finals: Connors 2–0
  • Masters matches: Lendl 4–1
  • WCT Finals matches: tied 1–1
  • Clay court matches: tied 2–2
  • Grass court matches: Connors 2–0
  • Hard court matches: Lendl 14–5
  • Indoor carpet matches: Lendl 6–4

Invitational matches (Lendl 8–3 Connors)[edit]

Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score
1981 Challenge of Champions, Chicago Carpet RR Jimmy Connors 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
1982 Molson Light Challenge, Toronto Carpet RR Ivan Lendl 6–4, 6–3
1982 Challenge of Champions, Chicago Carpet F Ivan Lendl 4–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–4
1983 Sun City Hard F Jimmy Connors 7–5, 7–6
1983 Nastase-Hamptons Invitational, North Miami Beach Hard F Jimmy Connors 6–3, 7–6, 6–1
1985 Hamlet Challenge Cup, Jericho Hard F Ivan Lendl 6–1, 6–3
1985 Meadowlands Tennis Challenge, East Rutherford Carpet SF Ivan Lendl 6–1, 6–3
1985 Challenge of Champions, Atlanta Carpet RR Ivan Lendl 6–3, 5–7, 6–1
1985 Challenge of Champions, Atlanta Carpet F Ivan Lendl 6–2, 6–3
1990 WCT Tournament of Champions, Forest Hills Hard QF Ivan Lendl 3–6, 7–5, 1–0 Ret
1991 Transcontinental Tennis Cup, São Paulo Hard F Ivan Lendl Connors retired in 3rd set

ATP Rankings[edit]

Note: Connors was active in 1970–1972, but the ATP Rankings started in 1973.

Year-end ranking timeline[edit]

Player 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Jimmy Connors 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 3 2 4 8 4 7 14 936 49 84 370 672 419 1300
Ivan Lendl 74 20 6 6 3 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 3 5 8 19 54

ATP Year-end ranking timeline by age[edit]

Age at end of season

Year-end ranking 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
Jimmy Connors No ATP Rankings 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 3 2 4 8 4 7 14 936 49 84 370 672 419 1300
Ivan Lendl 74 20 6 6 3 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 3 5 8 19 54

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors". Boston Globe. 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2010-12-08. An eight-year age gap made the ledger lopsided at either end — Connors won 13 of their first 18 meetings, Lendl the final 17. Their two biggest showdowns, in the 1982 and 1983 US Open finals, were both won by Connors. 
  2. ^ Newman, Paul (2010-12-01). "Golden era: Federer and Nadal show shines on". The Independent. London. 
  3. ^ Araton, Harvey (1992-09-05). "U.S. OPEN '92; As Night Wears On, Lendl Wears Connors Out". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]