Ivan Lendle

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Ivan was one of the tennis’ most dominant players in the 1980s and remained a top competitor into the early 1990s.

Biography

Born March 7, 1960, at Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, and reared there, he has an excellent tennis bloodline. His mother, Olga Lendlova, was a Top Ten player in their homeland, ranking as high as No. 2. His father, Jiri Lendl, also was a fine player, ranking as high as No. 15.

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.

Although he’d been a prodigious winner for four years, it was not until the French Open final of 1984 that Ivan Lendl began to really stake his claim to greatness. Then, from two sets down to the year’s leading player, John McEnroe, Lendl battled back to win in five sets, seizing the first of his eight major singles (of 19 finals).

He won two other French (1986-87), two Australian (1989, ’90), and three U.S. (1985, ’86, ’87).Unfortunately, he lost a classic encounter to Boris Becker in the 1986 Wimbledon final.

In 1980, Lendl, unbeaten in seven singles and three doubles, led Czechoslovakia to its lone Davis Cup. Before an uproarious final round crowd in Prague, he anchored the 4-1 triumph over Italy.

Ivan Lendl Grand Slam Celebration

Lendl amassed stunning numbers campaigning tirelessly between 1980 and 1983, when he won 36 of 101 tournaments. He played 32 in 1980, winning three on a 113-29 match record, and won 15 of 23 in 1982 on 107-9. He won 11 of 17 in 1985 on 84-7.

His last big production year was 1989: 10 of 17 on 79-7. His 92nd pro singles title in 1992 left him second only to Connors’ 109 in the open era.

In 1982 he put together the third longest winning streak of the open era, 44 straight matches, two shy of Guillermo Vilas’ 1977 record.

His last title, Tokyo (indoor) in 1993, was a 6-4, 6-4 win over Todd Martin, and his last final, Sydney 1994, was a loss to Pete Sampras. Lendl’s was a hefty pro career of 17 years: 94 singles titles, six doubles titles, and a 1,279-274 singles W-L record (.805), topped only by Jimmy Connors.

He was the all-time prize money champ with $21,282,417 when he quit.

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.

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.

Advertising & Endorsements

One of the most respected figures in the history of tennis, Ivan Lendl is in demand as an after dinner speaker and event host. He has worked with a number of brands and has appeared in countless commercials throughout his career.

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