Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Advent calendar day 19 #7 Ivan Lendl
Today we have the seventh best of all time on the way to the best player of all time.
7th Best Player of all time
Grand Slams won - 8
Grand Slam Finals lost - 11
Overall amount of singles titles won - 94
Overall Match Winning percentage - 81.8% (1071-239)
Top rank - 1
We have one of the biggest underachievers in the history in tennis today, Ivan Lendl. He played in a former record of 19 Grand Slam Finals and won just 8 of them. His failure to capitalise on all his Grand Slam Finals, is what he is most famous for. However, he failed to win the career Grand Slam, making the Final of Wimbledon in 1986 and 1987, but failing to win there. He won his first Grand Slam in the 1984 French Open, 3 years after his first Grand Slam Final at the 1981 French Open. He made a Final of a Grand Slam for a joint record of 11 consecutive years. He also was in an Open Era record of 8 consecutive US Open Finals, including 3 consecutive wins. At the French Open he was one of four people during open era to make four consecutive Finals there. He was a very consistent player, who made 12 consecutive ATP World Tour Finals. In all 12 tries he made the Semi-Finals, including 9 Finals and 5 wins, this is the most wins at the ATP World Tour Finals joint with 2 other players but is the only player to make 9 consecutive Finals, let alone 9 Finals in his career. He has been in the top 2 at the end of the year in 6 years, which includes number 1 four times, as well as three consecutive years as number 1. All in all he was world number 1 for 270 weeks, third on the all time list and 16 weeks off Pete Sampras, who holds the record. He is also third on consecutive weeks as number 1, having a period of 157 consecutive weeks once. More proof of his consistency was the fact that he was in the world top 5 between 1980 and 1992 and has won the second most matches of a player in Open Era. He is also second on the all time list for the amount of tournaments won in a year of 15 in 1982, second only to Guillermo Vilas' 16. Finally he won an incredible haul of 93 ATP titles, second only to Jimmy Connors on 109. Lendl was very successful as a junior and started his professional career very well. He was well known for his use of top spin and his forehands on the run. The reason he probably failed to win Wimbledon was his lack of volleying combined with the different bounces on grass court.
Later today I will release the 6th and 5th best players of all time.