Ivan Lendl

A Career of Legendary Tennis: IVAN LENDL

Ivan Lendl is one of the great tennis legends in sporting history.  Ivan relied on a power game of strength and heavy topspin from the baseline to win eight Grand Slam Championships: the 1989-90 Australian Singles Championships; the 1984, 1986-87 French Singles Championships at Roland Garros; and three consecutive US Open Singles Championships, 1985-87. He competed in nineteen Grand Slam finals, including eight consecutive finals at the US Open (1982-1989).

One of tennis’ dominant forces in the 1980s, he compiled amazing win-loss singles records at the majors: Australian 48-10; French 53-12; Wimbledon 48-14; U.S. 73-13. For the years 1985, 1986 and 1987, Ivan’s match-winning percentage was greater than 90%, a record that has only been equaled by Roger Federer.

A 17-year veteran, Ivan was ranked in the World Top 10 for thirteen years (1980-92), finishing at No. 1 in 1985-87, 1989. He was the world’s No. 1 player for a total of 270 weeks, a record that has only been surpassed by Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.  He registered an impressive 157-week streak while at No. 1. Ivan holds 94 career singles titles, including a unique 1980 feat, winning three tournaments in successive weeks on three different surfaces. He was the driving force for the 1980 Czechoslovakian Davis Cup team, compiling a perfect 7-0 record in singles and 3-0 in doubles, leading Czechoslovakia to its first Davis Cup triumph.

Ivan is revered for his tireless work ethic and meticulous game preparation, including revolutionizing racquet maintenance and optimizing equipment performance. Ivan’s success in tennis was due in large part to his highly thorough and intensive training and physical conditioning regime, his scientific approach to preparing for and playing the game, and a strong desire to give his full effort in reaching ultimate tournament success, an attitude that has left a long legacy in the sport of tennis.

Return to Center Court: Ivan Lendl

In 2010, the tennis community welcomed Ivan Lendl back to center court, as he returned to the sport competing in a one-set match against tennis champion and former World No. 1 Mats Wilander in the Caesars Tennis Classic in Atlantic City, NJ. Ivan has since been playing events around the world including rekindling his rivalry with John McEnroe at the BNP Paribas Showdown at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2011. Ivan is now active in playing ATP Senior Tour events, among other senior events and exhibitions worldwide.

Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy (IJTA)

Established in May 2011, the Ivan Lendl Junior Tennis Academy (IJTA) partnered with the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island to create a junior academy focused on the game that made him famous.

“I’ve watched the IJGA for quite some time. I considered sending my kids there several years ago,” said Ivan, who has five daughters, three of them golfers. “I think we share the same vision on how to train kids, how to put them in an environment to succeed and how to expose them to the things that will help them on and off the court.”

Opening its doors in August 2012, the Ivan Lendl IJTA is dedicated to the development of each junior tennis player and strives to produce the finest tennis training and competition for junior students to ultimately reach the college or professional ranks. Ivan Lendl IJTA is a full-time tennis academy and focuses on classic fundamentals, leading-edge biomechanics, strength training and fitness and mental preparation. Lendl subscribes to a hands-on approach with students instilling dedication, focus, hard work, motivation and overall preparation.

“Having three daughters who played competitive junior golf, I think I have a pretty good understanding for what parents are looking for in the academy experience,” says Ivan. “Also, with my name on this academy, I want to be sure that the training is in keeping with my thinking and philosophies. So I will stay very involved.”

Each tennis student is given a customized performance plan based on assessments from Ivan and his staff, along with the goals of the student and the student’s parents.  Like their golfing peers, the tennis students attend Heritage Academy for academics.

A New Coach, A New Champion

In December 2011, Ivan Lendl stepped into the Pro Coach arena and agreed to work with British tennis pro Andy Murray.

"It was important to me that any new person joining my team was able to add fresh insight," said Andy Murray. "Ivan's impact on the game is unquestionable and he brings experience and knowledge that few others have, particularly in major tournaments. I look forward to working with him going forward."

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Andy. He is a unique talent and I look forward to trying to help him reach his goals," stated Ivan after accepting his new role as coach.

As of January 2011, Murray was ranked World No. 4, had reached three Grand Slam singles finals and won 21 career titles. In 2011, he became only the seventh player in the modern era to reach the semifinals of all four Grand Slam Singles tournaments. Yet, he had not won a Grand Slam tournament event.

Under Lendl's coaching, 2012 became a breakout year for the Scot.  After losing in the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, Murray returned to Centre Court four weeks later and captured the 2012 Olympic Gold medal - not only winning the gold, but winning the respect and adulation of a country that had been waiting decades for a countryman crowned as tennis champion.

The sensational summer continued as Murray dominated two weeks in New York, claiming his first Grand Slam victory at the US Open.

"That's why I came on board," Ivan said after Andy’s US Open win, "to help Andy win. He has won two big ones [an Olympic gold medal and this US Open], it's a fantastic year, I'm very happy for Andy. It's a great achievement for him and let's hope he can continue.”

In 2012, Andy Murray with Coach Ivan Lendl in his camp finished ranked No. 3 in the world.  He won three championships and reached the finals of four other tournaments, with an impressive 56-16 singles win-loss match record.

In 2013, Murray, under Coach Ivan Lendl, returned to the All-England Club and won his first Wimbledon title, ending Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion. Murray defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 claiming his second major title.

Quote from The Guardian -
“Having someone such as Ivan back you and your ability to win the sport's biggest titles has added to Murray's inner belief and Ivan has helped the Scot to commit to go for his shots and never have any regrets. In the big moments against Novak Djokovic [in the US Open final], especially after the fourth set, Murray stepped closer to the baseline again and was aggressive while always being in control. That was pure Lendl.”

Important Dates:

1960, born March 7 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia

1978, turned professional playing on the pro tour

1989, founded annual summer camp in Hartford, CT for paraplegic tennis players

1992, Ivan became a citizen of the United States

1994, retired from the sport of tennis due to chronic back injuries

2001, Ivan was inducted into the international Tennis Hall of Fame

2004, organized the first Ivan Lendl Celebrity Golf Tournament, now held annually, to raise funds for charity

2008, Ivan made his sports promotion industry debut with the sold-out NetJets Showdown at Madison Square Garden

2010, Ivan returned to the sport of tennis with a one-set match against Mats Wilander in the Caesars Tennis Classic in Atlantic City, NJ

2011, established the Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy (May)

2011, opening of the Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy (IJTA) in Hilton Head Island, SC with Ivan as Director of Instruction, dedicated to the development of junior tennis players (August 17)

2011, Ivan began coaching ATP Pro Andy Murray (December)

2012, played in the inaugural Montreal Rendezvous match against Pat Cash in (March)

2012, honored with the Davis Cup Award of Excellence (November)

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