28 years ago today: Ivan Lendl wins his last Tour title
Ivan Lendl is one of the most successful players in ATP history with 94 tournament victories. On October 18, 1993, the native Czech received a trophy for the last time.
last edit: Oct 18, 2021, 04:55 pm
It has calmed down again around Ivan Lendl after the former world number one had declared his engagement as coach of Alexander Zverev over the phone in the summer of 2019. That may be entirely in the spirit of Lendl, who, in contrast to his probably greatest adversary at the time, John McEnroe, is not always looking for the spotlight.
Nevertheless, it can be said that Lendl is in no way inferior to McEnroe in terms of success, and even has his nose a little ahead: Lendl won eight Grand Slam titles in singles, McEnroe seven. A total of 94 championships go to the native Czech, Johnny Mac also has an astonishing 77. One thing in common: Both Lendl and McEnroe always failed at one big goal. Lendl was never able to win at Wimbledon (there he was twice in the final: 1986 against Boris Becker, a year later against Pat Cash), McEnroe never at Roland Garros (Ivan made it himself in 1984 - by falling 2-0 in sets against McEnroe caught up).
Lendl beats Becker in the quarterfinals
At some point, however, every legend wins their last tournament on the ATP tour. And with Ivan Lendl this happened on October 18, 1993 in Tokyo. Lendl went into the indoor tournament as number nine, which was still played on carpet. Incidentally, the seeding list was headed by Stefan Edberg, who lost to Todd Martin in the quarter-finals.
After a bye, Lendl defeated Tommy Ho in two sets, against Alexander Volkov the future champion had to go over three sets. In the quarter-finals, Lendl then managed to beat Boris Becker - very close in the tie-break of the third set with 7: 2.
The semi-final against Paul Haarhuis was just as exciting, this time Lendl prevailed 7: 5 in the tie-break of the third set. The 6: 4 and 6: 4 against Todd Martin in the final, on the other hand, looks almost routine. But it led to Ivan Lendl's fifth triumph at this tournament in Tokyo. And the last of his terrific career.