Ivan Lendl breaks records again.
This time, however, on the real estate court. After years of effort, he managed to sell the family home in Connecticut for 280 million crowns. Far and wide no house has sold for that amount. Well, come on, maybe even Karlos Vémola or Petr Fiala don’t have a house for almost 300 million.
But more seriously, who is and was Ivan Lendl?
Especially for younger readers, it is good to introduce it briefly. After all, I asked 10 natural persons under the age of 20 this week if they knew Ivan Lendl and only two did.
Ivan Lendl was born in the same city, but nine years earlier than the vice president of the Czech Constitutional Court, Vojtěch Šimíček. Yes, Lendl was born in Ostrava in 1960.
Lendl is a former super-successful professional tennis player who first represented the former Czechoslovakia and, after obtaining American citizenship, also the USA.
Experts call him the best Czech (or Czechoslovak) male tennis player of all time.
In the 1980s, he was among the absolute best tennis players on the planet and probably in the universe.
He has led the ATP rankings many times. He remained at the position of world tennis number one for a total of an incredible 270 weeks. Which is the fourth longest stretch in history. Only Djokovic, Sampras and Federer were better throughout history.
In addition, with the number of 1,071 winning singles matches on the ATP circuit, he even ranked third behind Connors and Federer in the overall ranking. Just the third highest number of wins in men’s tennis history.
Ivan made his mark in the hearts of millions of sports-loving Czechoslovakians mainly thanks to the Davis Cup final in Prague in the memorable 1980.
Even the author of this article remembers the memorable final as if it were yesterday, when the great Ivan Lendl won against the then strong Italians both the challenging singles and the doubles with Tomáš Šmíd.
At that time, our tennis players led by Ivan Lendl brought a little joy to gray Czechoslovakia.
A fundamental turning point in his life, in 1986 Lendl emigrated to the United States, which he subsequently represented on international collegiate courts.
The right-handed Lendl has won eight Grand Slam singles titles. “Paris” three times, US Open three times, “Australia” twice. Only the damned Wimbledon never. Although he was there twice until the final.
Let’s add that Ivan the Terrible (as he was also called mainly by the American media) made it to a total of 19 (sic!) Grand Slam finals, which was a record among men at the time, which was only surpassed in 2009 by R. Federer.
Interesting fact Lendl reached at least one Grand Slam final in eleven (!) years in a row, which is an all-time record. No one has ever surpassed him, only P. Sampras has equaled him.
A little peek into privacy
Ivan Lendl married the American Samantha Frankel in 1989, when the ice broke in his old homeland.
Together they have five daughters – Marika (born 1990), twins Isabelle and Caroline (born 1991), Daniela (born 1993) and Nikola (born 1998).
Lendl likes to play golf.
He was also a renowned collector of the works of the Czech painter Alfons Mucha. He allegedly owned 116 of his posters, only three were missing, but he sold the collection in 2013. Lendl allegedly sold the collection eleven years ago for three and a half million dollars, i.e. roughly 70 million crowns.
The satirist would almost “dig” that just as he misses the Wimbledon triumph, he also misses Mucha’s last three posters. Such is life.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish Mr. Ivan Lendl good health and happiness in the coming years. And thank you for the beautiful moments in front of the TV screen in the eighties of the last century.