I feel like I’m back from tennis heaven: I spent the afternoon in Paris watching Lendl, Wilander, McEnroe and Edberg play. Here’s a quick recap in photos:

First match between old rivals: Ivan Lendl vs Mats Wilander. This match marks Lendl’s return to the competition.

I must say I’ve been quite impressed by Lendl and Wilander‘s playing level. Mats’ court coverage is amazing and Ivan’s forehand is powerful and precise.

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl
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This year’s event (from 1 to 3 October) will take place for the first time in the Pierre-de-Coubertin stadium in Paris, home of the WTA Open Gaz de France tournament.
The line-up will be quite exceptional, with 4 former world number one, with a total of 28 singles Grand Slam titles! This tournament will also mark Ivan Lendl’s return to the competition.

The tournament has the typical senior event format: 2 groups of 3 players, with the winners of each group facing each other in final. The match will be played in the best of 3 sets with a match tie-break.

Group A Group B
Ivan Lendl Stefan Edberg
John McEnroe Cédric Pioline
Mats Wilander Guy Forget

Ivan Lendl

* Birthdate: March 7, 1960
* Born: Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
* Plays: Right-handed
* Pro career: 1978-1994
* Highest ATP Singles: 1 (Feb 28, 1983)
* Highest ATP Doubles: 20 (May 12, 1986)

* Singles Titles: 94
* Doubles Titles: 6


Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1984 French Open Clay John McEnroe 3–6, 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 7–5
1985 US Open Hard John McEnroe 7–6(1), 6–3, 6–4
1986 French Open (2) Clay Mikael Pernfors 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
1986 US Open (2) Hard Miloslav Mecir 6–4, 6–2, 6–0
1987 French Open (3) Clay Mats Wilander 7–5, 6–2, 3–6, 7–6(3)
1987 US Open (3) Hard Mats Wilander 6–7(7), 6–0, 7–6(4), 6–4
1989 Australian Open Clay Miloslav Mecir 6–2, 6–2, 6–2
1990 Australian Open (2) Hard Stefan Edberg 4–6, 7–6(3), 5–2 retired

Ivan Lendl will end a period of 16 years out of tennis by playing in an ATP Champions Tour for the first time. The former world number one and winner of 8 Grand Slam titles will make his long awaited tour debut at the Lagardère Trophy in Paris. He will face two of his biggest rivals: John McEnroe and Mats Wilander.
Since retiring in 1994, Lendl has barely lifted a tennis racquet, prefering to spend time on golf courses.

If you want to know more about Lendl’s influence on today’s game, read this article: Father of Modern Tennis.

John McEnroe

* Birthdate: February 16, 1959
* Born: Wiesbaden, Germany
* Plays: Left-handed
* Pro career: 1978-1992
* Highest ATP Singles: 1 (March 3, 1980)
* Highest ATP Doubles: 1 (January 3, 1983)

* Singles Titles: 77
* Doubles Titles: 78


Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1979 US Open Hard Vitas Gerulaitis 7–5, 6–3, 6–3
1980 US Open (2) Hard Bjorn Borg 7–6, 6–1, 6–7, 5–7, 6–4
1981 Wimbledon Grass Bjorn Borg 4–6, 7–6, 7–6, 6–4
1981 US Open (3) Hard Bjorn Borg 4–6, 6–2, 6–4, 6–3
1983 Wimbledon (2) Grass Chris Lewis 6–2, 6–2, 6–2
1984 Wimbledon (3) Grass Jimmy Connors 6–1, 6–1, 6–2
1984 US Open (4) Hard Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–4, 6–1

John McEnroe now works as a sports commentator in tennis and has regularly appeared in US national telecasts of Grand Slam tennis matches on such networks as CBS, NBC, USA, and ESPN, as has his brother Patrick. He also commentates on Wimbledon for the BBC in the UK.
He recently launched the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in his hometown of New York City.
McEnroe will compete the Jean-Luc Lagardère Cup for the fourth time.

Mats Wilander

* Birthdate: August 22, 1964
* Born: Vaxjo, Sweden
* Plays: Right-handed
* Pro career: 1981-1996
* Highest ATP Singles: 1 (September 12, 1988)
* Highest ATP Doubles: 3 (October 21, 1985)

* Singles Titles: 33
* Doubles Titles: 7


Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1982 French Open Clay Guillermo Vilas 1–6, 7–6(6), 6–0, 6–4
1983 Australian Open Grass Ivan Lendl 6–1, 6–4, 6–4
1984 Australian Open (2) Grass Kevin Curren 6–7(5), 6–4, 7–6(3), 6–2
1985 French Open (2) Clay Ivan Lendl 3–6, 6–4, 6–2, 6–2
1988 Australian Open (3) Hard Pat Cash 6–3, 6–7(3), 3–6, 6–1, 8–6
1988 French Open (3) Clay Henri Leconte 7–5, 6–2, 6–1
1988 US Open Hard Ivan Lendl 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4

Since retiring as a player, he has served as captain of the Swedish Davis Cup team and as coach of Marat Safin, Tatiana Golovin and Paul Henri Mathieu. He also commentates tennis matches on Eurosport.
Find more about Mats on Wilander Tribute.

Stefan Edberg

* Birthdate: January 19, 1966
* Born: Vastervik, Sweden
* Plays: Right-handed
* Pro career: 1983-1996
* Highest ATP Singles: 1 (Aug 13, 1990)
* Highest ATP Doubles: 1 (June 9, 1986)

* Singles Titles: 42
* Doubles Titles: 18


Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1985 Australian Open Grass Mats Wilander 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
1987 Australian Open (2) Grass Pat Cash 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(4)
1988 Wimbledon Grass Boris Becker 4–6, 7–6(2), 6–4, 6–2
1990 Wimbledon (2) Grass Boris Becker 6–2, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4
1991 US Open Hard Jim Courier 6–2, 6–4, 6–0
1992 US Open (2) Hard Pete Sampras 3–6, 6–4, 7–6(5), 6–2

For Edberg, it’s the 3rd visit to the Trophée Lagardère. He made his senior debut here in 2008. Despite the tournament being on clay, his least favorite surface, he won the title, beating Sergi Bruguera in the final. Last year, he was defeated by Michael Chang in a rematch of the unforgettable 1989 French Open final, and finished third.

Cédric Pioline

* Birthdate: June 15, 1969
* Born: Neuilly-Seine, France
* Plays: Right-handed
* Pro career: 1989-2002
* Highest ATP Singles: 5 (May 8, 2000)
* Highest ATP Doubles: 93 (January 13, 2003)

* Singles Titles: 5
* Doubles Titles: 1

Pioline is a two time former Grand Slam finalist, having reached the men’s singles final at the 1993 US Open and at Wimbledon in 1997. On both occasions, he was beaten by Pete Sampras in straight sets.
Pioline is the tournament director of the ATP Masters Series event in Paris Bercy. (Watch out for our Bercy coverage next month).

Guy Forget

* Birthdate: January 1, 1968
* Born: Casablanca, Morocco
* Plays: Left-handed
* Pro career: 1982 -1997
* Highest ATP Singles: 4 (March 25, 1991)
* Highest ATP Doubles: 3 (August 18, 1986)

* Singles Titles: 11
* Doubles Titles: 28

Forget reached a career high 4th place ranking in 1991, the year he won 6 titles including the Bercy Masters Series tournament.
He now serves as France’s Davis Cup team captain and tournament director of the ATP Champions Tour event in Paris, the Lagardère Trophy.

US Open Trivia

– The US Open has been played on 3 different surfaces: it was originally played on grass until Forest Hills switched to Har-Tru clay courts in 1975. In 1978, the event moved from Forest Hills to its current home at Flushing Meadows, and the surface changed again, to the current DecoTurf.
Jimmy Connors is the only player to have won the US Open on all three surfaces.

– The main court is located at the 24,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, named after Arthur Ashe, the African American tennis player who won the inaugural men’s final of the US Open in 1968.
Court Number 2 is Louis Armstrong Stadium, which stood as the main stadium until the completion of Ashe stadium. Court Number 3 is the Grandstand Stadium, which is attached to the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

-In 1970, the US Open was the first Grand Slam tournament to use the tie breaker. At the time, it was a 9 point playoff with the first player to 5 winning. The US Open is still the only Grand Slam tournament to use tie breakers in the third set for women and the fifth set for men.

-In 1975, the US Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to hold matches at night. Fewer than 5,000 fans turned out to watch the very first night match

Tracy Austin is the youngest singles champion. She was 16 years 8 months and 28 days when she won in 1979. Besides Austin, Maureen Connolly and Martina Hingis also won the women’s singles title before their 17th birthdays.

Pete Sampras is the male youngest singles champion. He was 19 years and 28 days when he beat Andre Agassi in 1990.

– The longest match on record in the history of the U.S. Championships came on Sept. 12, 1992, when Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang played for five hours and 26 minutes in the men’s singles semifinals, before Edberg won 6-7(3), 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4.

– In 2006, the US Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to implement instant replay reviews of calls, using Hawk-Eye.

– In 2007, Roger Federer became the first men’s singles player to win 4 consecutive US Open.

Ana Ivanovic 1

2008: Julie Coin defeats Ana Ivanovic
After surviving a scare in the first round against Vera Dushevina, number one seed Ana Ivanovic crashed in second round. She lost to french qualifier Julie Coin, ranked 188 and making her Grand Slam debut.
Ivanovic, who had been bothered by a thumb injury, cited fatigue and lack of preparation to explain the so-called “biggest upset in US Open history”.
Julie Coin’s magical run ended against former number one Amelie Mauresmo in the third round.
Until Coin’s win, the top seed at the US Open had not lost earlier than the third round when Billie Jean King was ousted in the 1973 tournament.

2005: Ekaterina Bychkova defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova
Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to number 97 Elena Bychkova in the first round, becoming the first female defending champion to lose in the first round.

I tried my best, it wasn’t my day. What do I do? Kill myself? No I don’t. Just take positive things out of this and maybe I’ll try to learn

Following the US Open, Kuznetsova played just 4 matches during the remainding of the year, winning 2 of them.
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