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17 May 2011

Davis Cup Idols: Ivan Lendl

Davis Cup Idols

Ivan Lendl recalls his Davis Cup by BNP Paribas playing days and the pressure he felt during the 1980 Final when Czechoslovakia lifted the trophy for the only time in front of a passionate home crowd.

This is the latest interview in the ITF’s Davis Cup Idols video series, which features former players talking about their experiences and memories of the competition.

Lendl made his Davis Cup debut in 1978 and represented Czechoslovakia for eight successive seasons.

He compiled a 22-15 win-loss record from 17 ties and the highlight was undoubtedly in 1980 when he remained unbeaten throughout the campaign, eventually leading the Czechs to a 4-1 victory over Italy in the Final in Prague.

The former world No. 1 was also an eight-time Grand Slam champion and finished runner-up at a further 11 majors.

“After we won against Argentina [in the semifinals], which nobody expected, it was the reverse and everyone expected us to win,” said Lendl.

“There was a lot of pressure playing in Prague and possibly winning Davis Cup for the first time for Czechoslovakia. It was very difficult but it was also very rewarding.”

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