Roland Garros Re-Lived 1984: The match that haunts McEnroe

John McEnroe never won the French Open. But he should have done in 1984. Instead, he lost a two-set lead in the final against Ivan Lendl. So, what happened?

Having re-watched the whole match, Catherine, David and Matt give their analysis. In what way did McEnroe allow himself to get distracted? Did he choke? How did Lendl mount his comeback? And what did this match do for both of their careers?

We also hear from Mary Carillo who recounts why it hurt McEnroe so much to lose specifically to Lendl, the way he’s still affected by the missed opportunity whenever he arrives at Roland Garros, and the poignant conversation that took place between the McEnroe brothers after the match.

The Tennis Podcast is presented by Catherine Whitaker and David Law, featuring Matt Roberts. It is produced weekly year-round, and daily during the Grand Slam tournaments. It is crowdfunded by listeners each December.


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We are producing daily shows throughout the original Roland Garros dates, looking back on 15 classic matches and stories from the tournament’s history. You can watch McEnroe vs. Lendl in full on YouTube. Tomorrow we will be covering Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova in the 1985 final. The full match is available on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. We will also be doing editions for Wimbledon.


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