After winning 94 singles tennis titles (from 1,310 matches played), Ivan Lendl announced his retirement in 1994 due to a back injury. In a professional career spanning 17 years (1978-1994), Ivan Lendl won 8 Grand Slam titles (from 271 matches played and reaching the finals 19 times). "I have been through it so many times that I just say to myself, 'Keep trying,' as I did last year (1984) in the French (Open)," Ivan Lendl stated after winning his first US Open in 1985. "I said: 'Keep trying. One of these days you have to get it.' Not too many people expected me to win. I had only to gain. If you asked me two weeks ago (before the start of the US Open in 1985), I would have said I'd take it (the victory) over my grandmother. I'm just so happy I'm not even going to try and describe it."

As noted, "Bjorn Borg had tried and failed 10 times to win the US Open, losing four times in the final, three times in the raucous atmosphere of the National Tennis Center." In 1988, Mats Wilander finally won defeating Ivan Lendl in 4 hours and 54 minutes. "I realized tonight why it was hard for Borg to win. It is so tough, mentally and physically. Because it's a tournament that I've never won, or a Swede has never won, and because I'm going to be No. 1, it's the biggest match I ever played. It meant so much.

"To win 3 Slams in the same year beats all of my dreams. You've got to have a lot of luck to do it. And it shows that I'm just much stronger mentally. I've changed my thinking a little bit this year (1988). I'd rather get beat by someone hitting passing shots than staying back, trusting my own ground strokes. I wanted to see what I could do," Mats Wilander told the press.

At the 1994 US Open, Ivan Lendl spoke to ASAP Sports: "I care whether I win or lose. A lot - believe me. I don't care whether it is on the tennis court or hockey rink or golf course, whatever, I don't like losing ... I look at it this way, I am either playing well enough to win the tournaments and be ranked 1, 2, 3 or 4 in the world or something or I am not.

"At the moment (in 1994) I am not ranked 1, 2, 3 or 4, but whether I am at 25 or 35 makes very little difference to me so at that stage I just try to play and hopefully I enjoy and play well and maybe catch on somewhere. But it is - a lot of it is health questions and a lot of it is questions of confidence also. And you can't have confidence without winning so, just try your best and if you catch on somewhere, confidence comes back, let's look at it again.

"I think it is very easy to understand it when you are No. 1 you are No. 1 and when you are not, you are not. Nothing complicated about that. I never played tennis to be No. 1 because that was never my main goal. (My main goal is) do well in the Grand Slam tournaments; try to win them; if you win them, you are going to be No. 1. (The ranking) takes care of itself." Ivan Lendl was ranked No. 1 for 270 weeks between 1983 and 1990.

Interviewer: Forty years from now (in the year 2034) when you want to sit with your grandchildren and tell them about your US Open experience, what will you tell them?

Ivan Lendl: I will tell them that by then I am 74 years old (born in 1960) and I don't remember anything. You should know, you are already forgetting things.

The fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I paved the way for the formation of Czechoslovakia in October 1918. In 1968, Alexander Dubcek introduced "socialism with a human face" reform known as Prague Spring only to be crushed by Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops. In 1989, anti-communist mass protests known as the Velvet Revolution took place forcing the Federal Assembly to abolish the Communists' constitutional hold on power.

The first free elections in Czechoslovakia was then held for the first time since 1946. In 1990, Czechoslovakia was renamed Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. However following disagreements and opposition to the rapid privatization of the public sector between the centre right, the Slovak separatists and the left wing parties, Czechoslovakia decided to split up (also known as the "velvet divorce"). The dissolution of Czechoslovakia resulted in two independent countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

1992: Interviewer: Ivan, do you know the situation in Czechoslovakia, the last situation?

Ivan Lendl: I heard something about three, four days ago (in August 1992). Is that the last one?

Interviewer: No, I mean in January (1993) it will be …

Ivan Lendl: The split?

Interviewer: Yes.

Ivan Lendl: Yes, I do.

Interviewer: And?

Ivan Lendl: I think it is good from what I read and I understand is that the Czech part, voting for the right, the Slovaks are voting for the left. I can't see a country function properly if somebody wants to go right and left; it would be fight after fight. You will be able to go left, fine. If the Czechs want to go right, go right. As long as it is peaceful, I am very much for it.

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