More Women Behind the Men


“The Tennis Space” Blog is down to it’s #5 and #4 Women behind the Men of the ATP.  #5 Jelena Gencic, Novak Djokovic‘s first coach and #4 is Olga Lendlova, Ivan Lendl‘s mother.

It was back in Kopaonik, Serbia’s most prominent ski resort and the place where the Djokovic family ran a local restaurant, where the two first met; Novak a young boy trying to get the ball over the net and Gencic looking for her next star. As a former national tennis champion (she also played handball for Yugoslavia), Gencic became Fed Cup captain and then as a coach, she discovered Monica Seles and Goran Ivanisevic; now she had a third superstar on her hands.

Read More – HERE

Olga was fierce. To help you understand Ivan Lendl’s relationship with his mother, Olga, have a flick through back issues of Sports Illustrated magazine. According to one old profile of Lendl, when Ivan was a boy Olga would strike him with her left hand if he talked back, until she broke her wristwatch with one of the blows, and she then had to remember to hit him with her right. Another issue told the story of the time he initially refused to eat his carrots and peas, and so she set a timer for ten minutes and left the room – he knew then to clear his plate. Olga, who was once the second-ranked female player in Czechoslovakia, was always tough on her son. He was just six years old when she told him at the courts: “If you’re going to cry, go home.”

Read More – HERE

 

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