Hot Property: Tennis great Ivan Lendl courts buyer

Los Angeles TimesJuly 11, 2014 

— Ivan Lendl, the former world No. 1 professional tennis player and winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles, has served up his 450-acre estate in Litchfield County, Conn., for sale at $19.75 million.

The retired tennis pro purchased the land in Goshen, Conn., in the late 1980s and completed construction on a stone Georgian manor in 1992. The estate had previously served as the family home and full-time residence of Lendl and his wife, who raised four of their five children on the property.

Spanning four levels, the main residence counts slate flooring, delicate molding, raised paneling, a double staircase and four fireplaces among its defining features. There are 20 rooms, 10 bedrooms, 12 full bathrooms and three half-baths in 25,000 square feet of living space.

Athletic amenities include a lower-level gymnasium of more than 1,800 square feet, separate tennis and basketball courts, an exercise room with steam rooms, a game room and indoor and outdoor pools.

A caretaker's cottage, formal gardens, a horse barn and paddock also are found on the expansive grounds.

Lendl previously listed the estate for sale in 2005 for $25 million. Its new price is reflective of the current market conditions in Litchfield County, according to co-listing agents Kathryn Clair and Pat Kennedy Lahoud of William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty.

"This is a weekend/second-home market primarily, and not limited to those from New York City and lower Fairfield County, as we are now seeing an influx of a number of Hampton homeowners," Lahoud said. "Residents include Wall Street professionals, sports figures, actors, writers, artists and more."

The Czechoslovakia-born player, 54, won 1,071 singles matches and 94 singles titles, trailing only Jimmy Connors in both categories. He retired in 1994 and, in recent years, served as coach to Andy Murray.


Even before he was dealt by the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks, Tyson Chandler was already on the move. The NBA center sold his estate in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in March for a loss at $2.7 million.

Chandler and his wife, Kimberly, purchased the five-acre estate in August 2006 for $5 million.

Leading up from a gated drive, the estate sits hidden within the resort-like grounds, blanketed by mature palms and tropical landscaping. The main residence, an updated split-level, was originally built in 1981 and features a modernized interior defined by hardwood flooring and recessed lighting.

The 5,705 square feet of living space contains a tiered floor plan with open formal living spaces, a gourmet kitchen, a built-in entertainment center, six bedrooms and five baths. A basketball court, koi ponds, an outdoor kitchen, a pool and spa, and a waterfall are among the exterior features.

The estate was one of a number of homes damaged by the 2007 Witch Creek wildfire, which lay waste to nearly 200,000 acres in San Diego County, destroying 1,125 residential structures.

Chandler, 31, has played for five teams over the course of 13 NBA seasons. He won a championship with Dallas in 2011 and was the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year the following season.

The property has bounced on and off the market since March 2010 and last listed publicly in January at $3.495 million.

This is not the first time Chandler has come up short on a real estate transaction. In 2011, the former Chicago Bulls player sold a home in Northfield, Ill., for $2.1 million. He had paid $4 million for the 11,000-square-foot mansion in mid-2006.

Chandler still maintains a 3,412-square-foot residence in Riverside, Calif., that he purchased in 2001.


Whereas UCLA's Jim Mora is just beginning the process of selling his home in Yarrow Point, Wash., the University of Southern California's Steve Sarkisian has already parted ways with his King County property.

The Trojans head coach sold his house, also found across Lake Washington in Yarrow Point, for $3.5 million this year. Sarkisian and his wife, Stephanie, paid $3.35 million for the property in May 2009 - nearly six months after the coach left Southern California to take over as head football coach at Washington.

Built in 2008, the gated home is about three blocks away from Mora's property on nearly half an area. The two-story house includes a chef's kitchen, a wood-paneled library/study, a home theater, a recreation room, five bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half-baths in 5,516 square feet of living space.

Sarkisian, 40, led the Huskies to a 34-29 record and four bowl games in five seasons at Washington. He agreed to return to USC as head football coach in December.


Bud Black, the former Los Angeles Angels pitching coach and current manager of the San Diego Padres, has purchased a condominium in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood for $589,000.

The unit, on the third floor of a San Diego high-rise, features an upgraded floor plan with custom tile flooring, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Its nearly 1,200 square feet of living space includes a modernized kitchen, a sitting room, two bedrooms and two baths.

Building amenities include a clubhouse with a lap pool and spa, a fitness center, gated parking, an outdoor barbecue area and a rooftop terrace with bay views.

Black, 57, played 15 Major League seasons as a left-handed pitcher for five teams. He was the Angels pitching coach from 2000-06 prior to joining the Padres as manager in 2007.

The property originally came to market in May at $599,000. Sale of the unit closed June 13.

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