1981 Avon Championships of Houston

“Breaking the ‘Bridesmaid’ Curse: Hana Mandlikova’s Triumph in the All-Teen Avon Final”

After enduring second-place finishes in the Avon Detroit and Chicago stops, along with a runner-up position in the 1980 U.S. Open, Hana Mandlikova overcame her “bridesmaid” reputation and a sore hand to triumph over Bettina Bunge 6-4 6-4 in the first ever all-teen 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON.

1st round Hana Mandlikova vs Mary-Lou PIATEK

"Mandlikova Shows Resilience to Overcome Piatek in Intense Matchup at 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON”

Mandlikova, who remains second-seeded although top-seeded Tracy Austin withdrew Tuesday because of a nagging back problem, dropped the first set to Piatek who used her powerful two-handed backhand to break Mand-likova’s serve. But Mandlikova, who celebrates her 19th birthday Thursday, was troubled by costly double faults but rallied to tie the second set 5-5. She gained momentum after becoming angry when the umpire ruled one of her serves a fault. She then bounced back to win the next two games and the set. Mandlikova took the first game of the final set, but Piatek fought back to win the next two games. However, Mandlikova then relied on driving serve and kept her 19-year-old opponent off guard with drop shots to easily win the next five games.

Hana Mandlikova wins 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON

Quarterfinals : Hana Mandlikovca VS Kate LATHAM

Mandlikova Triumphs Over Latham Despite Serve Woes in 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON”

Second-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia overcame a balky serve with effective use of her other weapons Friday night to defeat Kate Latham 43-3 64 in a quarterfinal match of the $100,000 Avon Tennis Championship of Houston. Bettina Bunge of West Germany rallied to defeat veteran Pam Teeguarden of the United States 4-6 6-3 6-1 in an earlier quarterfinal match. Mandlikova was broken in the first game of the match and served five double faults in the first set but still managed to control Latham with her passing shots and wellplaced drop shots. Mandlikova will meet fourth-seeded Mima Jausovec in Saturday’s semifinals while Bunge will I meet third-seeded Kathy Jordan.

Semifinals : Hana Mandlikova vs Mima JAUSOVEC

"Mandlikova Battles Through Ailment to Secure Final Berth in 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON”

Top-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia overcame spotty service problems and a nagging hand ailment to beat Yugoslavia’s Nima Jausovec 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 Saturday night to advance to the finals of the $100,000 Avon tennis championships.

 Mandlikova, the fifth-ranked women’s tennis player, meets Bettina Bunge in Sunday’s clash for the $22,000 first prize.

Mandlikova, 19, holds a 7-0 advantage over th 17-year-old Bunge, who stunned third-seeded Kathy Jordan-6-3, 6-3 in an earlier semifinal match Saturday.

Mandlikova, favored to capture the Houston tournament after Tracy Austin withdrew with a back injury, took a 5-2 lead in the first set, matching the fourth-seeded Jausovec’s baseline shots and forcing her 24-year-old opponent into the net;

Jausovec, ranked 16th in the world, held service in the eighth game only to see Mandlikova clinch the first set one game later.

 In the second set, Mandlikova pulled ahead 3-1 before Jausovec bounced back to win five straight games while forcing Mandlikova to commit costly net errors.

Mandlikova, whose powerful serve and righthanded backhand were hampered at times by an ailment of her two middle fingers, carried the momentum to dominate the final set.

“MY HAND HURT me very badly in warmup,” Mandlikova said. “In the third set it started hurting very much again. It bothers me more on the backhand.” 

The fifth rated woman player in the world said she had been advised by a doctor to have blood tests made if the pain continues in the back of her hand. She said it had spread in recent weeks from her middle and ring fingers to her thumb area. 

“The match was a tough one because Mima is a tough player,” Mandlikova said. “I think I can play a better match than today.”

The two European righthanders have met four times, with Mandlikova now holding a 3-1 margin.

Hana Mandlikova wins 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON

Final Hana Mandlikova VS Bettina BUNGE

"Mandlikova Overcomes Hand Injury to Clinch 1981 AVON CHAMPIONSIPS OF HOUSTON Title"

Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia overcame both her “bridesmaid” image and a sore hand yesterday to defeat Bettina Bunge, 6-4 6-4. 7,193 watched the first ever all-teen Avon final.

All week long Hana Mandlikova was having problems with the nerves in her right hand, needing to soak it in a pan of hot water on changeovers, said it still bothered her yesterday but her serve gave her more concern.

“I had problems with my first serve the whole match,” she said. “I just had two aces. I usually have more. I lost concentration. My second serve was too short and she was coming in too quick. I couldn’t do anything.”

Second-place finishes in the Avon Detroit and Chicago stops, plus her second-place finish in the 1980 U.S. Open, had given her a “bridesmaid” image.

“I’m very happy,” said Mandlikova. “The winter circuit is so tough. I had chances in Detroit and Chicago and lost.”

Bunge broke twice in leading 3-1 and 4-3 first set but Mandlikova scored the decisive break in the 10th game. Again in the second, Bettina broke to love to lead 4-3 but Mandlikova came back to win the last five games of the match.

Mandlikova defeat Bunge for the eighth time in a row.



  • Houston, Tx. – Feb. 16-22, 1981
  • $100,000 – The Summit Inn – Sporteze

seeded #2

  • R1 : + Mary-Lou Piatek 3-6 7-5 6-2
  • QF : + Kate Latham 6-3 6-4
  • SF : + Mima Jausovec(4) 6-3 3-6 6-1
  • F : + Bettina Bunge 6-4 6-4

/ Betty Stove(2)

  • R1 : – Sue Barker/ Ann Kiyomura 3-6 1-6