1981 Roland Garros

Hana Mandlíkova Clinches Second Grand Slam Title with Victory at Roland Garros

-Paris, Stade Roland Garros, June 6, 1981

At 1981 Roland Garros Hana Mandlíkova added her name to the list of Grand Slam winners for the second time, following her success at the Australian Open. In the semi-finals, she finally overcame Chris Evert in a major event, before seeing off Germany’s Sylvia Hanika in the final.

1st Round : Hana Mandlikova vs Lucia Romanov

Hana Mandlikova Dominates Romanov in First Round at 1981 Roland Garros

For her first round at Porte d’Auteuil, Hana meets Lucia Romanov, a 22-year-old Romanian who is currently hovering around 40th place in the WTA rankings.

Romanov, who had already met and beaten Hana at the Soisbault Cup (U21 Team Competition) in 1979, is no match for the Czech player who is now ranked 4th in the WTA.

The score was a harsh 6-1 6-2 for Mandlikova, who entered the tournament on the soft side.

2d round : Hana Mandlikova vs Rosie Casals

Hana Mandlikova Easily Defeats Rosie Casals at 1981 Roland Garros

Rosie Casals is a circuit legend, having been one of the “Original 9” who founded the women’s professional circuit.

But if today she still appears in the singles draw, it’s mainly to train for the Ladies Doubles event, where she still excels.

Against Hana Mandlikova, the stairway is far too high for Rosie Casals on the “Court Central” . She bowed out in 40 minutes, and Mandlikova continued on her way Porte d’Auteuil without having to force her talent.

3rd round : Hana Mandlikova vs Pilar Vasquez

Hana Mandlikova Survives Scare Against Qualifier Vasquez in 3rd Round Thriller at 1981 Roland Garros

Mandlikova had almost come to grief herself on the first Saturday, against 120th ranked Pilar Vasquez, a qualifier from Peru in the 3rd round. Having lost the first set, Hana took a while to wake up from the early 10am start but once she did, she reeled off 10 of the next 11 games. At 4-1, the No. 4 seed seemed in command but back came the 16 year-old challenger to 4-all. From there, Mandlikova steadied herself, breaking serve in the final game for a 4-6 6-0 6-4 win that served her well for the more important matches to come.

Mandlikova 1981 Roland Garros

4th round : Hana Mandlikova vs Bettina Bunge

Hana Mandlikova Dominates Bettina Bunge in Ninth Encounter at 1981 Roland Garros

18-year-old Bettina Bunge is already in her 9th encounter with Hana Mandlikova. To date, Mandlikova has always prevailed, despite a few close matches.

Both young ladies offer a sparkling attacking tennis style. But once again, it was Hana Mandlikova who dominated the match, leaving only 4 games to her rival. She thus qualified for the quarter-finals of Roland Garros for the third year running.

Quarterfinal : Hana Mandlikova vs Kathy Rinaldi

Mandlikova Handles Rinaldi With Ease at 1981 Roland Garros Quarterfinal

Rinaldi 1981 Roland Garros

Kathy Rinaldi’s Cinderella sweep through the early rounds of the French Open turned to ashes yesterday in the quarterfinals. Hana Mandlikova, the Czech star, defeated her in straight sets 6-1 6-3. Mandlikova, seeded fourth, kept Rinaldi pinned to the baseline with both pace and depth while the American struggled to find the ground-stroking form that had flashed her past two seeds Anne Smith and Dianne Fromholtz.

Asked which of Mandlikova’s shots gave her the most trouble, Rinaldi, only 14, deadpanned:

“Her backhand, her forehand, and her volley”

The new superteen of women’s tennis youngest ever to play at the French Open insisted she was not nervous during the match:

“No opponent has ever played one-handed backhand against me” she said

No one in tennis strokes the ball with so much force and elegance and with so little apparent effort as Mandlikova. Rinaldi, quick as she is, had little chance to rattle her passing shots as she had so brilliantly at the beginning of the tournament.

Semi final : Hana Mandlikova vs Chris Evert-Lloyd

Hana Mandlikova Stuns Chris Evert Lloyd to Reach French Open Final

Hana Mandlikova upset Chris Evert Lloyd 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals of the French Open tournament yesterday and made tennis history. The 19-year-old became the first Czech to reach the women’s final of this famous event on the slow clay of Roland Garros Stadium. And she ended Evert‘s run of 64 straight victories on clay.

Evert Mandlikova 1981 Roland Garros

And Andrea Jaeger, who was celebrating her 16th birthday, fell to Sylvia Hanika of West Germany 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in the other women’s semifinal. Mandlikova and Hanika, both in the final for the first time, will meet Saturday. On the red clay, where the ball comes off slowly, rallies go on forever, and patience and calmness win prizes, Evert-Lloyd was rated invincible. In 1973, at age 18, she lost to Margaret Court in the final, but she had not lost a match at Roland Garros since. From August 1973 until yesterday, she had lost only once in 190 matches on the world’s clay courts. The defeat was against Tracy Austin in the 1979 Italian Open.

“It’s the best win of my life,” Mandlikova said. “Chris is the best clay-court player of all time.”

Evert-Lloyd led 3-0 in the first set, and few of the 16,000 fans could have doubted she was heading for her fifth French title. But suddenly Mandlikova began spraying shots from her baseline, cracked winning forehand passes down the line, and occasionally left Evert-Lloyd helpess with cunning under-spun drop shots. She began her sprint to the finish by breaking service for a 3-2 lead in the second set and she owed that to Evert-Lloyd‘s good sportsmanship.

The Czech wrapped up the game with a winning forehand, but the linesman called it out Mandlikova ran round the net to see where the ball had landed and Evert-Lloyd smiled, patted her on the shoulder and gave her the point. From then on, Mandlikova never faltered and could not be caught. She wrapped up the match with two of her best shots a delicate drop on the penultimate point and a beautifully-angled backhand volley for the last winner.

“I was thinking that maybe it was her turn now,” Chris Evert-Lloyd said. “She has never really lived up to her potential. I think she will win this tournament She played me perfectly.”

Final : Hana Mandlikova vs Sylvia Hanika

Mandlikova Rally Wins 1981 Roland Garros

Hana Mandlikova came from behind in both sets to beat Sylvia Hanika of West Germany 6 – 2, 6 – 4 Saturday and become the first Czechoslovakian woman to win the French Open tennis title. . At 19, she led the youthful Czechoslovakian charge across the tennis courts of the world.

Today, another Czechoslovakian, 21-year-old Ivan Lendl, challenges the mighty Swede, Bjorn Borg, in the men’s final. Mandlikova, daughter of an Olympic sprinter, cleared her stiff test hurdle two days earlier when she upset Chris Evert Lloyd, the defending champion and the overwhelming favorite to win the tournament. Hanika, the powerful 21 – year – old left – hander from Munich, however, didn’t make it easy for the young Czechoslovakian star. Hanika won the first seven points of the match and took a 2 – 0 lead. But gradually, the pattern changed. As Mandlikova tightened her game and drove accurately for the lines, Hanika became erratic.

Mandlikova 1981 Roland Garros
Hanika 1981 Roland Garros

Fitness and accuracy are key factors on the slow clay of Paris’ Roland Garros Stadium. Mandlikova had both. She reeled off six games in a row and wrapped up the first set in 32 minutes Hanika played her best tennis at the start of the second set and ran up a 4 – 0 lead, although the third and fourth games were long, grimly contested affairs of several deuces. Mandlikova then resumed control and cut her rival’s lead to 4 – 2. In the seventh game, the Czechoslovakian double – faulted for the only time in the match and Hanika had a point for 5 – 2.

But Mandlikova saved the situation with a smash and went on to win that game and the next three.

“This is a step toward becoming the world’s No. 1,”

Mandlikova said as she sat between her parents at a news conference afterward.

“My form, is a big change from last year, I used to lead against the top ‘ players but failed to win my matches. Now I am losing at first but I come back to win.”

“I was behind against Chris in the semifinals. She is the best clay courts player in the world, so this is the greatest tournament of my life.”

Hanika, playing in her first major final, admitted she found it a difficult occasion.

“I didn’t play very well at all,” she said. “I led 4 – 0 in the second set and I had a point for 5 – 2, but I just couldn’t make it.”

Mandlikova 1981 Roland Garros



  • Paris, Fr. – May 25-June 7, 1981
  • $300,000 – Stade Roland Garros – Red Clay

singles : seeded #4

  • R1 : + Lucia Romanov 6-2 6-1
  • R2 : + Rosie Casals 6-2 6-1
  • R3 : + Pilar Vasquez 4-6 6-0 6-4
  • R4 : + Bettina Bunge(10) 6-3 6-1
  • QF : + Kathy Rinaldi 6-1 6-3
  • SF : + Chris Evert-Lloyd(1) 7-5 6-4
  • F : + Sylvia Hanika(6) 6-2 6-4

/ Betty Stove (4)

  • R1 : + Kathleen Horvath/ Kim Sands w.o.
  • R2 : + Debbie Freeman/ Chris O’Neil 6-1 6-2
  • R3 : – Bettina Bunge/ Claudia Kohde 0-6 4-6