Atlanta reports

PREVIEW

Let it be known that Larry King gave fair warning two months ago when he said Atlanta would not see the unprecedented collection of women tennis players this September that played at Georgia Tech a year ago.

That doesn t mean the Davison s Tennis Classic, the $100 000 Colgate circuit event which begins at 10 a.m. Monday at Alexander Coliseum, has a paltry, picked-over field. Chris Evert Lloyd, Billie Jean King and U S. Open runner-up Hana Mandlikova the top three seeds generally aren’t considered obscure names. 

Mandlikova was the victim of Jaeger‘s first major professional victory Sunday as Jaeger took a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win in a $200,000 tournament in Las Vegas. Mandlikova will play Laura DuPont in the first round.

1st RD vs LAURA DUPONT

18-year-old Hana Mandlikova beat Laura DuPont 6-2, 6-0 in a late afternoon match Wednesday.

2D RD vs WENDY WHITE

 In Thursday’s evening matches, third-seeded Hana Mandlikova played near flawless, overpowering tennis to beat Wendy White of Atlanta 6-2, 6-3 before about 5,000.

Wendy White

White, who had lost in three sets to Mandlikova at Wimbledon this summer, never seemed to get her game going, making un-forced errors when opportunities came up for breakthroughs. “I felt more tired tonight” said White, who beat Rosie Casals in a three-set 2-hour match Wednesday night;

QF vs PAM TEEGUARDEN

Mandlikova Triumphs : She’ll Oppose Lloyd In Semifinal” by Sally Wilson Atlanta Constitution Staff Writer

 A writer in New York three weeks ago very succinctly broached a matter that had been on the minds of more than a few American tennis fans. 

Chris beat Tracy. Tracy beat Andrea. Andrea beat Kathy, and who is this Czech maniac Mandlikova anyway?” 

This Czech is Hana Mandlikova, a puffy-cheeked 18-year-old with a red bandana invariably tied across her eyebrows and a game that promises to kick open the doors to the exclusive “Top 3” club of women’s tennis. The public hadn’t had a good look at Mandlikova until the final of the U.S. Open, but the players had. The Women’s Tennis Association selected her during the Open as the most impressive newcomer for 1980.

Mandlikova, a 6-4, 6-1 winner over veteran Pam Teeguarden in the Davison’s Classic quarterfinals Friday night before about 4,500 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, will get a chance to beat the person she considers No. 1 in the world despite a No. 3 computer ranking Chris Evert Lloyd, in Saturday’s 7 p.m. semifinal. Evert, playing close to her VS. Open form, got past sixth-seeded Kathy Jordan 6-4, 6-1.

 “Hana‘s the hottest player now as far as players coming up in the rankings,” said Evert-Lloyd. “I’m glad I played someone like serve-and-volleyer Kathy Jordan tonight to prepare for her.”

Mandlikova started out stiffly Friday but began serving better in the second set. She has said she feels no pressure going into matches because, “I’m still going to the top.” 

Ask Mandlikova, No. 6 in the world, up from No. 17 in December, why the sudden surge, and her eyes will widen increduously. “Sudden? Nine years, nine years I play tennis,” she says. “The first time I hit the ball I wanted to be a good player.”

Undoubtedly, she is that. And more. “If she’s not a champion, then I’ve never seen one,” said Lee Turman, a longtime Atlanta player who watched Mandlikova overwhelm Wendy White Thursday night.

The Prague resident won five titles in 1979, but none was major and none was in the U.S. But this year she has been at least one set ahead of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Tracy Austin (twice) and Evert-Lloyd before losing. She beat idol and former compatriot Martina Navratilova in back-to-back tournaments, Mahwah (N.J.) and the U.S. Open, the first of three finals she’s reached in her past four tournaments.

“She’s been steadily getting better,” said Ted Tinling, tennis’ designer extrordinaire and now public relations liaision for the WTA. “For a period this year she dominated positively all the top players Tracy, Chris and Evonne. She had them on the rack and then fell apart. At Mahwah, she suddenly didn’t fall apart.”

She won Mahwah, the warmup eveut for the Open, by first stopping Navratilova, then beating Andrea Jaeger in three sets in the final. She followed nearly the same pattern at the Open, beating those two but losing to Lloyd 5-7 6-1 6-1 in the final.

“Before, everybody would say just wait, she’ll fade after the first set,” said Mary Carillo, a tour player and commentator for USA Cable. “She used to just check out for a while. But she doesn’t anymore. I saw her beat Martina twice, and she never let up. She’s consolidated all parts of her game.”

 Daughter of a Czech Olympic sprinter, Mandlikova, 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds, looks like an athlete. She walks with poise and intensity, shoulders pinned back and long, muscular legs projecting a commanding, slightly mannish image. Yet she plays with as much graceful ease as Goolagong, the volleys falling off the racket so lightly from the most precarious stances. 

But unlike Goolagong, Mandlikova looks as if she’s facing an oncoming Russian tank on court, her face full of Slavic stoicism. It belies her impish, carefree nature off it.

“She’s an 18-year-old girl who’s happy and enjoying tennis,” said Betty Stove, who began coaching Mandlikova at her request in June when she wanted to break from her Czech coach. “She’s happy roaming around, playing basketball in the yard. She’s like any other kid.”

Tennis Is my life. I love it,” Mandlikova says. I started playing well after Wimbledon, I got confidence before the big tournament (Open.) I was mentally up. Before I led 6-1, 3- 0 against Tracy at Eastbourne, l led Evonne Goolagong 7-6, 3-1, 40-15 and serving. Don’t ask me about the third set. I must be more patient.

Patience must be the only ingredient lacking. She has a fiery, impulsive mind, which makes her exciting to watch, said Tinling. “But it hurts her because she doesn’t know what the important points are. It’s always been a duel between her instinctive inspiration and discipline: She’s got everything except that discipline ut her mind.

SF vs CHRIS EVERT-LLOYD

Forget Sunday’s final. Forget every other win Hana Mandlikova has had in this or any of the past four tournaments. Saturday night the 18 year-old Czech accomplished something she had so longed to do : beat a “baseliner.”

And that the baseliner happened to be Chris Evert Lloyd, the player who beat her in the U.S. Open, was important. But not most important. For Evert really was just a venerable pawn in Mandlikova‘s well-planned strategy to reach a new level of tennis, which she had to have done with the 6-1, 6-4 upset in the Davison’s Tennis Gassic’s semifinal before about 6,000 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Mandlikova, the third seed behind Lloyd and Billie Jean King, played a powerful, patient game to reach her fourth final of the past five tournaments. Sunday she’ll play fourth-seeded Wendy Tumbull, who beat fifth seed Dianne Fromholtz 6-4, 6-3 in the afternoon semifinal.

“First time I beat a baseliner,” said Mandlikova, who was 0-4 against Evert-Lloyd, although all matches went three sets. She has never defeated Tracy Austin, but has two wins over Martina Navratilova. “Always I lose to Tracy, to Chris in three sets. I was very hungry to beat her.”

After her backhand volley grazed the side line at match point, Mandlikova‘s arms shot up into a huge V, bridged by her racquet. She smiled a smile that ought to last through the plane trip to Prague Sunday night, regardless of the outcome of the final with Turnbull a player she beat in straight sets last week at Las Vegas.

Chris Evert-Lloyd, who had watched Hana Mandlikova play good but not exceptional tennis friday night in the quarterfinals, was hoping the Czech would not have a great serving night in the semifinal. Percentage-wise, she didn’t. She managed to get in just 50 percent of her first serves and had but two aces. Nonetheless, Evert-Lloyd could not return well against her, breaking just once in the second set. She could not outsteady Mandlikova from the baseline, either, and was jerked around by her low, slicing backhands that kept pulling Evert-Lloyd out of position.

“I was hoping she’d miss a few more first serves,” said Evert-Lloyd, who was calm after the match, but anxious to get home and work on her game. “Her serve is better than Martina‘s. She has an excellent slice backhand, and on this court sliced balls skid.”

Chris Evert-Lloyd

“I don’t feel bad. After four times in a row (of beating her) I kind of knew there would come a time when she would beat me. After you beat someone so many times you begin to take it for granted. Next time I know I’ll have to play better.” 

“I won the first game of the second set,” said Mandlikova. “Every match before I lost the first game. It was very important. I got confidence after winning that, and I knew I could beat her.” 

Serving and volleying her way to 4-1 (breaking in the fourth game), Hana broke again in the sixth game after 7 deuces, and served out the next game, conceding just one of the five points to date on her serve.

The first six games of the second set all went against serve (the fifth game won by Mandlikova was another marathon – this time 8 deuces), but that only prompted Evert to take a 4-3 lead, holding from 0-40.

Just when it looked like the match might split sets, Mandlikova held easily, broke Evert to 30 and rescued 15-40 in the final game, the winning point was a backhand volley into the deuce court.

“I’ve always thought Hana was one of the most talented players,” said Evert. “It was just a matter of time before she beat me. »

The loss was Evert’s first since the Wimbledon final against Evonne Goolagong and only the second defeat since her three-month winter vacation

“No 1 Chris felt as though Hana played very well” said her father and coach Jimmy Evert “No 2 she thought the court was awfully fast It favored Hana’s serve-and-volley game and Hana said that too. She liked the court and said it was faster than a hard court

I think Hana showed a lot more patience than when I watched her at the Open. She stayed back and waited for winners. She hit six straight overhead winners at one stretch. Chris didn’t feel she played badly”

FINAL VS WENDY TURNBULL

The post-match summation is simple enough. No rambling recollection or tense introspection for this young player. “I come back, and I feel good.” And Hana Mandlikova is out the doors of Alexander Memorial Coliseum with an Irish crystal bowl in one hand and a check for $20,000 in the other.

The 18-year-old Czechoslovakian had come back from 2-5 in the second set of the Davison’s Tennis Classic final to defeat Wendy Turnbull 6-3, 7-5 before 4,500 at Tech.

 For Mandlikova, Sunday’s final must have been anticlimatic after her upset of top-seeded Chris Evert Lloyd the night before. 

Sunday, Mandlikova was expected to win. No problem, as Slavics are wont to say. Although she and Turnbull are ranked one spot apart (No. 6 and 7, respectively, on the computer), Mandlikova‘s game is heading straight up, while 27-year-old Tumbull‘s may have reached its peak

The first set wasn’t much trouble for Mandlikova, as she broke the Australian’s first serve and held twice to go up 3-0. Turnbull had a break point at 3 5, but Mandlikova, relying on what is fast becoming the best first serve in women’s tennis, won the next three points with service winners.

With Turnbull up 1-0 in th second set, Mandlikova’s problems began. She wasn’t moving as well as the night before, and more than not, her drop volleys sunk on her racket. She missed four consecutive first serves and ended up behind 30-40. She got to deuce with a volley winner but lost the advantage on a Turnbull passing shot. She double faulted to lose her serve, going for. an ace wide on the second serve instead of hitting her normal topspin.

“I started being nervous, and I was a little bit tired in the second set from last night” said Mandlikova, known for “Czeching out” for a while after blistering first sets. “I lost my serve, and she started playing much better. “

“After New Jersey, I never lose concentration. Now I just feel very happy. I will try to be No. 1, but it’s very hard.”

Turnbull, who had been serving well most of the match, held to go up 3-0. She had a chance to go up 4-0 on two break points against Mandlikova, but she dropped one backhand into the bottom of the net and another into a banner behind the linesmens chairs.

She held twice more, however, to lead 5-2 before the downfall came.

Mandlikova won her serve (for a 3-5 score) and then broke Turnbull at love with a combination of good returns of first serves and Turnbull‘s mental wanderings. On Turnbull‘s next serve, which could have given her the set, she got down 0-40. But she scrambled back to deuce and got an ace on Mandlikova‘s fourth break point. She turned her racket on Mandlikova in mock-machine gun fashion after the Czech got a break on a net-cord passing shot and then, without regaining concentration, double faulted away the game, and essentially, the match.

Mandlikova weathered a few bad calls to hold serve for the win.

I had my chances In the second set” said Turnbull, who lost her second consecutive final in Atlanta (last year it was to Martina Navratilova). “I should have kept the pressure on, and it would have gone three sets. I was really mad at myself for the double fault and for letting a 5-2 lead get away. She hit some great shots, out I made a few errors at the wrong time.” 

Turnbull, who had upset Evert-Lloyd and Tracy Austin en route to last year’s final, had played well through the first set and until the last four games of the second. But she couldn’t do much with Mandlikovas serve, which alone had carried the Czech to the final of Las Vegas last week where she lost to Jaeger.

“When she gets her first serve in, it’s really hard to return it” said Turnbull, who won $10,000. “That’s the kind of player she is. She’ll have lapses, then she rolls off these incredible shots. She’s so loose such a natural player.” 

In the final, Mandlikova wins her 26th match from her last 30 to take the lead in the Colgate standings.

OFF THE COURT

WTA : FOR AN US OPEN OF THEIR OWN Members of the Women’s Tennis Association may pull away from Flushing Meadows next year and set up their own U.S. Open at a site still under construction near Manhattan. In a general meeting at Alexander Memorial Coliseum Wednesday, the majority of players accepted a proposal by Capital Sports Inc. to break away from the men if two conditions are met First the majority of the top 10 players must agree to play at the new site, and second, the WTA must have a commitment from one of the three major networks for coverage. “We should know within a three-to-four week time period,” said Ana Laeird, public relations director for the WTA. “In the meeting today the players were overwhelmingly in favor of moving if both conditions are met Billie Jean King (president of the WTA ) has made a real effort the last few weeks, calling sponsors and networks. She’s really done her homework.” In past years the WTA has tried to gain support for such a proposal but has not been successful. “It’s never reached the stage where we are now, said Laeird. “we have a con-Crete proposal in front of us.” Said King, “This is something that’s been accumulating through the years. We tried to work through the proper system, but it just doesn’t work. This way’ we’ll have control of our own destiny. Laeird said Tracy Austin and Evonne Gooagong have not been present at the WTA’s series of meetings on the move the past few weeks, but that King and Martina Navratilova are in favor of it Chris Evert Lloyd will make ner decision witnin tne next lew days.

SCOREBOARD
DAVISON’S TENNIS CLASSIC
Atlanta, Geor. – September 22-28, 1980
$100,000 – In-Sporteze – Georgia Tech Alexander Coliseum
singles : #3
R1 : + Laura duPont 6-2 6-0
R2 : + Wendy White 6-2 6-3
QF : + Pam Teeguarden 6-4 6-1
SF : + Chris Evert-Lloyd 6-1 6-4
F : + Wendy Turnbull 6-3 7-5

Compiled from : The Atlanta Constitution, The Miami Herald, Inside Women’s Tennis, John Dolan’s “Women’s tennis 68-84

 

SCOREBOARD

DAVISON’S TENNIS CLASSIC

  • Atlanta, Ge.– Sept. 22-28, 1980
  • $100,000 – Georgia Tech Alexander Coliseum– Indoor Sporteze


singles : #3

R1 : + Laura duPont 6-2 6-0
R2 : + Wendy White 6-2 6-3
QF : + Pam Teeguarden 6-4 6-1
SF : + Chris Evert-Lloyd 6-1 6-4
F : + Wendy Turnbull 6-3 7-5

  • doubles : w/ Betty Stove (2)
  • R1 : + Dianne Fromholtz/ Roberta McCallum 6-2 6-2
  • QF : – Barbara Potter/ Sharon Walsh 3-6 3-6