Los Angeles reports

R1 :

Are the matches between teenagers Hana Mandlikova and Bettina Bunge destined to become the next “classics” of the women’s circuit?

The intensity of this match, which could very well have been a final, carried the public of the night session at the Forum in a festival of winning shots and reversals of situations.

Billie Jean King said about the match : “I love it! You don’t think they’re gonna be stars within two years?”

In the third set, an erratic Hana Mandlikova found herself down 5-3 to Bunge. But the Czech showed once again the full extent of her offensive talent and won in the tiebreaker.

R2 :

“I would like to be like Martina” Mandlikova said.

For Tracy Austin, playing Hana Mandlikova is as tough as pronouncing her name! It took Austin, 17 and US Open champion, three tough sets to beat Mandlikova, also 17, 3-6 6-1 6-3 in the second round of the Avon tennis tournament at the Forum Wednesday night, a one hour 44 minute match before a crowd announced at 3,527.

Even though Austin hasn’t lost to Mandlikova in four matches, if she never played the young Czechoslovakian again it would be just fine.

“She is tough” Austin said “She hits the ball very hard”.

In their previous two matches, Mandlikova gave Austin all she could handle, eventually losing 6-4 5-7 6-4 in Germany in November and again last week in Seattle 6-7 6-2 6-4.

Mandlikova started off by playing perfect tennis smartly setting up Austin with slice and touch shots then dazzling her with some crosscourt backhands when she ran her lead to 5-1 before taking the set 6-3.

“In the first set” said Austin “she made only about 40 million winners

Austin said afterwards that she started hitting the ball harder in the second set and then “hung in” in the third. It appeared, however, that Mandlikova beat herself more than her opponent did.

Then Austin showed why she is the world’s No 2 player, using patience and experience to wear down Mandlikova. ‘ “You just have to hang in there” Austin said. “Either she stops playing that well and if not then she’s definitely too good “It’s very difficult to play that way for the whole match. If you do then you deserve to win

Austin broke Mandlikova the first two times she served in the second set, then broke her just once in the third set to advance to tonight’s quarterfinal match against Caroline Stoll.

“In the second set I started hitting harderAustin said “I began pushing her more and that put her on the defensive

Mandlikova simply smiled afterward and said it was a matter of concentration “She has more of it and I still lose it” she said We’re the same age but I have to improve my concentration to beat her

Mandlikova had a brief chance to come back in the third set. She had two break points against Austin in the third game but couldn’t go ahead. The crucial game was the sixth, which went to deuce six times with Austin going ahead 4-2 on her fourth break point.

 “She’s erratic but that’s the way she played” Austin said “Some people play like that. I heard, though I’ve never seen it, that Martina (Navratilova) used to play that way before she got it together”.

And there are other comparaisons between Mandlikova a native of Prague and Navratilova, the world’s top women’s player who defected from Czechoslovakia “I would like to be like Martina” Mandlikova said.

Tracy Austin went through the finals in front of her home crowd -of 9,112– to lose 6-2 6-0 to Martina Navratilova.

Article compiled from : The Los Angeles Times, News Pilot, Joh Dolan’s Women’s Tennis 68-84