Report by TENNIS DE FRANCE, Alain Deflassieux, from Toyota City, Nagoya Green Tennis Club
Headquarters of the Federation Cup, the Green Tennis Club of Nagoya saw the third victory in three years of Czechoslovakia, carried at arm’s length by a radiant Mandlikova. This expedition to Japan also allowed us to find the unique atmosphere of this event like no other.
Of the thirty-eight nations involved in the 1985 Federation Cup (a record), what could have prevented Czechoslovakia from achieving a third consecutive success? Theoretically, the United States and Germany were in the best position. Theoretically only because, deprived of their best representatives, these countries could not worry the Czechoslovakia team led by a Hana Mandlikova just crowned with her victory at the U.S. Open.
In these conditions, Czechoslovakia actually won the event for the third time in three years by winning in the United States in the final on the magnificent center court of the Green Tennis Club of Nagoya which lives up to its name since it is located in a bowl of hardworm, at the gates of the largest suburb of Nagoya called Toyota City where golf practices brutally give way to rice fields.
Czechoslovakia won but its course was not as triumphant as one might hope. Let us even say that if Hana Mandlikova had not shown a mastery and self-confidence worthy of a champion of the United States, the victory of her country would have been very compromised as her partner, Helena Sukova, was distressing of nullity.
Beaten in the second round by the little Swiss Liliane Drescher and in the semi-final by the Bulgarian Katarina Maleeva, she had all the difficulties in the world to win against the very modest Hungarian Csilla Bartos in the quarterfinals and the bowler Elise Burgin in the final in the last set.
The second singles between Kathy Jordan and Hana Mandlikova resulted in a hung first set won 7/5 by czechoslovakia who flew to victory in the second set (3/0} when rain interrupted the game until the next day. But on Monday morning, Hana, still as sovereign, concludes with a masterful 6/1.
In the end, it was Bulgaria that gave Czechoslovakia the most trouble in the semi-finals. Remarkable for her composure and combativeness, Katarina Maleeva made a remarkable run during the week by winning her four singles matches successively in Elisenko (USSR), Goles (Yugoslavia), Durie (Great Britain) and Sukova (Czechoslovakia), Katarina was much more motivated than her sister Manuela who seems tired, saturated with tennis.
Let’s come to what really makes the Federation Cup so attractive. As Hana Mandlikova explains in the interview she gave us, there is an absolutely unique atmosphere in this event that allows the best to breathe and breathe by getting out for a week of the jungle of the tournament circuit and the less good to live a week with the “greats”, which gives them the opportunity to learn something but also to prove their worth by hanging on like crazy against opponents deemed stronger.
1st RD vs GREECE
U.S. Open champion Hana Mandlikova routed Angcliki Kanellopoulou, 6-2. 6-0, yesterday to help defending champion Czechoslovakia defeat Greece, 2-1, in the opening round of the Federation Cup women’s tennis tournament.
2d RD vs SWITZERLAND
The top seeded Czech team, favored to win the event for the second consecutive year, was given a scare yesterday from an unlikely quarter.
Unseeded Switzerland -took a 1-0 lead when Lilian Drescher, its No 2 player and ranked 64 in the world, upset the world’s ninth ranked player, Hele- na Sukova, in straight sets, 7-6, 7-4, 6-3.
Hana Mandlikova, the reigning US Open champion and the third ranked player in the world, quickly redeemed the Czech’s position when she beat Christiane Jolissaint in three sets. But the Swiss girl did not go down without a fight the first set reached the tie break before Mandlikova took charge, winning the match 7-6, 7-1,6-1.
The Czechs secured victory in the doubles when Mandlikova and Sulova beat Jolissaint and Drescher 6-1, 6-2.
QF vs HUNGARY
Czechoslovakia, the top seed, beat Hungary 3-0 anil will play Bulgaria, a 2-1 winner over Britain
Czech teen-ager Helena Sukova, ranked ninth in the world, lost the first set to Hungary’s Csilla Bartos 6-7 after a 5-7 tiebreaker. But Sukova, 19, the daughter of former Wimbledon finalist Vera Sukova and a former ball girl for Navratilova, fought back strongly and took the last two sets, 6-2,6-2. “She (Bartos) served superbly in the first set,” Sukova said. “I lost the tiebreaker after taking a 5-3 lead, but , I believed I would win eventually, so I tried my best »
Czech star Hana Mandlikova, ranked third in thc. world, crushed Hungary’s Andrea Temesvari 6-3, 6;3. for her 13th straight victory in the singles of the Federation Cup.
Mandlikova, who became the first foreign citizen since 1973 to win the women’s singles title at the U.S. Open in September, told reporters: “Sometimes I have nice shots. I served good, but my serve returns went not so good.”
The Czech pairs of Regina Marsikova and Andrea Holikova defeated the Hungarian team of Bartos and Temesvari 6-4, fr3, on the hard courts of the Nagoya Green Tennis Club.
SF vs BULGARIA
Top – seeded Czechoslovakia captured the decisive doubles to defeat Bulgaria 2 – 1 and advance to the final. Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria divided the two singles matches for a 1 1 tie. Bulgarian Katenna Maleeva downed Helena Sukova 6 – 3, 7 – 6 (8 – 6) in the first singles match, before Hana Mandlikova of Czechsolovakia downed Manuela Maleeva 34, 6 – 2, 6 – 1. In the decisive doubles match, Mandlikova teamed with Sukova to beat the Maleevas 6 – 3, 7 – 6 (7 – 4).
F vs USA
Top-seeded Czechoslovakia won the Federation Cup women’s tennis tournament for the third consecutive year Monday, defeating No. 2 United States 2-1.
Hana Mandlikova, leading Kathy Jordan 7-5, 3-0 when rain halted their singles match Sunday, needed just 10 minutes and four games to nail down a 6-1 victory in the second set, clinching the triumph for her team.
“I was playing well in the second set (Sunday), so I was disappointed when the game came to a halt,” Mandlikova said. “This morning, I felt good during the warm-up.”
The Czechoslovak team received $70,000 while the U.S. took home $35,000.
Mandlikova, ranked third in the world, broke Jordan’s serve and then held her own for a 5-0 lead before Jordan, ranked 15th, won her serve at love. The Czech star then wrapped up the match with an excellent passing shot and a smash.
The Czechoslovaks had gone ahead 1-0 Sunday when Helena Sukova beat Elise Burgin 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4. The Czechs ended up with a 2-1 victory after losing the doubles Monday as Jordan and Burgin beat Regina Marsikova and Andrea Holikova 6-2, 6-3.