exho Four Seasons Invitational

Lancaster, Pa. – Many people envy the lives of professional athletes. ;i Just think of it, they say, flying to different places, playing a game to earn a living what a life . But it isn t that easy . Hana Mandlikova played in the Four Seasons Invitational Tennis Tournament over the , weekend in Landisville, just a quick stop in her itinerary, which seems to have no end. Before she arrived in Lancaster, she was home in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She also calls Florida home, but it turns out that shes simply not home that much. Because she gets back to Prague only three or four times a year, Mandlikova’s parents often travel to the United States to provide a little home away from home. A tennis players life is one big whirlwind tour with schedule, after schedule. Mandlikova rolled her eyes when asked about her harried life and how it affects her game. You try to travel, practice and then take some time off, she said. I always try to play two or three weeks in a row and then take 10 days off. You really cant play all the time and travel all the time, because you burn out. I played a lot in the beginning of the year, and I didnt play as many tournaments the second half. You really have to choose ..when to play and when not (to play). Mandlikovas lifestyle is shared by her fellow players on the womens tour, so shes not alone in trying to move up the ladder in the world rankings. Climbing the mountain for Mandlikova means getting by Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova . When Billie Jean King was in Lancaster a few months ago, she expressed an opinion about the top 10 in womens tennis. She said that the space between the first-and second-place women, Navratilova and Evert Lloyd, was fairly close. But King said a wider gap exists between No. 2 and the rest of the top ten.

Mandlikova was addressed with Kings observation and said head-to-head match-up with Nos. 1 and 2 are rare. “I played Evert Lloyd only once this year, and that was the semifinals at Wimbledon and she beat me then,” Mandlikova said., “If you only play somebody from the top once or twice a year, it’s very difficult to do your best. You cant really compare one and two to three and four. They are all trying their best all the time. I dont think they’re better, just more experienced. The younger players need a bit more time before they’re going to take over.”

Hana Mandlikova was the only double winner Sunday in the Four Seasons Invitational Tennis Tournament. She defeated Pam Casale 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 to win the singles event, and then teamed with Ilie Nastase to capture the mixed doubles over Casale and John Austin, 6-3, 7-5.

A crowd of 600 watched the three matches under cloudy skies at the Four Seasons Complex in Landisville. In the mens singles final, Dick Stockton downed Cliff Drys-dale 6-2, 6-4. Mandlikova, who reached the final with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Peanut Louie on Saturday, opened her match against Casale with an ace. Mandlikova broke Casales serve three times in the first game, although Casale returned Mandlikova s second serve for winners on.a number of occasions. Mandlikova s strongest game of the match was the fifth game of the second set, when she recorded two aces, but Casale managed to break serve after leading 5-3 to win the set. When the two last met, Casale was the victor, but the 7-6, 7-6 win came on a clay court. Im better on clay because I can pass her a lot easier, Casale said. But I think I played well in this tournament. I had just come off two indoor tournaments when she beat me, Mandlikova said, and I was tired when I played her. Thats why I lost. Casale and Mandlikova are headed for the Florida Federal’ tournament in Tampa. Mandlikova is seeded first and Casale fourth. This tournament gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming week, Casale said. . Mandlikova opened the third set holding her right shoulder, but what she later described as a cramp didnt hold the womens tour No. 3 player back. Despite some long volleys and spirited play by Casale, Mandlikova reigned with some well-placed drop shots and strong volleying shots. Shes a very tough player, Mandlikova said. She tries every ball and I really appreciate that. I didnt come in as much, and she likes when you come in to the net.

Mandlikova‘s strong play, especially from the backcourt, mixed well with Nastases net play as the two downed Austin and Casale, who were playing as a doubles team for the first time.

“We are more of a team than they are,” Nastase said, as he rushed from the court. Nastase‘s showmanship and ability to play to the crowd are now as much a part of his game as his serve and forehand. “Nastase‘s kind of hard to play because he clowns around so much its hard to concentrate,” Austin said. “He plays well in that environment. But Hana‘s so solid. Nastase could run around near the net because she hit good service returns every time. She’s the base and he can do the flashy stuff.”

Nastase might have been flashy at times, but he also served up eight aces, once serving three in a row. Both teams traded games in the second set, but with the set tied 5-5, the Nastase team got a service break and then held serve to win the match

(article compiled from : Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster)