The TOYOTA SERIES BMW CHAMPIONSHIPS is played the week before Wimbledon, and is the traditional grass court warm-up. As such, it is one of the best attended tournaments outside of the Grand Slam events. But it is also generally acknowledged to be one of the best organized tennis events, on what are arguably the finest grass courts in the world.
1st RD : Hana d. Ann KIYOMURA
Hard fought three setter for Hana : Ann is a great double specialist, but her agressive games is at her peak on Grass. Transitionning from clay, semi-finalist at the French Open, Mandlikova had difficulties to find her rythm. She won the third set on breaking Kiyomura‘s serve on the 7th game.
Other 1st rd matches :
Hanika, seeded 4, collapsed against Anne White in straight sets. Martina had to overcome a second set tiebreaker to grass specialist, Candy Reynolds. Other top seeds won.
2d RD : Hana d. Claudia KOHDE
No problem for Hana versus Claudia KOHDE, a young promising player from West-Germany. Hana went through the big serve-and-volleyer newcomer, who is making impression on the tour.
other 2d RD matches :
Ann MINTER had her biggest career-victory so far, upsetting 14th seed Kathy JORDAN. Young American, Zina GARRISON showing the exit ton n. 6, Mima JAUSOVEC. Rosalyn FAIRBANK took revenge for her defeat last week in Birmingham by the hands of Billie-Jean KING and came through in 3 sets. And Betty STOVE, Hana‘s mentor, signified she was not to be considered yet as an has-been by upsetting n. 12 Anne SMITH.
3rd RD : Hana d. Andrea LEAND
If their 4th rd match at the French had been a formality for MANDLIKOVA, here on the Devonshire Park’s grass court, that was not so easy. Hana needed 3 sets to overcome the agressive play of n. 10 seed, Andrea LEAND.
other 3rd RD matches :
Martina NAVRATILOVA is progressing through the draw with barely a hic-cup, disposing easily of charming Lucia ROMANOV, 2 and 1.
Quarterfinals : Hana d. Zina GARRISON
Hana did what was expected and move into semis with a 6-1 6-3 scoreline against Zina GARRISON.
other QF matches :
Barbara POTTER was no threat to NAVRATILOVA, who will meet in semis local star, Jo DURIE, who had to reverse the course of her match against Betty STOVE : Hana MANDLIKOVA‘s coach played her own brand of brilliant tennis for the first set (6-0) before losing to DURIE 6-3 6-0 in the 2 others. JAEGER defaulted to Bettina BUNGE who will meet Hana in semis.
SEMIFINALS : Hana d. Bettina BUNGE
And so it was semifinals day, and the sun that had shone all week decided to take a weekend break. The wind blew, the clouds scurried and Hana made it ten out of ten against Bettina.
It could have gone either way. Bunge sped to a 3-0 lead, breaking Mandlikova in the second game. But then the Czech broke back in the seventh, pulled level to 4-all on her next service game, and then saved a set point at 4-5 when Bunge won an advantage. Hana evened it and broke for the second time for 6-5 before serving for the opening set 7-5.
Bunge began to look better as the match progressed, but many of her shots were just too long or just too wide. She frowned at her errant strokes but kept her cool and won the second set 6-4
Hana took charge though in the decider. With Bunge serving first, she led 2-1, but that was it. The elegant Czech saved her best for the last four games of the match when from 2-2 she overwhelmed the world’s No. 11 with beautifully timed strokes. Hana broke her for a 3-2 lead, again for 5-2, and served for the match to earn her place in the final.
Martina made to struggle to British n. 3 Jo Durie , who battled steadfastly to the end before finally conceding after 95 minutes of absorbing and uplifting entertainment.
FINALS : Martina NAVRATILOVA d. Hana MANDLIKOVA
Martina Navratilova continued her winning streak to the eve of Wimbledon, defeating Hana Mandlikova 6-4, 6-3 Saturday to win the $23,000 first-place prize in the BMW tennis tournament.
Navratilova tamed an awkward wind that whipped across the court and made strokes difficult. “I am in the best form of my career,” she said
Navratilova adapted her game to the conditions better than Mandlikova, whose play was brilliant at times but erratic.
In the second set, Mandlikova had a chance to get back into the match. She broke Navratilova‘s service in the opening game and led 3-1. But then she made errors to lose her own service, and Navratilova regained command, taking the next five games.
Despite the straight-sets loss, and the unbelievable windy conditions, Hana made a good week, and a far better showing than on the clay courts of Roland Garros in her semi vs Martina. Encouraging week!
Article compiled from : Inside Women’s Tennis, The Guardian, Associated Press reports