Hana Mandlikova in 1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic

Hana Mandlikova’s ranking and English have both improved.

The young Czech came to 1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic last year unknown and ranked No. 72 in the world. She left ranked 42 after some outstanding performances. Now she is down to No. 19 and her coach, Vera Sukova, runner-up at Wimbledon in 1962 to Karen Susman, has been forced to reassess her goals.

“We had planned for the top 30 this year, but that happened just after Wimbledon.” Coach Vera Sukova said

Then, we thought the’ top 20 and that has already happened again. I think she will be ready to win Wimbledon in three years,” Sukova said.

Last year when both John Newcombe and Australian Davis Cup captain Neale Fraser saw young Hana play, there was no argument.

“She will win Wimbledon within a few years,” they said of the athletically brilliant young player.

When Mandlikova left Australia last year, she said: “My English, it will be better next year.” And it is she can now converse well in English. Language school in Prague between tennis tournaments has seen to that and she is now almost fluent in both English and German. 

This year Mandlikova reached the quarter-finals of the French Open and the last 16 at Wimbledon and rates her best wins for the year as Sue Barker (twice) and West Germany’s Silvia Hanika.

I like your country” Hana Mandlikova said.

Her father William Mandlik (the “ova” is the female tag to all Czech names) also liked Australia. He ran in the 100 metres at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and reached the semifinals. Now a lawyer in Prague, Mandlik went with his daughter to the US for about a month this year.

“He is always so nervous when I play,” Hana Mandlikova said.

Sukova, who has coached Mandlikova since she first picked up a racquet, spoke with pride of the young girl who captured so many hearts in Australia last year. “She is only 17 and I am not in a hurry for success for her. Three years and she will win Wimbledon”, Sukova said. She believes her young pupil can become one of the great tennis players of all time. 

1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Round 1: Mandlikova beat Roberta McCallum. 

Mandlikova is playing a lucky-loser for her first round, Roberta McCallum. The young american was close to an upset when she took the first set to Mandlikova, who didn’t seem “right on her shoes”.

But then, her serve-and-volley game, perfectly suited for grasscourts, came back and the 17-years-old Czech eased to the next round.


Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Vera Sukova mandlikova
Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Vera Sukova mandlikova

1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Round 2: Mandlikova vs Ilana Kloss. 

Mandlikova Sets Up Quarterfinal Clash with Fromholtz

Opposed to double specialist, Ilana Kloss from South-Africa, Hana Mandlikova breezed easily through her second match, to meet Dianne Fromholtz in quarterfinals.

That wasn’t a workout — it was a work over” 
Fromholtz said after her quick-fire defeat.

Seeded No 3, Fromholtz was the defending champion When Mandlikova hit the winning shot the tournament had lost its first three seeds (Goolagong, King and Fromholtz).

Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Dianne Fromholtz
Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Dianne Fromholtz

1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Quarter Final : Fromholtz vs Mandlikova

Dianne takes a Hana-ing

Hana Mandlikova yesterday made the world’s No 6 player Dianne Fromholtz look second rate as she swept to a 6-1 6-3 quarter-final win in the $100000 Toyota Classic at Kooyong.

“That wasn’t a workout — it was a work over” Fromholtz said after her quick-fire defeat.

Seeded No 3, Fromholtz was the defending champion When Mandlikova hit the winning shot the tournament had lost its first three seeds (Goolagong, King and Fromholtz).

1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Semifinals : Mandlikova vs Blount

Turnbull and Mandlikova Advance to Final Despite Elton John Concert Distractions

Turnbull reached her third Australian final in three years yesterday beating Virginia Ruzici, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, in the semi-finals. In the other semi-final, talented Czech Hana Mandlikova, 17, outclassed the world’s 97th ranked player, American Renee Blount, 6-3 6-1in a 64-minute match.

The thought of facing Mandlikova and not Goolagong as she did in the 1977 final is a great relief to Turnbull.

“We played only once and I beat her,” said Turnbull.

Mandlikova could not remember the match, claiming they had never played before. But the young Czech had good reason for wanting to forget since their clash was in the French Open this year and Turnbull won 6-3, 6-3.

“But,” warned Turnbull, “she’ll be tougher on grass. She has a serve volley game.”

Australia’s Wendy Turnbull and Czechoslovakia’s Hana Mandlikova both “victims’ of friday night’s Elton John rock concert yesterday fought their way to the final of the $ 100,000 tennis classic at Kooyong Turnbull stayed longer at the concert and had the tougher match but outlasted the Romanian Virginia Ruzici 6-4 2-6 6-2 Mandlikova left the concert early but was still below form in her 6-3 6-1 victory over promising young American Renee Blount

NSW Open tennis championship at white city. Renee Blount USA. December 1, 1980. (Photo by Antonin Cermak/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Melbourne’s Toyota Classic Hana Mandlikova

Final : Mandlikova vs Turnbull 

Hana Mandlikova won the 1979 Melbourne’s Toyota Classic at Kooyong, her first major title

Czechoslovakian teenager Hana Mandlikova clinched her first major tennis title when she beat Australian Wendy Turnbull in straight sets in the final of the $100,000 Toyota Classic at Kooyong yesterday.

Mandlikova, 17, one of the brightest prospects in international tennis, sped to a 6-3 6-2 win against the Queens-lander in 58 minutes.

Miss Mandlikova won $20,000 and a $7,000 Toyota car, but the money goes to the Czechoslovakia Tennis Federation, which will hold her earnings until the turns 18 in February.

She capitalized on a vital. controversial line call which went against Miss Turnbull, whose game disintegrated from then. Miss Mandlikova was down break point but leading 5-3 when her return was called good by a lineswoman, making the score deuce. Miss Turnbull called in the referee Jim Entink, but the lineswoman confirmed her call that the ball had hit the outside of the line.

After that Miss Turnbull collapsed, losing the first set 6-3. and handing control of the match to the slim Czech girl, who swiftly took the next set.

After the match a bitterly angry Miss Turnbull unleashed a scathing attack on the umpires. “I’d like to know their average age”, she said sarcastically. “I twice asked Jim Entink to take the lineswoman off but he refused. Not once all week has the umpire in the central chair overruled a lineswoman. which shows that they won’t overrule their friends,” Miss Turnbull said.

“You play all vear around in different countries and you get rotten calls. You come here and you still get them” said Turnbull

Miss Turnbull said that every time she had to get a ball from a ballgirl she “saw that woman”. Miss Turnbull said she made a remark to the woman in Romanian. “I learnt it from Ion Tiriac, it’s pretty bad,” she said. Miss Turnbull said she tried to forget about the incident but she couldn’t and her game “fell to pieces”.

Miss Mandlikova said later she thought the ball could have been out but was philosophical about the call.

“One point is not so important,” she said. “At one stage I had an ace and the lineswoman said it was out.”

Miss Mandlikova did not enter the discussion about the controversial line call because she said she loses concentration if she talks to umpires and lineswomen.

She plans to drive the first car she has owned around for 10 or 15 minutes but it may be the shortest purchase on record. After that she said she would probably sell it.

Article compiled from : The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age



  • Melbourne, Aus. – Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 1979
  • $100,000 – Kooyong LTC – Grass


  • R1 : + Roberta McCallum 4-6 6-3 6-2
  • R2 : + Ilana Kloss 6-1 6-3
  • QF : + Dianne Fromholtz(3) 6-1 6-3
  • SF : + Rene Blount(Q) 6-3 6-1
  • F : + Wendy Turnbull(4) 6-3 6-2

Virginia Ruzici

  • R1 : – Anne Smith/ Dianne Fromholtz(3) 7-5 1-6 2-6