Palm Beach Gardens

Semi Finals

Chris Evert Lloyd found the perfect antidote Saturday for that occasional flaw in her game known as a two-match losing streak She played outdoors on clay in her native South Florida It was Carling Bassett’s misfortune to be on the other side Of the net Evert’s game got well quickly as she won 6-2 6-1 to advance to today’s 1:30 pm final in the $275000 Ford Challenge Cup at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens

Evert boasts a 16-3 lifetime advantage over Mandlikova including 5-1 on clay Though Mandlikova won their last meeting 6-2 6-4 indoors in February in the final at Oakland Evert says she isn’t seeking revenge.

“I never have the feeling when I lose to somebody that I have to get back at them” Evert said “On clay you hit more groundstrokes so she won’t be coming in to the net as much as usual. She plays different all the time — great, bad. She can play aggressively or stay back”

Mandlikova who said she feels the flu coming on and who had to play consolation doubles late Saturday, said : “I’m just going to go for the best shots I can against Chris. The late doubles are no excuse. I’ll try my best and we’ll see”

Though Shriver hadn’t played on clay since the 1983 French Open. She came within a few key shots of beating Mandlikova for the second time in seven meetings.

 “Obviously I’m disappointed because I had opportunities to win both sets” Shriver said “I had a lot of opportunities to attack her second serve especially at 5-6 in the second set and didn’t win one”


Hana helps Evert win By JIM MARTZ Herald Sports Writer

Hard-hearted Hana? There used to be a song about her.

But it can’t apply to Hana Mandlikova. Sunday, kind-hearted Hana gave away a point to Chris Evert Lloyd that may have cost her the match — and $100,000.

Mandlikova was serving at 3-5 30-40 in the second set when Evert hit a service return that was ruled long. That would have made it deuce but Evert questioned the call and Mandlikova told the umpire the ball was good, because there was a mark on the baseline.

The umpire ordered the point replayed. Mandlikova then hit a backhand volley into the net and the match suddenly was over. Evert won 6-3 6-3 to capture the $275000 Ford Challenge Cup before an announced crowd of 4,102 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

 It was the 134th tournament title of Evert’s career and her first since she beat Martina Navratilova on Key Biscayne in January. She also received a Ford Fila Thunderbird and a two-foot-tall trophy. Mandlikova won a Gucci wallet and a $50000 check to stuff in it.

Mandlikova’s sportsmanship on such a critical point has happened before in tennis but both Evert and Mandlikova acknowledged that many players would have accepted the bad call.

“What can I say?”, Mandlikova said after the match. “The ball obviously was on the line. Why should I argue? It was a bad call” Evert said she wasn’t surprised by Mandlikova’s action “because I thought the ball was right on the line. But it was good sportsmanship on her part”

“On clay you can tell (where the ball lands). There’s a mark to prove it. What are you going to do? Some would take the call, some would argue” 

It all may have been academic anyway. Evert was on a roll and Mandlikova was wilting in the heat and humidity. She had arrived just three days earlier from visiting her parents in Czechoslovakia.

“I had very tough matches last night” said Mandlikova who edged Pam Shriver 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1), then teamed with Shriver to win the consolation doubles over Carling Bassett and Gabriela Sabatini.

 “It was very difficult to play my first match outside under the sun “But that’s not an excuse. I’m in very good shape. She played a little better than me today”

After the trophy and check presentations, kind-hearted Hana had a gift for tournament promoter John Korff — a live Easter bunny. She said it was in response to Korff giving a dog to her after she won a tournament at Mahwah NJ.

The match was much closer than the score indicated. It was 3-3 in each set before Evert managed to gain the upper hand.

In the first set, Mandlikova dropped service in the eighth game after holding a 30-0 lead. And in the second set Evert reeled off 11 consecutive points starting with her only ace in the sixth game.

“She played me the right way” said Evert, now 86-1 on Florida clay. “She didn’t try to hit with me. She hit a lot of floaters and lobs and mixed the pace. It threw me off in the beginning “I served a lot better than yesterday, got a high percentage of first serves in and had the ace when I needed it”