Virginia Slims of Dallas

the Virginia Slims razzia keep going with a 4th triumph after an incredible tough week!

Dallas, Moody Coliseum Arena – Martina Navratilova may be the reigning queen of women’s tennis, but right now, Hana Mandlikova is the one taking home the trophies and earning respect. She is the hottest player on the tour.

And she proved that fact for the fourth time in three months on Sunday, March 25, by beating Kathy Jordan, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-1 in the final of the $150,000 Virginia Slims of Dallas in front of Navratilova and over 7,000 fans at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University.


Martina Navratilova defaulted from the tournament because of a torn harmstring, but was in the crowd : «  I think the tournament’s going to do well, I think it’s a good draw and there are still some good matches to be played. »

Martina’s prediction came true. And some of the best matches of the tournament were those involving Hana Mandlikova, who picked up $28,000 for her victory. Her three-set battle with Virginia Ruzici was considered one of the best of the tournament.

The two-hour-and-10-minute show Mandlikova and Kathy Jordan put on for the final was even better. Hana needed to be at her best against Kathy, and when it counted most, in the third set, Mandlikova raced out in front.

« I just couldn’t break her serve in the third set, » said Jordan. « Hana was ready for every ball. »

« I just tried to keep the pressure on her all the time, » Hana Mandlikova said. « She tried to do the same thing to me. I’d say I just played better in the third set. »

« I tried my best , but it wasn’t good enough today, » said fourth-seeded Kathy Jordan. « I thought she (Hana) played fantastic. »

Kathy Jordan was the most impressive player in the tournament until the final, never losing a set.

She had the psychological edge entering her match with Hana Mandlikova, having won four of six previous meetings and the last three in a row, including a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash the last time they met in Detroit last October.

« She was playing unbelievable that day, » recall Hana. « She just played too good for me. But I was ready for her today. I was ready to win the match. »

And win shed id, just as she has in four of six outings in 1984, giving many reasons to believe the 22-year-old Czech is finally ready to blossom into the player who will challenge the dominance that Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd have established at the top of women’s professional tennis.

The titles are welcomed for Hana, and so is the money. But more importantly, she hopes her performances this year will stop the questions – and maybe her own doubts as well- about the up-and-down play that has plagued her in the past.

Although we’ll discover that during this whole week, Hana had all but an easy path!

In front of a estimated crowd of 5500 at Moody Coliseum, Mandlikova started her week with an 6-3 7-6 (74) opening-round victory over Sayers. Hana, WTA No. 5, needed to rally from a 5-3 deficit to send the second set into the tiebreaker.

She also trailed 4-2 in the tiebreaker before taking the final five points to close out the match : “I knew it was going to be a difficult match”, she said afterward.”After two weeks off it’s very difficult to get through the first round”

Mandlikova though was expected to pick up right where she left off as one of the hottest women on the tour. The 22- year-old Czech won three of the first four tournaments on the 1984 women’s tennis tour, a
string that included snapping Navratilova’s consecutive winning streak.

That’s what prompted many to label her as Navratilova’s biggest rival here and then cast her in the role of the favorite when Navratilova dropped out : “If Martina plays it’s a much bigger tournament But I don’t really care who is in a tournament I feel I can beat anybody,” Mandlikova said.

In beating Martina Navratilova in February, Hana did something no one else has done in nearly a year.

“People start to believe that she in not beatable,” Mandlikova said. “I proved she is beatable and I think it gave the other players confidence.”

It also designated Mandlikova as one of the players to beat in Dallas — especially now “But I still think it’s a tough field,” Mandlikova said. “I’m not thinking about winning it yet I’m just going match by match”

In the second round, Hana Mandlikova stopped the string of upsets (5-seed Wendy Turnbull and 7-seed Barbara Potter went out on the afternoon session), but not without a struggle at Moody Coliseum, in front of a crowd of 4,000.

Hana needed three sets before coming away with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Beth Herr in the only singles match of the evening session.

“I played good enough to win —6-1 in the third set,” Hana Mandlikova said in evaluating her performance.


She said she improved her play from her previous match : “I think my serve improved and so did my volleys,” she said.

No upset in the quarterfinals, with 2d seed Pam Shriver, 4th-seed Kathy Jordan and 6th-seed Zina Garrison, all advancing in the semis with quite easy 2-setters.

Our third seed Hana Mandlikova also was a winner — in a three-set thriller that highlighted the day’s action here at Moody Coliseum.

Hana though had to rally for a 3-6, 64, 6-2 victory over Virginia Ruzici before an estimated crowd of 6,000 Friday evening in what may have been the best match of the tournament.

“I really thought I had her” said Ruzici who won the first set and was up one service break in the second.

“But I wasn’t tough enough I was on her for about two hours then my momentum went and her momentum came I let her off the hook”

“I was fighting every game even in the first set” Mandlikova said “When I was down 1-3 (in the second set) I knew it was very important that I break Virginia, and when I did I was up again”

Mandlikova got a break in the fifth game of the second set broke again in the ninth game at love to take a 5-4 lead and then held serve to even the sets at one apiece.

Mandlikova then used the momentum to break Ruzici in the first set of the third game then again at love in the fifth game for a 4-1 lead and wound up, taking the deciding set 6-2.

“I think this gave me back my match confidence again” said Mandlikova who won three of the first four tournaments of the year but struggled through two rounds here after resting a couple of weeks.

“I hope I proved tonight that I can play tennis” said Ruzici who has slipped to No 17 on the WTA rankings. “I’ve been in the top 10 for four or five years and I can still play the game”

Well the Hana’s struggle ended Saturday much to Pam Shriver’s dismay as Mandlikova displayed the kind of form that took her to three titles in the first month of I984 in a semifinal match that pitted the top two remaining seeds of the tournament.

Hana took a convincing 6-4, 6-3 victory over Shriver the No 2 seed before an estimated crowd of 6,500.

And with top seed and five time defending champion Martina Navratilova on the sidelines nursing a torn hamstring Mandlikova thus became the favorite to win the $30,000 first prize when the finals take place at 1 pm Sunday.

Jordan the No4 seed took a 6-4, 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Zina Garrison in their semifinal match Saturday afternoon.

Jordan also holds a 4- 2 career record over Mandlikova which includes victories in their last three meetings the last a 6-0 6-0 whitewash at the Virginia Slims of Detroit last October.

But that record may haunt Jordan on Sunday — at least if Mandlikova’s victory over Shriver was any indication. Mandlikova said she was motivated Saturday by the memory of Shriver’s straight-set win over her at the Virginia Slims Championships in New York two weeks ago.

“I always beat her before New York,” said Mandlikova whose career record against Shriver is 5-1 “And this match I really wanted to beat her again.”

She needed just 1 hour and 5 minutes to gain revenge closing out the match before Shriver had a chance to get in it.

“When she’s playing well she’s one of the best players in the game to watch,” Shriver said. “When she’s playing that well there’s not much you can do except wait for her to play some loose games. But 1 don’t think she had any tonight”

Both players thought the biggest difference in the two meetings was Hana’s serve : “She served a lot better than she did in New York,” Shriver said .

“Today I was serving very well,” Mandlikova agreed. “I just tried to come in as much as I could and put as much pressure on as I could And it worked very well.”

Hana Mandlikova lost service only once though it came at a crucial time time.

Mandlikova had just broken Shriver to take a 5-3 lead and even had one set point before serving up a double fault — her only ore of the match — on game point.

The loss of that game was even tougher to take because Mandlikova had refused to accept a line judge’s ruling that gave her an ace on a serve she knew was out.

She wound up losing that point and later the game but never regretted her decision.

“The ball was out so why should I say the ball was good?” she asked. “I think Pam wouldn’t take that shot. She doesn’t cheat so why should I?”

But Shriver wasn’t so sure she wouldn’t have taken that shot “It’s a very difficult thing to do,” she said. “Usually when you’re serving for the set you don’t give anything away.”

But Mandlikova did — only to get it back in the next game.

“She let me back in,” Shriver said “but I knew I had to hold serve” She couldn’t.

Instead Shriver served up a pair of double faults — two of her five in the match — and Mandlikova won the game and the set with a winning crosscourt forehand that passed Shriver at the net.

The only break of the second set occurred in the sixth game and again it was a double fault by Shriver that helped pave the way.

Shriver in fact didn’t serve all that well due at least partly to a right shoulder that had been bothering her all week as an excuse.

“It was fine,” she said about the injury. “Well it’s not good I think it bothered me more on my second serve. My second serve is usually a weapon but I think I won about 10 percent of the points on my second serve tonight.”

Shriver won the first point of the sixth game then double faulted and “got upset with myself,” after Mandlikova hit a winning return.

Navratilova the tournament’s top seed and five-time defending champion was sitting courtside because of a torn hamstring that caused her to withdraw from the event last Tuesday “I hope you enjoyed the tennis” Mandlikova said to Navratilova during the awards ceremonies when she picked up the first prize money of $28000 “And I hope you come back next year”

If so a Navratilova-Mandlikova match could make for a very interesting final But it couldn’t be much better than the 2-hour and 10-minute show Mandlikova and Jordan put on Sunday

The 22-year-old Mandlikova in winning her fourth tournament in five tries in 1984 needed to be at her best against Jordan And she was — especially in the third and final set when it counted most

“I just couldn’t break her serve in the third set” said Jordan who received $14000 for finishing second “Hana was ready for every ball”

“I just tried to keep the pressure on her all the time” Mandlikova said “She tried to do the same thing to me I’d say I just played better in the third set”

After splitting the first two games of the third set Mandlikova took the next five She broke Jordan’s service in the fourth game with a backhand passing shot down the line then hit a forehand crosscourt to pass Jordan for another break in the sixth Mandlikova meanwhile never lost more than two points off her game next at

“I tried my best but it wasn’t good enough today” Jordan said “Every time I’ve been in a final I keep running into someone who’s playing real well And I thought she played fantastic” Jordan the tournament’s fourth seed had won her last three matches with Mandlikova including a 6-0

Mandlikova won it defeating Kathy Jordan 7-6 3-6 6-1 in a tough battle between the players currently ranked fourth and fifth on the tour. In the process she picked up her fourth 1984 tour victory and avenged a 6-0 6-0 wipeout she suffered the last time she played Jordan.

“I played better this time,” she said.

Kathy Jordan, DR

She also overcame fits of anger which plagued her during the two segments ofthe match in which Jordan seemed in control — the opening games of the first set and the closing games of the second.

Jordan opened the match by breaking Mandlikova’s serve then got her own faltering service straightened out after winning a point on a close call — which Mandlikova disagreed with in the second game coming back from 15-40 to win.

Mandlikova then won her serve but became upset again when her last shot in the fourth game was called out and she fell behind 3-1.

She recovered quickly however winning the next three games and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker which proved anticlimactic.

Mandlikova broke Jordan twice while winning her own serves despite missing on both first services and parlayed the 4-0 jump into an eventual 7-3 victory for the set.

But with Jordan leading 4-3 in the second set Mandlikova down 15-30 in the eighth game double-faulted on another controversial call and protested in vain for a reverse ruling.

With the crowd buzzing she eventually lost the game on another double fault then blew up and hit three shots into the net as Jordan swept to a love-game victory to take the set 6- 3.

In the opening game of the third set Mandlikova survived yet another disagreeable call and another double fault to win;

Kathy Jordan then won her own serve to even the set at 1-1 but it was her last glimpse of daylight.

Returning to her first-set form and drilling a series of smoking crosscourt shots past Jordan from both backhand and forehand.

Mandlikova swept the final five games and the match. She broke Jordan in the fourth game with a backhand return down the line won the fifth with a drop shot and a final-point ace fired a running backhand down the line for a sixth-game winner and finished with a love-game victory in the seventh to win the match.

It was a disappointment for Jordan who for the fifth time in her last eight tournaments failed to win after reaching the finals and now to capture the $30,000

She lost to Hana Mandlikova has an 0-6 career record in finals matches “I’ll win one someday” she shrugged “If you land in enough finals you’re bound to win one eventually It’s the law of averages.”

« Everybody asks me if I’m consistent or not, » Hana said. « I’ve just won four out of five tournaments, and I’ve lost only two matches this year. What do you want ? »


« I can’t believe it, winning four out of five tournaments, » she added. « I’m quite pleased with my game. »

And so were the crowd of 35,000 who attended the whole week in Dallas!