Hana Mandlikova has been caught by Sweedish storm in Florida

Catarina Lindqvist, WTA DR

2d rd vs Barbara Gerken

Czechoslovakia’s Hana Mandlikova was staring defeat in the eyes. But the world’s fifth-ranked player didn’t like what she saw and did something about it. Down 3-0 and break point in the third set to unseeded Barbara Ger-. ken, the fourth-seeded Mandlikova rebounded to take a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win yesterday and reach the third round of the $150,000 Virginia Slims of Florida at the Sheraton Royal Biscayne.

“You always hope (for a comeback),” said Mandlikova, who recently slipped from the No. 3 ranking. “I knew that even though it was love-3, 1 needed only one break (of service) and then hold my service and I was right back in it.”

Mandlikova, who advances to play Sweden’s Carina Karlsson in this morning’s second match, was not the only seeded player to escape with a difficult win.

Mandlikova’s comeback overshadowed a brilliant performance by the 20-year-old Gerken, an All-America at UCLA in 1983. Gerken reached break point and could have taken a 4-0 lead in the third but committed two unforced errors and Mandlikova returned a forehand winner to win the game. She then won five of the next six games for the match.

“I think the turning point did come when I was up 3-0 and I could have won the fourth,” Gerken said. “I got so tentative and tight, I might have been playing not to lose instead of to win.” “It was very difficult today,” Mandlikova said. “I just couldn’t get into it but I played better in the second set and then when I had to”

“I think this was very important for getting my confidence back. She played very well and she’s a good player.” I

Gerken beat Mandlikova easily in the first set by hitting several outstanding passing shots when’ the Czech rushed the net. Mandlikova then held service throughout the second set to win before fighting back in the third.! “I felt today and this week that I was playing well enough to beat her,” said Gerken, ranked 96th. “I was trying to play each point and not think of the score. It would have beerj my biggest win. !

“Even though I lost, this will obviously boost my confidence a bit. It proves that I am close to getting over the hump. I think 1985 will be a better year for me now.”

Since joining the tour last year. Gerken hasn’t run into many opponents with the talent of Mandlikova. Still, she was pleased with her own performance yesterday. “The turning point came when I lost the game at 3-0 in the final set,” Gerken said. “I started out so great then I got tentative and tight. It became a combination of her playing better and coming in. “This week I’ve been playing well to win. I haven’t really played that many top players. It proves to me I’m that close. One more step to get over the hump.” Gerken, of Santa Monica, Calif.. said her second season on the tour will be different. Yesterday’s match against Mandlikova made for a good start. “In ’84, I wasn’t that comfortable adjusting to the tour,” Gerken said. “I was out of college and the travel affected me a lot. Eighty-five is going to be a different year.”

3rd vs Carina Karlsson

No difficulty for Hana’s second match, as she breezed through sweden revelation from Last Wimbledon, Carolina Karlsson, 6-3, 6-2. on a windy and cold morning at the Sheraton Biscayne. In the stands , dozens of frozen spectators were bravely watching the match.

QF vs Catarina Lindquist

Sweden’s Catarina Lindqvist is a quick learner, and yesterday, she had to be. Czechoslovakia’s Hana Mandlikova was giving her a lesson in serve-and-volley tennis during their quarterfinal match in the $150,000 Virginia Slims of Florida at the Sheraton Royal Biscayne. “I was playing wrong in the first set,” said the 21-year-old. “She was just too powerful and I didn’t have much of a chance.” That changed quickly when the unseeded Lindqvist adjusted her approach against Mandlikova and shocked the fourth seed 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the tournament’s semifinals. “I knew I had to try and hit the ball deeper,” said Lindqvist, the world’s 16th-ranked player. “She is powerful when she attacks. You never know what’s going to happen when you play Hana.”

Lindqvist, who won the $100,000 Ginny Championships three weeks ago at Sandpiper Bay, faced a 3-2 deficit in the second set but broke Mandlikova’s service and eventually won 7-5. “I broke her service and after that, I think she let down a little in the third set,” Lindqvist explained. “It was that she made so many unforced errors more than that I played well.” Sven Davidson, Lindqvist’s coach, agreed. “Hana Mandlikova has taken some time off and she is not in top shape,” Davidson said. “She won but we will not overweigh it. It’s a hollow victory in that sense. I thought Catarina really played better yesterday against Pam Casale (in a 6-2, 6-1 win).” In the third set, almost each time Mandlikova attacked the net, Lindqvist responded with an outstanding passing shot for the point. “I think she passed me very well,” said Mandlikova, who has dropped from fifth to eighth on the WTA computer. “I was just picking the ball up instead of hitting it. “I would say the wind affected me a little bit, but I knew she’s a good player. She didn’t take me by surprise. “

Mandlikova said she thought the turning point came id the second set with Lindqvist leading 6-5 , and the score at 30-30. “I was serving and she passed me and it was out The umpire said it was good and she ended up winning the next point But she came back and won the third set anyway.” – Lindqvist, Sweden’s No. 4-ranked player, said the win “was one of her two biggest” with the other being a win over then fifth-ranked Kathy Jordan in the 1984 Canadian Open. ; “It feels pretty good,” admitted Lindqvist, who won her first match over Mandlikova in three tries. . After the match, it didn’t take Lindqvist long to v realize what she would have to do to beat Navrati- kwa. “Pretty much the same thing,” she said. “I am : going to have to pass well and get my shots deep.” – – Navratilova said she was impressed with Lindq-‘. vist although she thought she would be facing Mandlikova. “I am glad I got to see it (the match),” Navrati lova said. “I didn’t expect Hana to lose, but I learned a lot about her (Lindqvist).” 

Semis and finals

Seeded 1 and 2, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd went easily through their semis to meet in finals. And the spectators witnessed the sensation of this start of the seaon, while Evert beats Martina (in straigh sets) for the first time since November 1982.


Hana Mandlikova, Wendy Turnbull, Dolphin Trainer, Bonnie Gadusek, Betty Stove, Dame Lolita. Photo : Carol L. Newson, DR