VOLUME 6, Number 3

February 18, 1985

Lipton International Players Championships

Hana Mandlikova is still trying to regain her best form. In the first edition of the LIPTC in South Florida, considered as the « 5th Major » of the season, she wins 4 matches but falls in quarters to Carling Bassett.

LIPTC 85

rd 1 et 2 : RAS

3rd RD vs MELISSA GURNEY

Bassett and Mandlikova should know what to expect. Bassett turned back Stephanie Rehe, 15, 6-2, 6-3 while Mandlikova outlasted Melissa Gurney, 15, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. « These kids have nothing to lose, » said Betty Stove, Mandlikova’s coach. « I’ve seen it happen before. Wait until they get a little higher and the pressure builds. »

4th RD vs MARY-JO FERNANDEZ

Steve Weller Sport Columnist

Rise op, tennis spectators. Throw off the shackles of enforced silence and mandatory niceness.

Demand equal time. Insist on the right to look and sound foolish at least as often as the players embarrass themselves.

The sport’s hierarchy oozes aristocracy, lays great store in gentility and pays as much attention to bloodlines as the average matchmaker at a thoroughbred breeding farm.

Yet the game’s most eye-catching characteristics are the pelvic clutch of Jimmy Connors and the 10-speed tantrums of John McEnroe.

Neither is competing in the Lipton International Players Championships here this week, but somebody is always willing to fill in with an explosion.

Hana Mandlikova, for instance. The first thing she did Sunday morning was conduct a tennis clinic for child prodigies. It was a job well done.

Then, as she so often has in the past, she did a job on herself.

With a half-dozen flaps of her quick lip and one flare I from her instant temper, she turned a single heckler into hundreds of booing, cat-calling adversaries.

A slow out call on the last ball hit by Mary Joe Fernandez set off the impossible-to-explain outburst.

The call went Mandlikova’s way, ending an easy 6-3, 6-0 victory over the 13-year-old Fernandez. She headed for the net, veered away when Fernandez didn’t react quickly enough and stalked toward the umpire, setting off a cascade of calls to « Shake hands, big shot! »

Hardheaded Hana yakked back at her critics, then hurried over to her puzzled opponent, knelt and bowed, an angry supplicant feigning penitence.

Hana curtsey to MJ, DR

« I had no reason not to shake, » Mandlikova said after a search party had brought her into the interview room at Laver’s International Resort.

« The kid was absolutely acting normal. But she doesn’t have the right people around her. When she beat Bonnie Gadusek Saturday, her fans were terrible. I’ve never seen anything like it.

 « There was one guy behind me today clapping when I hit the ball out or, if I hit it good, saying, ‘She’ll beat you anyway.’ That’s not the way to act.

« When I was 13, I had respect Unless she gets somebody around her to put her down once in a while, she will have problems. »

Mandlikova did not explain how a schoolgirl who carries her textbooks with her when she takes time off for a tournament is supposed to control a loudmouth in the crowd. 

The 22-year-old Czech and her coach, Betty Stove, admitted Mandlikova’s behavior was a mistake. But, if Stove’s replies when questioned about the incident are any indication, Mandlikova could use a change in charm school tutors herself.

« You know Hana, » Stove said. « She is quick. If you aren’t right there, she may be gone. There was another time when she left the court without Chris Evert Lloyd, Chris said she had to put away her rackets, so Hana did not wait.

« There is no rule that says you have to shake hands. There is no rule that says you have to leave the court together. »

Those gestures, a listener suggested, are traditional courtesies.

« That’s right, » Stove agreed. « It is only tradition. » That casual dismissal can be interpreted two ways. Either Stove isn’t a fanatic about courtesy or, more likely, she found herself in an indefensible position and tried to defend it anyway.

Fernandez did not dwell on the bizarre end of what has to be the most remarkable week of major tournament tennis ever played by a 13-year-old.

« You’ll have to ask her what happened, » she said. « I didn’t say anything. »

After getting off to a 2-0 lead in the first set, Fernandez couldn’t handle her seventh-seeded opponent’s serve and aggressive net plays.

First match Sunday or last match Tuesday, Mandlikova had too much strength and experience for her , wiry young rival.

She blew Fernandez off, then blew her top. Which is all right Tennis is a game of questionable calls and fragile temperaments. Let the emotions roll. Just give the crowd equal rights.

 Hard-hearted Hana meets so For a few heady minutes it appeared the kid might pull an upset that would have made Saturday’s pale but then Hana Mandlikova shook off the cobwebs from a 6:15 am wakeup call went to the power game and blew Mary Joe Fernandez away 6-3 6-0

A DIFFERENT OPINION

Sunday morning in the Lipton International Players Championships at Delray Beach, young Mary Joe, a Miami eighth-grader who beat Bonnie Gadusek Saturday to become the youngest player ever to reach the fourth round of a two-week tournament, should have learned some lessons from the losing by Hana.

You don’t get better unless you take your lumps against the best.

Perhaps her rabid fans will learn too. Some of them heckled Mandlikova unmercifully throughout the match.

One loud-mouthed lout kept cursing Mandlikova who complained to the umpire once but did not lose her poise as she is wont to do 

The match ended on an ugly note. Fernandez hit a forehand just wide. Both players knew the ball was out but the call was delayed .

Mandlikova stood at the net waiting for Fernandez who remained in the backcourt waiting for the call. So Mandlikova retired to the side That prompted boos and calls of « Shake her hand! » from Fernandez supporters who thought Mary Joe had been snubbed.

Mandlikova responded sarcastically walking over to Fernandez getting down on one knee and clasping her hands together in a gesture of genuflection. Understandably Fernandez didn’t know how to respond Welcome to the big-time Mary Joe

« I have nothing against the kid » Mandlikova said afterwards « She didn’t do anything wrong during the match But unless she gets better people around her she is not going to be a good player That was not a good example for a youngster Those people were crazy I have never seen anything like them It was unbelievable » 

QF vs CARLING BASSETT

 If Bassett had any breakdowns Wednesday they were precious few She and Mandlikova held serve until Bassett broke Mandlikova to make it 4-2 in the first set

With Mandlikova serving at 5-6 Bassett began passing at ease and won the set with a splendid drop shot Bassett won the first two games of the second set She was then broken and Mandlikova held serve but it was all Bassett thereafter Mandlikova seemed out to lunch on many of the points including the winner when Bassett passed down the right line after a poorly struck shot by Mandlikova from the net

It was Bassett’s second consecutive quarterfinal victory over Mandlikova and her third triumph in their five matches They met last at the 1984 US Open where Bassett won on cement 6-4 6-3

Carling Bassett, WTA DR

Bassett coasted 7-5, 6-2 to reach the semifinals and a match with Martina Navratilova. Mandlikova, although currently ranked ninth one notch ahead of Bassett is usually thought of as one of the top five ranked players. She has a runner-up Wimbledon finish and two of the same at the U.S. Open to go with her French and Australian Open titles.

« When you play people like Hana, who have been ranked up there, » Bassett said, « you just think of all the best things they’ve done. » 

Against Mandlikova, Bassett erased a 5-5, 30-all tie by taking advantage cf two unforced errors to take a 6-5 lead. Despite an ace, she then broke Mandlikova’s serve for the set.

Bassett coasted in the second, lobbing or passing effectively when Mandlikova, a staunch serve-and-vol-leyer, rushed the net.

 « She came in a lot today, » said Bassett, seeded 10th. « I knew ‘she would attack my second serve, so I tried to take the pace off my first and get it in. Against Hana, you really have to have your passing shots going well. 

 « I think the wind might have helped me a little bit too because it was easy to lob into it. I would put a lot of spin on it and hope it (didn’t) go out. »

« She really played well tactically today, » said Mandlikova. « If she brings her serve in against (Navratilova), she might give her a good match. » 

 Bassett called the win an upset. « I would call it an upset, too, » said Mandlikova. « I think I am a better player than her. »

After reaching the semifinals of last year’s U.S. Open with, ironically, a win over Mandlikova, Bassett has been somewhat inconsistent. She reached the finals of the Florida Federal but lost first-round matches in the Virginia Slims of L.A., Sydney and the Australian Open. « It’s just kind of nice to know I really can win, » she said. « Because sometimes you win a match here and there and never win again. This is probably the best tennis I’ve played all week. « I am surprised (to reach the semi

OFF COURT

Chris Evert Lloyd was the women’s winner of the Molson Golden Game Award Evert and Hana Mandlikova each won 14 games without losing a point but Evert was chosen because she advanced further in the draw 

No video yet !

Results

  • LIPTON INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
  • Delray Beach, Fl., Feb. 04-17, 1985
  • $750,000 – Hard
  • singles : seeded 7
  • R1 : + Raffaella Reggi 6-3, 6-0
  • R2 : + Kathleen Cummings 6-2, 7-5
  • R3 : + Melissa Gurney 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
  • R4 : + Mary Jo Fernandez 6-3, 6-0
  • QF : – Carling Bassett 7-5, 6-2
  • doubles w/ Kathy Jordan (4)
  • R1 : + Shawn Foltz/ Debbie Spence 6-2, 6-1
  • R2 : + Catherine Tanvier/ Virginia Wade 6-3, 6-0
  • R3 : + Heather Crowe/ Kim Steinmetz 6-4, 6-4
  • QF : + Mary Lou Piatek/ Wendy White 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
  • SF : + Claudia Kohde-Kilsch/ Helena Sukova (1) 6-3, 6-1
  • F : – Gigi Fernandez/ Martina Navratilova (11) 6-7, 2-6

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