VOLUME 6, Number 5

March 4, 1985

Chrysler Doubles Championships

Teaming for the very first time, Rosalyn Fairbanks and Hana Mandlikova came one-point close to $275,000 record first-place prize money against Wendy Turnbull and Betsy Nagelsen.

Chrysler Doubles 85

Garrison and Rinaldi will play Hana Mandlikova and Rosalyn Fairbank in the first of todays two semifinal matches. The latter duo outlasted Barbara Potter and Billie Jean King 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in Fridays last match. 

 Garrison and Rinaldi have played together before, but never with much success. Conversely, their opponents today, Mandlikova and Fairbank, played as a team for the first time Friday. Its always tough playing with someone for the first time, said Fairbank, who won the 83 French Open doubles title with Reynolds. But I thought Hana and I played well today. Said Mandlikova: Im very happy I chose Ros. I had the second-to-last choice, and it came down to Candy and Ros. Navratilova would no doubt cringe at that statement.

The big story, though, was Navratilova. Considering her dominance of the womens game the past four years and the fact that neither Garrison nor Rinaldi has ever won a doubles tournament, Fridays result rated highly on the shock-the-sports-fan scale. In fact, imagine San Diego State beating the Los Angeles Lakers, and that would rate only slightly higher than Fridays result. This tournament is unique in that the players are teaming with someone other than their usual partner.

Still, Navratilova was seeded first, even with her new partner. And Reynolds wasnt that new; she and Navratilova have won doubles tournaments in the past. Few could have predicted what happened to the pair Friday. The score is very surprising, said Fair-bank. That they lost is surprising, but that they lost as badly as they did is even more shocking.

Mandlikova and Fairbank said neither Reynolds or Navratilova played very well. « Its tough to play with Martina, said Mandlikova, ranked No. 3 in the world in singles, because you automatically get nervous. Candy was tight and didnt win too many points, and its difficult for Martina to pull the match out by herself.

Especially when the opponents are playing as well as Garrison and Rinaldi were. 

In between the seven ram delays that finally caused the days final two matches to be postponed until this morning, two other matches were actually played. The most important was the second one, a championship bracket semifinal, which was won easily by the team of Hana Mandlikova and Rosalyn Fairbank. They had no trouble handling Fridays upset queens, Kathy Rinaldi and Zina Garrison, breezing to a 6-1, 6-4 victory. 

Hana Mandlikova, DR

Rinaldi and Garrison had shocked the No. 1-seeded team of Martina Navratilova and Candy Reynolds in the opening round, but they didnt play nearly as well in Saturdays match, which was delayed by rain at the start and then twice more in the second set. In the first contest of what turned out to be a long days jour

Mandlikova and Fairbank had to withstand two weather delays before advancing to the tournament’s title match. If they were distracted, they didn’t show it sweeping past Friday’s big story in straight sets. 

Garrison and Rinaldi were the ones who plunged Navratilova into the losers bracket. After yielding just three games to Navratilova and Reynolds in a nearly flawless performance, Garrison and Rinaldi could scarcely keep the ball in play Saturday. 

Something was amiss.

Mandlikova took a stab at the problem. Maybe it was the the weather. « I think it affects others more than us, » Mandlikova said.. « I’m from Europe and Ros is from South Africa. There, it’s always windy. We’re used to it. »

Whatever, for a doubles team that was literally thrown together at the last moment they’ve never before played on the same team Mandlikova and Fairbank have become a fairly proficient duo in a hurry. They have already won $75,000 in two days and are one step away from splitting $200,000 more. 

That’s pretty heady stuff, particularly for Fairbank, whose biggest payday in her career is $35,000.

Will all that money be on her mind when she steps onto the court for the tournament final?

Mandlikova cut off Fairbank with mock hysteria. « No! » she shouted. « Don’t even think about it! »

Then, with a smile and a wagging finger, Mandlikova scolded the questioner: « Don’t put pressure on her. » 

Fairbank laughed. « You try not to worry about that, » she said. « If you lose. … » Mandlikova, again, interrupting: « If you lose, you still get $50,000. »

Either way, Fairbank and Mandlikova are set. They’re guaranteed some sort of handsome prize. They’re in the final.

Chrysler doubles format pleases winners and losers By Jay Posner Times-Advocate Sportswriter 

CARLSBAD It comes as no surprise that Betsy Nagelsen and Wendy Turnbull enjoyed the unique format at this weekends $500,000 Chrysler Womens Team Championships. After all, they each collected $137,500 and a new car for winning the tournament. The good news for tennis fans who also liked the format – and Sundays final attracted a capacity crowd of 3,037 is that the players who didnt win all that money also enjoyed the tournament. 

That was because the women were playing with new partners. The eight-team field had been completed by inviting the top eight womens players at the end of 1984. When one of the top eight declined, an invitation was extended to the No. 9-ranked player and so on, until No. 12 Barbara Potter accepted. Then, the invitees selected their playing partners from a pool consisting of the next 12 ranked players, plus those women who had won a Grand Slam singles or doubles tournament in the last five years. 

In January, the top eight players participated in a special draft, picking in reverse order of their ranking;

The prize money was another unique aspect, it was winner-take-all in each match. First-round matches were worth $25,000 to each winning team and zero to the losers. Semifinal contests paid $50,000 per winning team in the championship bracket and $25,000 in the consolation bracket. The championship was worth another $200,000 to the winners, while the consolation title paid $50,000. The only complaint was that the two teams that lost both their matches – Potter-Billie Jean King and Manuela Maleeva-Anne Smith – didnt receive any money-

The pressure of trying to win two third-set tie-breakers in the same day usually would be enough torture for one day, but Wendy Turnbull and Betsy Nagelsen had something else to worry about Sunday as they tried to win the $500,000 Chrysler Womens Team Championships at La Costa. Money. A large amount of money, in fact. To be precise, each member of the winning team was to receive $137,500 and a new car. The losers would earn $37,500 and no car. 

Because the four players in the final had already won a total of $37,500 apiece in the tournaments first two rounds, the championship was literally winner take all. For $100,000 each.

 Surviving 4 hours of tennis and third-set tie-breakers in both their morning semifinal and afternoon championship matches, Turnbull and Nagelsen left La Costa Sunday afternoon with the tournament championship, all that prize money and a giant weight off their shoulders. 

« I felt more pressure here than at Wimbledon, said Turnbull. « I was happy it was Betsy serving that last point.

For awhile Sunday, it didnt look as though Turnbull and Nagelsen would have to worry about what color car to choose. Saturdays wintery weather had delayed the pairs semifinal match, forcing them to play two matches Sunday, starting with a breakfast match at 9 a.m. In that contest, which lasted more than two hours, Turnbull and Nagelsen lost the first set, but rallied to defeat Kathy Jordan and Alycia Moulton 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). 

The script was the same less than two hours later, when Turnbull and Nagelsen were back on the stadium court to play the rested pair of Hana Mandlikova and Rosalyn Fairbank. The latter duo had won their semifinal match on Saturday before heavy rains.

Sunday was clear and sunny, although the start of the final was cloudy for Turnbull and Nagelsen. Once again they lost the first set 6-4, but rallied to win the second set 6-3. Then, trailing 2-5 in the deciding set, the pair survived three match points to force a tiebreaker, where they prevailed 8-6.

What a relief that this is all over, said Turnbull,

There was conflicting opinion about whether playing in the morning helped or hurt Nagelsen and Turnbull in the afternoon. 

Turnbull said, « It didnt hurt so much as far as physical fatigue, but I had a little bit of a mental letdown. To play like we did this morning, winning 7-6 in a Heft’ breaker, is mentally draining. Betsy didnt have a problem getting going again, but I think I did. »

They both got going when Fairbank and Mandlikova took their 5-2 lead in the third set.

But Nagelsen held serve, and then she made two big shots in the next game to save a pair of match points and eventually break Fairbanks serve. 

Turnbull faced a third match point while serving at 4-5, but Mandlikova hit a shot wide, and Turnbull served out the game to even the set at 5-5.

Mandlikova had her serve broken, but then she and Fairbank broke right back against Nagel-sen to create what might have been a tennis first a $200,000 tie-breaker.

Nagelsen and Turnbull controlled the tie-breaker from the outset, eventually winning on a backhand volley by Nagelsen that landed untouched over the heads of Mandlikova and Fairbank.

 It was one of several outstanding shots during the match by Nagelsen, who, according to Mandlikova, played out of her mind today. « I think she won the match for them. »

Together with teammate Wendy Turnbull, Nagelsen outlasted everyone else in the tournament, clinching the championship with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory over the team of Hana Mandlikova and Rosalyn Fairbank

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Results

  • CHRYSLER WOMEN’S TENNIS DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
  • La Costa, Cal., March 1-3, 1985
  • $500,000 – Hard
  • doubles : w/ Rosalyn Fairbank (2)
  • R1 : + Billie Jean King/ Barbara Potter 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
  • SF : + Zina Garrison/ Kathy Rinaldi 6-1, 6-4
  • F : – Betsy Nagelsen/ Wendy Turnbull 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (6)

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