VIRGINIA SLIMS CHAMPIONSHIPS 1985 : Hana Mandlikova and Martina Navratilova at their best.
Dernière mise à jour : 15 juin
Record crowd of 15,786 at New York's Madison Square Garden witnessed what is considered as one of the best Women's matches ever. In a shot-making festival, Hana Mandlikova and Martina Navratilova, at the pinnacle of their game, displayed a festival of agressive and spectacular tennis, won by Martina despite Hana's set points in each set.
VIRGINIA SLIMS CHAMPIONSHIPS
New York City - March 18-24, 1985
$500,000 - Ind. Sporteze - Madison Square Garden
1ST RD vs ANDREA TEMESVARI
Close first round for Hana, agains topspin hard-hitter from Hungary, Andrea Temesvari.
The powerful Andrea played all her chances, and challenged Hana Mandlikova, who , at the end of the day, earned a hard fought victory in two close sets, 7-5 7-5 at the Madison Square Garden.
QF vs Zina Garrison
Garrison, who was seeded seventh, outplayed Mandlikova for most of the first set. But Mandlikova achieved the only break of the set in the eighth game, and she went on to win five games in a row and nine of 10.
It won't be as much fun for the top-seed against Mandlikova. Although Navratilova holds a 13-5 career advantage, they have split their last four meetings. Two weeks ago, Mandlikova defeated Navratilova in straight sets at Princeton, N.J.
Mandlikova has not dropped a set in her last 12 matches.
SF vs Martina Navratilova
Defending champion Martina Navratilova survived set points in each set to subdue Hana Mandlikova Saturday and reach the final of the $500,000 Virginia Slims Championships along with Helena Sukova.
Navratilova, down 5-3 before sweeping the last four games in the opening set, took a 7-5, 7-6 victory over Mandlikova, winning the tiebreaker 9-7.
Navratilova, after leading for most of the tie-breaker, faced a set point at 6-7, but took the next three on a pair of service winners and a netted backhand by Mandlikova to end the 1-hour, 39-minute match.
Here was Martina Navratilova losing points because the player on the other side of the net was her athletic equal. Here was Martina hitting through a crisp first serve, and only having enough time to turn her head and catch a glimpse of the ball rocketing past her for a winner. Here was Martina facing set points in both sets and needing every tit of brilliance her racket could give her to catch up, to win.
And here was Martina, in the interview room following her 7-5, 7-6 (9-7) semifinal Virginia Slims Championships victory over Hana Mandlikova, challenging the critics of her sport, those who see women's tennis as a festival of lobs, by saying, "If you can tell me women's tennis is boring after that, well..."
" Well-done" was what you wanted to shout after watching Navratilova, the top seed, outlast Mandlikova, No. 3, after both had filled the Garden surface with brilliant shot-making from the baseline, the middle of the court, and the net.
Most of all, the net, which is where tennis becomes a game that keeps people alive in their seats, rather than asleep in them.
AFTER HAVING WON her last two tournaments, having beaten Chris Evert Lloyd and Navratilova (7-6, 6-0), Mandlikova was beginning to convince people that, at 23, she was ready to assume a role other than that of the potentially great player. She was a little more convincing when she didn't disappear after dropping the first set.
She continued harassing Navratilova' with her return of service particularly with the forehand. Or as Martina, said, "She was hitting it a hundred miles an hour. I didn't know where to serve. I was just happy to get through it."
To which Mandlikova added, "She wasn't better than me today, just luckier."
Again, Mandlikova was having trouble putting aside the close shave. After she survived five deuce points on her serve in the 10th game of the second set, she had set point at 7-6 in the tiebreaker. Fate intervened. Navratilova sliced her first serve to the backhand, and Mandlikova broke a string and mishit the return wide.
"In a match like this," Navratilova said, "you got to be a little lucky."
It was the first loss for Mandlikova in her last 13 matches, a streak during which she didn't drop a single set.
Martina Navratilova won the Championships by beating Helena Sukova in straight sets, who reached the finals, benefiting from the defeat of Chris Evert-Lloyd vs Kathy Jordan in a first round match.
Once again, this finals at the best of 5, didn't go beyond the 3-sets.
A record 80,584 attended the Virginia Slims Championships at the Garden.
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT HERE (click on the link -> : HANA's INTERVIEW IN "INSIDE WOMEN'S TENNIS" March 1985
article compiled from : Sunday News, Daily News, Newsday, The Record, North Adams Transcript