SCHULTZ ADDS A LITTLE STYLE TO SUBSTANCE
The Times Union
Wednesday, August 26, 1992
Down a trail from Stadium Court, with its radar gun and 3,500 seats, Brenda Schultz struggled Tuesday to prove there was more to her game than a serve swifter than a Roger Clemens fastball.
Just when it appeared the defending OTB Open women's champion would become a first-round statistic on a Central Park surface unceremoniously named Court 6, she deserted her monstrous serve for drop shots and fades.
She fell back, forgot about draping her long arms in defense of the net, pounded out winners off baseline rallies, spun in serves instead of blasting away and survived her near-tennis-death experience.
Schultz, the fastest server on the Kraft Women's Tour, was a complete player while beating Pascale Paradis-Mangon, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The 21-year-old Dutchwoman came back when her serve produced double faults instead of aces; rallied after not only losing the opening act, but after falling behind 4-1 in what could have been the decisive second set.
"I never think that that's it, because I've come back in so many matches in my life. I always have hope; maybe that's why I still pulled it out," said fourth-seeded Schultz, whose win here last August was her first pro tournament victory. "The first set I lost 6-4, and I didn't know what happened. I was tight, my serve wasn't working and I got down and that was
Schultz was one of four women's seeds to prevail Tuesday as top-seeded Helena Sukova, No. 2 Radka Zrubakova and No. 5 Laura Gildemeister advanced to the round of 16. Gildemeister, the 1989 OTB champion, beat American Susan Sloane-Lundy 6-3, 7-5, and Zrubakova took Barbara Paulus, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Nicole Provis of Australia was upset by Meike Babel 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 in what overall is a very weak women`s draw.
Sukova stayed alive with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dominique Monami, who upset the Czech at last year's Australian Open. "That`s the saddest part, she beat me in Australia," said Sukova, who next plays OTB regular Marianne Werdel. The American was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Stephanie Rottier.
Monami played what Sukova called a frustrating match that didn't allow the Czech to learn the state of her game heading into the second round.
"It was very hard to find out because she was either going for winners or missing the ball," Sukova said. "It was hit or miss."
Schultz, whose only other championship came on grass in Birmingham, this year, next plays American Tami Whitlinger.
Trailing 4-1 in the second set, Schultz won the next seven games to discover herself suddenly up in the second set.
"I was feeling pretty good when I got up 4-1, but then she changed her strategy," Paradis-Mangon said. "She stayed back. We had a very important game at 4-2. I missed two easy volleys and allowed her to come back. She played better."
Schultz recorded important breaks at 5-4 of the second set and in the first game of the decisive set.
"I was playing poorly, but then something clicked. It was like 'OK, stay back,' and then I started winning the rallies with her," Schultz said. "I started to lay my serve in and just played in and won the rallies. I was a little bit lucky that she couldn't change with me."
Schultz said she also got a boost from the crowd of about 300, which lined up to watch behind a fence on a portable set of bleachers next to the court.
"There were some people yelling for me big-time and Pascale isn't that strong mentally," Schultz said. "When she lost her serve at 4-3, she knew I was back again."
Schultz said one fan charged her up more than the rest: a guy who yelled encouragement each time she won a game during her comeback.
"One crazy guy was just pulling for me big-time. That was pretty funny," Schultz said. "If I hadn't won here last year and people didn't know me, I might not have pulled this one out."
Schultz's all-around game suddenly makes her a threat to repeat here. A more complete game makes her serve even more effective, since no one else on the women's tour consistently reaches speeds of 100 mph or more.
"The first two games I just had to get used to it, although she didn't hit it as well as she usually does," said Paradis-Mangon, who also has one of the hardest serves on tour. "But I'm used to it because I practice with men who can hit the ball that hard."