What a circus! Imagine Susan Leo vs. vintage Martina Hingis!
WOMEN RAISE A RACKET IN FIRST-ROUND MURJANI MATCH
The Miami Herald
Tuesday, February 1, 1983
Who says you need Wimbledon's Center Court and John McEnroe to have a little spice in a tennis match?
Way out on court 10 Monday, before a grand total of eight spectators at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, there was a match highlighted by racquet throwing, whimpering, arguments with fans, a ball being slammed toward a spectator and a warning from the umpire. And McEnroe wasn't within hundreds of miles.
The combatants were Manuela Maleeva and Susan Leo, who are ranked 60th and 90th, respectively, in the world and aren't exactly big names on the women's tennis circuit. But their first-round match in the $150,000 Murjani Cup illustrates that the men haven't cornered the market on controversy.
"God hates me, yes He does," groaned Leo as she looked to the sky. She was losing her cool and her 3-0 lead in the second set.
Maleeva uttered most of her complaints in her native Bulgarian. Maleeva, you may recall, is the 15-year-old who forfeited the championship match of the Orange Bowl World Junior tournament in December at Miami Beach to Carling Bassett.
Her mother waved her off the court in the second set of the Orange Bowl to protest what she claimed was "cheating" by American linesmen. She refused to allow her daughter to accept the runnerup trophy.
Monday, mom was at courtside again. But she bit her tongue when close calls went against Maleeva. It was Leo, a 20-year-old Australian, who reached the boiling point.
Her wrath was taken out on a tournament volunteer worker who was standing near the court and watching the match. The volunteer's sin was applauding a point won by Maleeva.
"Volunteers should shut up." Leo shrieked. "Can you sit down?" Leo then pleaded to the umpire, "Tell her to sit down, she's distracting me."
When the volunteer clapped after another point that Maleeva won, Leo hollered, "Kiss off." The umpire issued a warning to Leo.
A moment later, Leo slammed a ball toward the sideline that missed the volunteer but nearly hit Maleeva's mother, Julie, in the head.
"Point warning," said the umpire. But a linesman reminded him that points can be taken away in men's tennis but not women's tennis, because there's no such penalty system for the women's circuit.
Maleeva, who looked toward her mother every time she made an error or lost a close line call, eventually won the match, 6-3, 6-4. Afterward, both Maleevas said they had no second thoughts about the forfeit at the Orange Bowl, the first ever in the final round of that prestigious junior tournament.
"I'm just trying to forget the Orange Bowl," said Manuela.
Her mother said she would wave her daughter off the court again if she had to. "There's no pride, nothing worth that humiliation," Julie Maleeva said.
Asked if there had been any problems with line calls in the three pro tournaments Manuela has played in since the Orange Bowl, Julie said, "No, they are always making errors, but it's for both players."
All but three of the seeded players in the Murjani Cup were off Monday, though many of the top players on the women's circuit were busy Sunday and Monday with board meetings of the Women's Tennis Association, which is headquartered at PGA National. Martina Navratilova, the WTA president who is not entered in this week's tournament, presided at the meetings but said she didn't have time for interviews with the press because of "business commitments."
Leslie Allen, the 12th seed, beat Marcella Mesker, 7-6, 7-5, but No. 14 Catherine Tanvier was jolted by Terry Phelps, 6-1, 6-0.
No. 11 Kathy Jordan defeated Corinne Vanier, 6-1, 6-2, in one late match, while Yvonnne Vermaak surprised Dianne Fromholtz, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
Top-seeded Chris Evert Lloyd will play her first match of 1983 tonight at 7 against Kathleen Horvath, who won Monday, 6-3, 6-1, over 15-year-old Michelle Torres. Torres was a surprise semifinalist in last week's Avon Cup at Marco Island, Fla.
Two matches originally slated for Monday night were rescheduled. Ninth-seeded Evonne Goolagong Cawley will meet Rosie Casals this afternoon, and fourth-seeded Hana Mandlikova will play Wednesday night against the winner of today's match between Kim Shaeffer and Jenny Klitch.
Second-seeded Andrea Jaeger, winner of the Avon Cup, will play her first match Wednesday night against today's winner between Paula Smith and Barbara Hallquist. Third-seeded Wendy Turnbull plays this afternoon against Beth Herr. Persons who have ticket stubs from Monday night's matches will be admitted free this afternoon.
Anne White d. Katherina Skronska, 6-3, 6-4; Betsy Nagelsen d. Dana Gilbert, 6-4, 6-3; Terry Phelps d. Catherine Tanvier, 6-1, 6-0; Shelly Solomon d. Lucia Romanov, 6-1, 6-0; Amy Holton d. Patricia Medrado, 6-2, 6-1; Susan Masca=rin d. Louise Allen, 6-1, 6-2; Vicki Nelson d. Anne Hobbs, 7-5, 6-4; Manuela Maleeva d. Susan Leo, 6-3, 6-4; Sabina Simmonds d. Camille Benjamin, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; Wendy White d. Leigh Thompson, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; Kathleen Horvath d. Michelle Torres, 6-3, 6-1; Leslie Allen d. Marcella Mesker, 7-6, 7-5; Yvonne Vermaak d. Dianne Fromholtz, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4; Kathy Jordan d. Corinne Vanier, 6-1, 6-2.
Vairvank-Stove d. Garrison-Mascarin, 6-1, 6-2; Nagelsen- Rinaldi d. Margolin-Shaefer, 6-4, 6-1; Antonopolis-Jordan d. Budarova-Skuherska, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.
Stadium court: 10 a.m. -- Andrea Temesvari vs. Pam Casale, followed by Anne White vs. Virginia Ruzici, followed by Wendy Turnbull vs. Beth Herr, followed by Evonne Goolagong Cawley vs. Rosie Casals, followed by Hana Mandlikova-Virginia Ruzici vs. Dianne Fromholtz-Andrea Temesvari.
Stadium court: 7 p.m. -- Chris Evert Lloyd vs. Kathleen Horvath, followed by Kathy Rinaldi vs. Vicki Nelson.
Court Eight: 10 a.m. -- Joanne Russell vs. Duk Hee Lee, followed by Petra Delhees vs. Sabina Simmonds, followed by Rosalyn Fairbank vs. Wendy White, followed by Andrea Jaeger-Mary Lou Piatek vs. Vicki Nelson-Julie Harrington, followed by Zina Garrison vs. Manuela Maleeva, followed by Andrea Leand-Sabina Simmonds vs. Camille Benjamin-Corinne Vanier.
Court 10: 10 a.m. -- Iva Budarova vs. Terry Phelps, followed by Paula Smith vs. Barbara Hallquist, followed by Lea Antonoplis vs. Andrea Leand, followed by Kim Shaeffer vs. Jenny Klitch, followed by Kathy Jordan-Paula Smith vs. Pam Casale-Kim Sands, followed by Lucia Romanov-Duk Hee Lee vs. Katerina Skronska-Debbie Jarrett.