NAVRATILOVA LOSES SET BUT WINS MATCH
The Miami Herald
Saturday, March 26, 1983
BOB GREENE, Associated Press
Surviving a first-set scare, top-seeded Martina Navratilova roared from behind to oust Hana Mandlikova, while crowd favorite Billie Jean King upset third-seeded Andrea Jaeger in first-round matches during the $350,000 Virginia Slims Championships of New York Thursday night.
Earlier, Sylvia Hanika advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 upset of fourth-seeded Tracy Austin.
Navratilova, dropping a set for the first time in 1983, beat Mandlikova 4-6, 6-1, 6-0, and King, at 39 the oldest player in the tournament at Madison Square Garden, stopped Jaeger, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
In other matches Thursday, Barbara Potter eliminated No. 6 Wendy Turnbull, 6-2, 6-3, and No. 5 Pam Shriver stopped Evonne Goolagong Cawley, 6-1, 6-3.
Also advancing was second-seeded Chris Evert Lloyd, who defeated No. 7 Bettina Bunge for the seventh straight time, 6-1, 7-5.
Evert breezed through the first set before Bunge fought back with superb passing shots and all-round court play in the second set. The 19-year-old West German saved two match points with aces before finally succumbing to the 28-year-old Evert, a six-time U.S. Open singles champion.
Navratilova's victory sends her into the quarterfinals against Shriver, her doubles partner and closest friend on the women's tennis tour, and the person who upset her in the quarterfinals of the 1982 U.S. Open. King will face Potter in the quarterfinals.
King, who has won a record 20 titles at Wimbledon, delighted the crowd of 10,383 as she fought her was past a foe 22 years her junior. Jaeger, who later said she was bothered by injuries, never was in the match after the first set.
"Her heart and soul was not in it [the match] 100 per cent," King said of Jaeger. "Sometimes you can play badly, but the effort is there. Maybe she injured herself during the match. I really don't know."
Like King, Navratilova fell quickly behind, losing her serve in the first and third games as Mandlikova jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The 21-year-old Czech combined a bewildering assortment of passing shots with Navratilova's unforced errors to move out front.
After handing Navratilova her first loss in 43 consecutive sets, Mandlikova broke her foe again to start the second set.
Then, as suddenly as the winning streak began, it ended. Mandlikova never won another game as the world's top-ranked women's player dominated from the baseline and at the net.
Navratilova served seven aces, but it was when they came that counted.
She capped her second-set victory with ace No. 5 and served the final one to end the match. Five of her seven aces came on game points.
The victory was Navratilova's ninth in 12 career meetings with Mandlikova and her eighth in a row. It was only the fourth time the two had battled through three sets -- two of those coming in their first two meetings.
Hanika upset Navratilova in the final at Madison Square Garden a year ago when this tournament was the windup of the winter circuit. She has reached four finals this year -- in Washington, Houston, Oakland and Boston -- but has yet to post a victory.
Hanika was too powerful against Austin, who suffered through a subpar 1982 with injuries. It was the first time Hanika has bested Austin in seven career meetings.
The two traded service breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the first set, then held in the seventh and eighth games to level the set at 4-4. But the West German lefthander then ripped off 12 of the next 13 points to capture the set.
Alternating pace and changing spins, Hanika forced Austin into numerous unforced errors, uncharacteristic for the two- time U.S. Open winner.
Austin broke Hanika in the second game of the second set, but the German broke right back in the third. They traded breaks again in the fifth and sixth games.
In the seventh game, Austin fought through four deuces before holding serve, then broke Hanika for a 5-3 lead.
With Austin serving for the set, Hanika jumped out to a love-40 lead. Austin saved one break point with a forehand volley, then lost her service when she sailed a forehand long.
Hanika held serve at 15, broke Austin in the 11th game at 15, then held at 30 to close out the 1-hour, 35-minute match.
Potter, a hard-serving lefthander ranked 13th in the world on the Women's Tennis Association computer, used her overpowering serve to down Turnbull, fresh from winning the Slims tourney in Boston on Sunday. Potter finished with 15 aces, while Turnbull committed seven double-faults, including one to close out the first set.