CASH OVERFLOW AT WIMBLEDON
Daily News of Los Angeles
Tuesday, July 1, 1986
JOE JARES, Daily News Columnist
WIMBLEDON, England -- Australian Pat Cash didn't think he was going to win even his first-round match at Wimbledon '86. He had good reasons to be pessimistic:
* He was ranked 413th in the world, which ordinarily is far too low to get into the tournament.
* He'd returned to the courts only in February after nine months out nursing a bad back.
He wasn't able to practice serving until a week before Wimbledon started.
Yet on Monday, Cash, 21, won his fourth straight match, pulling off the biggest upset of the fortnight by beating second-seeded Swede Mats Wilander, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
In other significant matches, No. 1-seeded Ivan Lendl ran into trouble with ex-USC star Matt Anger. The two were tied at one set and two games apiece when the match play was suspended because of darkness. Defending champion Boris Becker beat Mikael Pernfors, Martina Navratilova defeated Isabelle Demongeot, and Chris Evert Lloyd beat Kathy Jordan.
"I didn't think I was going to win my first match," Cash said. "I was one day away from saying, 'Forget about it,' and almost going home.
"If you'd had a crystal ball and said I was going to beat Mats Wilander in the round of 16, I'd have thrown it in your face. I wouldn't have believed you."
Cash served and returned well in the two-hour, 53-minute battle. But most impressive were his volleys, the best of which was an outstanding diving backhand that blooped the ball just over the net.
"What he does really well is cover the net," Wilander said. "It felt like for me to pass him, he really had to go the wrong way. If he goes the right way, he gets every one."
Cash's play has boosted him from 413 to 103, the largest one-tournament jump in the history of the Association of Tennis Professionals computer rankings.
Once ranked seventh in the world (which is probably why Wimbledon let him in as a "wild card"), Cash has impressed the schoolgirls as much as the tennis aficionados. The ardent admirers squeal and call out to him between points.
Perhaps they don't know that he has a gorgeous Norwegian girlfriend, model Anne-Britt Kristiansen, who gave birth to his son May 27, just three days before Cash took his own turn in the hospital.
"I might send my surgeon a ticket," he said Monday.
Darkness perhaps prevented another Centre Court upset in the Lendl-Anger match, which will be resumed today.
Anger, of Pleasanton, is a former All-America at USC and won the Wimbledon junior title in 1981.
Becker had a few anxious moments before eliminating Pernfors, the last of the male Swedes, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
(Becker was fined $1,000 for having an oversize logo on his tennis sweats.)
Charging into the quarterfinals with Cash and Becker were Tim Mayotte, U.S., over Eddie Edwards, South Africa; Slobodan Zivojinovic, Yugoslavia, over Christovan Rensburg, South Africa; Ramesh Krishnan, India, over Eric Jelen, West Germany; Miloslav Mecir, Czechoslovakia, over Brad Gilbert, U.S.; and Henri Leconte, France, over John Fitzgerald, Australia.
Evert Lloyd and Navratilova continued their marches to the Saturday final, which would be their sixth against each other here. But not without drama on Court One.
Evert Lloyd fell behind, 5-1, in the first set against Jordan, of King of Prussia, Pa. The No. 2 seed then won 10 straight games, inspiring her foe to such depths of disgust that she belted a home run into the stands. She was warned by the umpire.
In the eighth game of the first set, Jordan had five break points but won none. On one of the break-point rallies, an Evert Lloyd shot landed on the baseline -- Jordan was that close to winning the set, 6-2.
". . . I kept thinking to myself, 'Hang in there and take your time, because the pace is going so fast.' " Evert Lloyd said. "I wasn't too disappointed, because I didn't feel like I was playing badly. I wondered if she could keep up that caliber of play, but it was in the back of my mind that I had lost to her on that court (1983). . . .
"When she hit the ball into the stands I sensed that maybe she felt it was slipping away a little bit."
Evert Lloyd will now try to avoid being Czechmated and overmatched en route to what would be her fourth Wimbledon title. Her next opponent is Helena Sukova, most likely followed by Hana Mandlikova and Navratilova (a naturalized American).
On Centre Court, Demongeot, 19, of France, showed promise, but defending champion Navratilova eliminated her, 6-3, 6-3.
Navratilova's straight-set, bum-of-the-day-club victims so far: Amanda Dingwall (106th in the world), Jane Forman (161), Krispin Kinney (108) and Demongeot (116).
Her quarterfinal opposition today figures to be a bit tougher: Bettina Bunge of West Germany, who upset No. 8 seed Manuela Maleeva, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
In other fourth-round matches, Sukova beat Robin White, U.S., 6-3, 6-0, Mandlikova beat Canada's Carling Bassett, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), Lori McNeil, U.S., defeated Betsy Nagelsen, U.S., 7-5, 6-1, Catarina Lindqvist, Sweden, beat Dianne Balestrat, Australia, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, and Gabriela Sabatini, Argentina, beat Raffaella Reggi, Italy, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.