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post #91 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:44 PM
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Re: 1986

The Miami Herald
Saturday, February 15, 1986

Welcome to the Lipton Slam-Dunk Championships.

And bye, bye Boris "Boom Boom" Becker. Make room for Milan Srejber and a host of towering tennis players looking as if they've wandered in from last week's NBA slam-dunk tournament.

Srejber, a 6-8 Czechoslovakian who never qualified for a Grand Prix tournament until last week, blasted Becker out of the $1.8 million Lipton International Players Championships Friday night, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, in the third round at Boca West.

Srejber's victory continued the biggest story in men's tennis since Becker last summer became the first unseeded player and the youngest (17) to win Wimbledon. This is only the second outdoor tournament on a hard court for the Srejber, 22, who didn't take up tennis seriously until he was 19.

"He has the fastest serve I've ever seen," said Becker, the fourth seed, who had never seen Srejber until a half-hour before their match. "His (arm) movement on his serve is so fast you can't see where he's serving."

It looks as if it's coming out of a windmill. And he blasts the second serve about as hard as the first. Becker became frustrated at his inability to return serves or hit passing shots when Srejber came to the net.

Srejber isn't the only tall player in the tournament. Thursday, he edged a fellow Czech, 6-6 Libor Pimek, 6-4, 6-4. And 6-7 Michiel Schapers of the Netherlands reached the third round before losing Friday to 21st-seeded Jan Gunnarsson of Sweden, 6-2, 6-3.

But giants on the men's circuit weren't the only big news. Sara Gomer, an Englishwoman who insists on saying "I'm 5-foot-14" rather than 6-2, nearly sidelined second-seeded Steffi Graf of West Germany. Graf, who said "I really don't feel good with my game at the moment," escaped with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

And Gomer's towering presence at the net, coupled with a strong left-handed serve, kept Graf on the short end of the match. "I'm definitely going to have to play better to keep winning," Graf said.

A 20-year-old Californian, Anna Ivan, stood tall for the shorter people (she's 5-5) by upsetting fifth-seeded Bonnie Gadusek, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

But Srejber, who says he played basketball only one year (age 14) because he didn't like it, was the story of the day. He escaped two set points in the first set and dropped serve only once in the match while firing four aces and numerous service winners.

"This was my best match ever," said Srejber, who was an electrical engineering student in Czechoslovakia when he decided to give the tennis circuit a try. "I had nothing to lose. Becker's No. 5 and I'm No. 76."

The presence of Srejber and Co. raise the question of whether we'll be seeing Ralph Sampsons and Patrick Ewings on the circuit some day. Lipton chairman Butch Buchholz thinks it's possible, but ESPN analyst and former touring pro Cliff Drysdale doubts it.

"Big guys can play at this level," said Buchholz. "You have guards in basketball who are 6-5 or 6-7 and move really well. You're going to see more tall ones from Europe before you see tall Americans because they're getting the better athletes now."

Said Drysdale, "There's a big advantage for tall players on certain shots like the overhead and serve, but the advantage is lessened on the execution of other shots like the low volley and the low passing shot. I just don't think height helps."

Srejber, who learned the game on red clay in Europe, thinks his height is "a big advantage on this (cement) surface. On clay, it's very hard for me to move."

Srejber is alone on the tour with no coach, no manager and no teammates. He also had only one pair of shoes (size 13 1/2) last week when he qualified for the tournament in Toronto. He went on to reach the final, losing to Joakim Nystrom but winning $12,500, double his career earnings. He spent some to buy four pairs of shoes this week.

In other matches Friday, ninth-seeded Kathy Rinaldi of Stuart, Fla., finally solved long-time nemesis Bettina Bunge of Coral Gables and Monte Carlo, 6-4, 6-4.

"I was really psyched up because she had beaten me five times," said Rinaldi. "She has a lot of talent and can come up with some incredible shots. I just didn't let up and kept in there mentally tough."

Fourth-seeded Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria celebrated her 19th birthday by defeating Raffaella Reggi of Italy, 7-5, 6-1. No. 6 Zina Garrison also advanced in straight sets.

Two seeds fell on the men's side as David Pate surprised No. 14 Tomas Smid of Czechoslovakia, 6-1, 6-1, and Martin Davis edged No. 22 Matt Anger, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Sixth-seeded Yannick Noah of France beat Tim Wilkison, 6-2, 6-4.

Attendance for Friday's two sessions totaled 12,113 for a five-day total of 66,596. That's about 12,000 more than last year for the first five dates. About 2,600 seats remain for the men's final Feb. 23 and 4,000 for the women's final Feb. 22.
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post #92 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:45 PM
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Re: 1986

The Miami Herald
Friday, February 14, 1986

The Lipton International Players Championships began Monday with Jimmy Connors in search of talented singles partner Jimbo. It ended second-round play Thursday with Jimbo still missing and Connors still stuck playing with plain ol' Jimmy at Boca West.

Connors, Lipton's No. 3 seed, struggled throughout a three- hour tennis marathon with unheralded Claudio Panatta of Italy. He had to rally from a 2-5 deficit in the third set to win, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

In the end, when Connors needed him most, there were flashes of Jimbo, Connors' temperamental but talented side who achieved five consecutive No. 1 rankings in the mid-1970s. Mostly, however, there was only Jimmy playing what Connors classified as "wimp tennis."

Connors said he was upset with the way he played.

"I went for my shots more when I was down than when the match first started," he said. "Which is wrong. It's wrong for me. It's not my kind of tennis, and I'm not a happy guy when I play like that.

"Maybe next time, I'll come out and play the way I should play, which would be nice for a change."

But Connors wasn't the only high seed in trouble Thursday.

Top women's seed Chris Evert Lloyd suffered two service breaks in the first set against France's Marie Christine Calleja and trailed, 3-4, before rebounding for a 6-4, 6-0 victory. She will play France's Catherine Suire Saturday.

Men's No. 2 seed Mats Wilander of Sweden struggled with his serve in handling Australian Broderick Dyke, 6-4, 6-2. He has a rematch Saturday against American Mike Leach, who upset him in Lipton's fourth round last year.

In the only upset of the day, South Australian Open winner Eddie Edwards stunned No. 9 seed Kevin Curren, 6-4, 6-2.

No. 1 seed Ivan Lendl, playing in warmups because of 50-degree weather, overcame Christo van Rensburg, 6-4, 6-1. He will play American Greg Holmes Saturday.

Men's No. 5 seed Stefan Edberg and 13th-seeded Brad Gilbert won in the minimum two sets. No. 8 women's seed Gabriela Sabatini, ninth-seeded Kathy Rinaldi and 12th-seeded Carling Bassett also won.

But Connors, 33, and Panatta, 26, were the talk of Lipton Thursday.

Panatta is ranked 95th in the world and never was rated higher than 71st, which was in 1983. He is perhaps most famous for being the brother of 1976 Italian Open winner Adriano, now retired.

It was the memory of a duel with Adriano that helped Connors against Claudio. That and leg cramps suffered by his opponent.

"I was in terrible pain in both legs from the middle of the second set on," Panatta said. "I took a salt tablet before the third set, but he had me running like a rabbit, and I couldn't do it."

Connors needed something to slow Panatta down. He appeared to have little of the Jimbo fire in him. No kicking balls. No harassing linesmen. Merely pointing with his racket to show where a ball really hit.

"The big thing was that he didn't put the ball in the court the first few games," Panatta said. "I laid back and let him make mistakes."

Panatta took a 5-1 lead in the first set. Connors rallied and broke service twice, the second time to take a 6-5 lead. Panatta then broke Connors' service to force the first-set tiebreaker.

"I should've won the set serving 6-5," Connors said. "If I had won that, it could've been over long before it was."

Connors appeared on track in the second set. But in the third, Panatta broke Connors' first serve and took a 3-0 lead.

Both players held service until 5-3, when Connors broke Panatta and the match went into the tiebreaker.

"I remember the match I had with his brother about six or seven years ago," Connors said. "I did the same things as I did now -- I just put the ball in play.

"I played well in the end," he added. "From 5-2 on, I played the best tennis. Before, I was playing wimp tennis."

In the tiebreaker, Panatta was pained by the leg cramps, stretching out after each point and receiving warnings for stalling. Connors took the first six points and held on for the victory.

"Every time you play Connors, you think he's going to come back even when you're ahead," Panatta said. "But I'm happy. At least I was lucky that I got to play him because, you know, this may be his last year."

But Connors wasn't thinking about retirement. As his post-match conference ended, 6-year-old son Brett shouted, "Dad, somebody wants your autograph."

"Don't worry about it," Connors answered, picking up his bag.

He has more important things to ponder. And finding Jimbo is at the top of the list.

Evert, who beat Susan Sloane, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round, said she was not playing up to the form she showed in winning the Virginia Slims of Florida at Key Biscayne earlier this month.

"These two matches haven't been my best two matches, but like I said before, you don't want to peak too early in a two- week tournament," she said. "I just hope I can get gradually better with each match."

Wilander said he was not pleased with his play.

"In the past two or three years, I've always played my worst tennis at the beginning of the year, so I don't expect much here," he said.

Perhaps the happiest player Thursday was Jimmy Arias, who said he discovered what was ailing his forehand before he breezed past Jimmy Brown, 6-0, 6-2.

"I was practicing my forehand in front of the mirror Tuesday night and saw what the problem was," he said. "My father taught me how to hit a forehand when I was 5 years old, and I wasn't doing it that way.

"Now, I'm ready to move into the Top 10," he joked.

The attendance for Thursday's sessions was 7,141 in the morning and 7,787 in the evening. The four-day totals are about 69,000, or about 15,000 ahead of last year.

About 4,000 tickets are left for the women's final Saturday, Feb. 22, and 2,600 remain for the men's final Sunday, Feb. 23.
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post #93 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:47 PM
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A weird article, which might have some lacunae in it...

The Miami Herald
Saturday, February 15, 1986

It is Ted Tinling's considered opinion that basic femininity has a great deal to do with women tennis players serving.

Tinling's opinion is extremely considered after 60 years in the game as player, fashion designer, Women's Tennis Association consultant and, most important, well, as a considerer.

"Take Chris Evert Lloyd," he said after careful consideration during Day 5 of the Lipton International at Boca West. "The perfect example of the feminine/masculine serve theory. Basically, the serve is a male act, and, in oversimplification, the more feminine a player is, the worse her serve would be. Chris is intrinsically feminine, and her serve is the least world-shattering part of her game."

Does Evert's improving serve mean that she is becoming any less feminine at 31?

"No, not at all," Tinling said. "I mean, after you've been flattened by someone who serves as Martina (Navratilova) does, you have to do something in self-defense. You must understand that this is a subtle thing. It isn't all just masculine and feminine genes, although that is its hypothetical basis."

Tinling knows. At 75, he has seen it all. He was born in England and still remembers days at beachside with his governess when the guns of World War I barked across the channel. In 1949 he designed Gussie Moran's lace panties, for which he was banned from Wimbledon for "introducing sex and vulgarity into the game."

Saner heads eventually prevailed. Tinling has been back at Wimbledon since '82 as intermediary between the All-England Club and its defending champions, hardly the gentlest of assignments. Even when Tinling retired as a couturier five years ago after designing Chrissie's wedding gown, he remained as a spokesman for the Virginia Slims women's tour.

If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, no one ever called Tinling a simple person. Neither is tennis simple.

"Just look at some of the most instinctively feminine players," Tinling said. "Chrissie, Manuela Maleeva, Hana Mandlikova. They're all working at serving better, but the serve is still their least impressive stroke.

"Then you have temperaments such as Navratilova, Virginia Wade, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch. All lovely women, but a bit more aggressive, and it is reflected in the serve. The same for Bettina Bunge and Helena Sukova, who have good serves. As I said, this whole thing is full of nuances."

So's Tinling. His genius for fashion design caused Queen Elizabeth to observe, "I had no idea girls could look so pretty."

Just as surely as he has attended the rise of high fashion on the 78-by-27-foot rectangle, Tinling has witnessed the demise of the killer forehand in women's tennis.

"That serve business is hypothetical, I suppose," he said. "But it isn't hypothetical that the truly sweeping, all-powerful serve went out of women's tennis -- and men's, too, to some extent -- when the volley became so popular. That's because you can't take the forehand to a full finish and go forward as you can the backhand."

As far as Tinling is concerned, women's tennis has never had a forehand like that of Suzanne Lenglen in the 1920s.

"We've never had a great one since Althea Gibson in the 1950s. For that matter, among the men, only with Ivan Lendl are we seeing a forehand that approaches that of Fred Perry in the mid-1930s.

"On the other hand, Martina is best volleyer women's tennis has ever seen. She also has the best overhead, and we have some marvelous other overhead players in Pam Shriver, Anne Smith and others."

Meanwhile, women's truly modern tennis history inevitably traces back to Evert. Strange: Her lack of dynamism on serve seems to have been funneled into a backhand that launched the women's game as we now know it.

"If it weren't for Chris' backhand, which really is more like a two-hand forehand, we probably would have about a million less women playing tennis in the world today," Tinling reckoned. "We did market studies on this that showed that the two-hand backhand came closer than anything to fulfilling young people's desire to break something. It actually was about 10 times more belligerent than any other stroke. That's the other side of the women's serve story."
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post #94 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Re: 1986

Saturday, February 15, 1986
Jim Sarni

At 6 feet 8, Milan Srejber can almost touch the stars.

Friday night, he reached up and grabbed one.

The 22-year-old Czech, the tallest man ever in pro tennis, pulled off the biggest upset of the young year by beating Boris Becker 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the third round of the Lipton International Players Championships at Boca West.

Srejber, a flop at basketball who didn`t turn to pro tennis until he was 19, lowered the Boom-Boom with a slam-dunk serve and the graceful touch of a pivot man.

Ranked 76th, Srejber played over his head as he cut down the Wimbledon champ and fourth seed before a stunned crowd of 5,932.

Top seeds Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors had earlier escaped stadium ambushes, while No. 5 women`s seed Bonnie Gadusek didn`t, upset by Anna Ivan 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). Ivan, 20, a Californian, is ranked 61st.

No. 2 Steffi Graf survived another tense struggle, against Sara Gomer Friday afternoon, but Becker could not cope with the tennis Goliath in the size 13 1/2 sneakers.

"He has the fastest serve I`ve ever played against," Becker said. "His serve was very, very fast, and I could not see where it was going.

"I know he was in the final last week (in Toronto) but I didn`t think he would be this good. I saw him for the first time in my life a half-hour before the match."

"I had nothing to lose," said Srejber, who moves into the round of 16 against David Pate Sunday. "I could only win. I expected a good match. My height is a big advantage on this surface."

Srejber led 2-0 in the first set, but Becker got the break back and had two set points on Srejber`s serve at 5-6. Srejber held on to force the tiebreaker.

In the tiebreaker, Becker double-faulted to fall behind 2-1. Srejber led 6-3, then double-faulted. One more point and Becker would get the serve back at 5-6.

Becker had his chance. He smashed a forehand right at Srejber`s midsection, but Srejber got his racket in place and deflected the ball into the court to win the set.

"If I could have won that point, the tiebreaker would have been 6-5 and open again," Becker said. "And I could have won the set."

Srejber broke Becker at 4-2 in the second set. Becker was up 40-15.

That was all the big guy needed. He served out the match at love.

"I couldn`t get the ball in the field in the second set," said Becker, who was warned for coaching in the first game of the match.

Srejber, who has not lost a set in victories over Becker, Libor Pimek and Michael Westphal, another West German, has played only one other tournament on cement, the U.S. Open last September. He lost in the qualifying.

"I started on clay and played satellite tournaments in Europe and South America," Srejber said. "I like this game. I practice five hours a day."

Srejber is ranked No. 10 in Czechoslovakia and has never met Lendl. Srejber could see Lendl in the final if the giant giant-killer keeps reaching for the stars.

In the afternoon, Graf won the first set 6-0 in 22 minutes. She won the first game of the second set.

Gomer won the next game, and everyone in the stadium gave the English player a big, sympathetic cheer.

"They must have been thinking what the hell this match was doing in here," Gomer said.

The fans didn`t have to think about it for long.

Gomer went from goner to gamer. She won the second set 6-4 and pushed Graf through the final set.

Gomer had a break point for 4-3, but Graf shook off the upstart. The 16-year-old second seed from West Germany won 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.

Manuela Maleeva (4), a winner on her 19th birthday, Yannick Noah (6) and Zina Garrison (6) also advanced.

Gomer, 21, a 6-foot-2 left-hander from Torquay, is one of the giants of the women`s tour, and she was chopping down Graf with her powerful serve in the second and third sets.

"It was a tough, tough match for me," Graf said. "She was good at the net and putting pressure on me. But at 4-all, I had a good feeling."

Graf held easily for 5-4. When she knocked a passing shot past Gomer at 30- all in the next game, Graf had a match point.

Gomer saved it with an overhead and had a point for 5-all. Gomer smashed a forehand past Graf, but Graf raced to her right to get the ball and send it back past her startled opponent.

Deuce. Soon Graf had her second match point, and the match was over.

"I was surprised she got to that 5-4 point," Gomer said. "She`s really quick. That`s what all the top players have in common. They move so well."

"I had some hard shots to make, but I made them at the end," said Graf.

Jimmy Connors vs. Mark Dickson (Stadium, 2nd match, day session): Connors tests his sagging confidence against Tampa`s Dickson.

Dianne Balestrat vs. Gabriela Sabatini (Grandstand, 2nd match, day session): The Aussie against the Argenteenybooper.

Joakim Nystrom vs. Aaron Krickstein (Grandstand, 3rd match, day session): At 18, Krickstein is trying to make a comeback.

Mike Leach vs. Mats Wilander (Stadium, 4th match, day session): Wilander wants to teach Leach a lesson for upsetting him here last year.
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post #95 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Re: 1986

Saturday, February 15, 1986
Jim Sarni

The men and women tennis pros at the Lipton International Players Championships are equals at the bank, splitting the $1.8 million prize money right down the middle.

But on the television set, the men are showing a profit.

ESPN, which is televising three hours today and Sunday (noon-3 p.m. each day), will open each program with a men`s match and fill out the remaining time with a women`s match.

Jimmy Connors will be featured against Mark Dickson today, with Chris Evert Lloyd against Catherine Suire to follow.

With only three hours each day, the women`s matches may not be shown to their conclusion.

ESPN returns for the semifinals - the men`s semifinals only, Friday in two telecasts at 1 and 7 p.m. ESPN covered the men`s and women`s semifinals last year but passed on the women this year when Martina Navratilova and Hana Mandlikova failed to enter the tournament.

The women are getting slighted, but they should just be happy they`re on ESPN at all.

The LIPC is part of a 10-tournament deal between ESPN and Ohlmeyer Communications Co. The other nine are men-only events.

Women`s tennis` greatest failure has been its inability to strike a network TV deal. The sport would be in the shadows if it weren`t for the co-ed Grand Slam events.

Geoff Mason, the producer of ESPN`s LIPC coverage, hopes to hook the sports audience this weekend, although Sunday the LIPC bumps up against the Daytona 500 on CBS.

Roger Twibell and Cliff Drysdale will do the commentary with Pam Shriver, a first-round upset victim, appearing as a guest analyst.

Mason, a veteran of TV sports, has been reunited with Don Ohlmeyer, whose company is providing ESPN with much of its sports programming.

In addition to the tennis package, Mason is responsible for 20 golf events and the America`s Cup coverage, which begins with the qualifying competition Oct.1 in Perth, Australia.

"I`ve been involved in seven Olympics in varying roles," said Mason, who started at ABC in 1967 and followed Ohlmeyer to NBC in 1977. "But the America`s Cup is going to be one of the definitive challenges. We`re looking at five months of yachting, which is not a well-exploited sport."

As Mason sails along in his new job, he looks back at his old port, ABC, which is being rocked by waves of change.

"Change is healthy," Mason said. "NBC underwent several changes 7-8 years ago and now ABC is going through a catharsis of sorts. It will be painful for some, but ultimately it will be healthy for the network.

"ABC needs some fresh ideas to help present its product. Their programs tend to have a sameness about them."

Mason believes that Dennis Swanson, the new head of sports, will get ABC back on track, but there will be some surprising changes in personnel and programming before the dust settles.

"When you read that there are doubts about Monday Night Football, you realize that nothing is sacred," Mason said. "Monday Night Football used to be the Holy Grail."

Defending champion Bill Elliott, Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty will drive with CBS Race-Cams during Sunday`s Daytona 500 (Channels 4, 34 from noon-3:45 p.m.). The 25-pound cameras, developed by Australian engineers, are mounted on the rollbars where a right-side rear passenger would sit... CBS will show Friday`s International Race of Champions from Daytona on tape delay today at 1:30 p.m.

DIAL-A-NOTE: The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers play their second and final regular-season game Sunday (Channels 4, 34 at 3:45 p.m.)... Channel 7 airs a Miami Grand Prix preview today at 4:30 p.m... The `69 Mets take on the `69 Cubs in an old-timers game from Phoenix Sunday (WGN at 2:45 p.m.).



Seed and result Next

1. Lendl d. Van Rensburg 6-4, 6-1 Thurs. Holmes Sunday

2. Wilander d. Dyke 6-4, 6-2 Thurs. Leach today

3. Connors d. Panatta 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 Thurs. Dickson today

4. Becker lost to Srejber 7-6, 6-3 Fri. Eliminated

5. Edberg d. Doyle 6-3, 7-5 Thurs. Keretic today

6. Noah d. Wilkison 6-2, 6-4 Fri. Gunnarson Sunday

10. Nystrom d. Van Patten 6-2, 6-0 Thurs. Krickstein today

13. Gilbert d. Agenor 6-2, 7-5 Thurs. Tulasne today

14. Smid lost to Pate 6-1, 6-1 Fri. Eliminated

15. Gomez d. Duncan 6-4, 6-2 Thurs. Visser today

Previously eliminated - No. 7 Jarryd, No. 8 Mayotte, No. 9 Curren, No. 11 Kriek, No. 12 Annacone, No. 16 Davis.


Seed and result Next

1. Evert d. Calleja 6-4, 6-0 Thurs. Suire today

2. Graf d. Gomer 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 Fri. Molton or Barg Sunday

4. M.Maleeva d. Reggi 7-5, 6-1 Fri. Pottor or Horvath Sunday

5. Gadusek lost to Ivan 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 Fri. Eliminated

6. Garrison d. Mundel 6-4, 6-3 Fri. Goles or Fairbank Sunday

7. Sukova d. K.Maleeva 6-4, 7-5 Fri. Lindqvist Sunday

8. Sabatini d. Cordwell 6-3, 7-6 Thurs. Balestrat today

9. Rinaldi d. Bunge 6-4, 6-4 Fri. Ivan Sunday

10. Lindqvist d. Medrado 6-4, 6-0 Fri. Sukova Sunday

12. Bassett d. Lundquvist 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 Thurs. Benjamin today

14. Potter d. McNeil 7-6, 6-2 Thurs. Horvath today

16. Jordan d. Kim 6-2, 6-0 Fri. Evert of Suire Sunday

Previously eliminated - No. 3 Shriver, No. 11 Turnbull, No. 13 Rehe, No. 15 Temesvari.
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post #96 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Re: 1986

Saturday, February 15, 1986
Compiled From Wire Reports

Second-seeded Steffi Graf slowed after an impressive first set Friday before struggling to a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Sara Gomer in the Lipton International Players Championships.

In other third-round matches, fourth-seeded Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria topped Raffaella Reggi, 7-5, 6-1; No. 6 Zina Garrison defeated Jennifer Mundel, 6-4, 6-3; ninth-seeded Kathy Rinaldi scored her first career victory over Bettina Bunge, 6-4, 6-4; and 16th-seeded Kathy Jordan defeated Grace Kim, 6-2, 6-0.

In men's play, No. 6 Yannick Noah topped Tim Wilkison, 6-2, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Boris Becker, along with fifth-seeded Bonnie Gadusek and seventh-seeded Helena Sukova, played night matches.

Graf, 16, dominated the first set, then saw Gomer rally with a big serve to win the second set and tie the third set at 4-all. Graf, rated No. 4 in the world, then showed why she is rated so highly.

''The first set I felt very good,'' Graf said. ''I was thinking it was going to be the same in the next set, but I don't feel good with my game right now. She was serving unbelievably. It's hard because she's left-handed and it's a very, very tough match for me.

''I just hit some good shots at the end,'' she said.

Gomer, of England, said it was her best performance against a top player.

''The first set was a nightmare,'' she said. ''It was one of those days you wish you hadn't gotten up. . . . Since the Wightman Cup, my level of play has gone up. Against a top player in the top five, this was definitely my best.

''To take a set made me really happy,'' said Gomer, who is 6 feet 2.

Maleeva, ranked seventh in the world, celebrated her 19th birthday with the victory over Reggi. Maleeva struggled in the first set, falling behind, 0-3, before winning the last four games of the set.

''I don't know why I started like that,'' said Maleeva, winner of $271,271 last year. ''She [Reggi] kept the ball on the court and I made mistakes.

''I don't think I've played on my birthday before,'' Maleeva said. ''At the beginning, when I was losing, I told myself, 'I can't lose on my birthday.' Once I realized what I had to do, I did it.''

Rinaldi, 18, earned her first victory in six tries over Bunge. She said the difference was some extra mental toughness.

''The match meant a lot to me because I'd never beaten her,'' Rinaldi said. ''I think she is the only player I'd played that many times and never beat. She has a lot of talent and came up with some incredible shots. The last time we played was in Washington at the Virginia Slims of Washington and I thought I had her, but she got back into the match. I think this match I didn't let up. I stayed mentally tough. I just hung in there and kept fighting to the end.''

Noah said he played well for ''a third-round match.''

''I feel healthy, I'm hitting the ball really well,'' he said. ''This is the first tournament outside, and I think for the third round I played well. I was trying to mix it up, and it seemed to work.''
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post #97 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Re: 1986

Tennis: Noah preparing for an assault on Wimbledon
The Times
London, England
Saturday, February 15, 1986

BOCA RATON -- No current member of the world's top ten is so little known to the British tennis public as Yannick Noah. His appearances at Wembley have been rare and unremarkable and a litany of disasters, ranging from the psychological to physical, has dogged his attempts to make a name for himself at Wimbledon.

After disposing of Tim Wilkison 6-2, 6-4 in the third round of the Lipton International Players Championships here, Noah suggested all that was about to change.

'Everybody kept telling me I had the game to play on grass but I never believed it,' Noah said. 'Last year I made up my mind to attack more and was all prepared for Wimbledon when I hurt myself at Queen's. But this time I really want to do well. Now, at last I feel I can play properly at Wimbledon.'

That should be welcome news for anyone who enjoys watching a superb athlete who manages to mix wholehearted effort with a little humour and theatrical flair. The skinny 11-year-old that Arthur Ashe discovered one steamy tropical night in Yaounde in the Cameroons, has grown into one of the great crowd-pleasing performers in international sport. Wimbledon's centre court would offer him the perfect stage to air his talents.

Wilkison is one of those honest pros who treats every point as if his life depended on it, and he was still racing about the court in the fading moments of the match, having roused the crowd with an incredible dive which resulted in him lofting a lob onto the baseline while lying on his stomach.

Wilkison won that point but, after a spate of volley errors, Noah got his concentration under control again and closed up the match in fine style.

In particular Noah had returned well. 'I have been working on my service returns and the improvement is the main reason why I think I shall be able to play well on grass this year' he said. We shall see.

Sara Gomer, the British number four, gave an excellent account of herself against the West German teenager Steffi Graf, seeded second.

After losing the first set 6-0, Miss Gomer suddenly recovered her poise, attacked the net and began to play the best tennis of her career.

Booming forehands, cleverly disguised drop shots and volleys that owed much to her long-armed reached at the net stunned Miss Graf, who lost the second set 6-4. After four consecutive breaks of serve, Miss Gomer was still competing on even terms when Miss Graf used her exceptional speed to run down a couple of volleys and snatch the match away from her 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.

'This was by far my best performance against a top player,' Miss Gomer said. She has never beaten anyone in the world's top 20 but on this form she may not have long to wait.

MEN'S SINGLES: Second round: T Tulasne (Fr) bt J Lloyd (GB) 7-5, 6-3; M Robertson (SA) bt J Svensson (Swe) 7-6, 7-6; M Wilander (Swe) bt B Dyke (Aus) 6-4, 6-2; M Dickson (US) bt S Casal (Spain) 6-2, 6-1; J Nystrom (Swe) bt V Van Patten (US) 6-2, 6-0; G Forget (Fr) bt J Yzaga (Peru) 6-2, 7-6; P Arraya (Peru) bt B Cox (US) 6-4, 6-7, 6-4; J Connors (US) bt C Panatta (lt) 6-7, 6-3, 7-6; A Gomez (Ecuador) bt L Duncan (US) 6-4, 6-4; S Edberg (Swe) bt M Doyle (Ire) 6-3, 6-4; J Arias (US) bt J Brown (US) 6-0, 6-2; F Edwards (SA) bt K Curren (US) 6-4, 6-2; P Lundgren (Swe) bt C Motta (Bra) 6-2, 6-2; D Visser (SA) bt N Aerts (Bra) 6-4, 7-6; M Leach (US) bt G Michibata (Can) 6-1, 6-3; C Steyn (SA) bt J Soares (Bra) 6-1, 6-1; M Srejber (Cz) bt L Pimek (Cz) 6-4, 6-4.

WOMEN'S SINGLES: Second round: K Rinaldi (US) bt C Tanvier (Fr) 6-3, 6-3; R Fairbank (SA) bt J Richardson (NZ) 6-4, 7-5; K Maleeva (Bul) bt M Mesker (Neth) 6-7, 6-1, 6-2; G Kim (US) bt C Reynolds (US) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; A Moulton (US) bt W White (US) 7-6, 6-3; J Mundel (SA) bt K Karleson (Swe) 6-2, 6-3; C Lloyd (US) bt M C Calleja (Fr) 6-4, 6-0; G Sabatini (Arg) bt B Cordwell (NZ) 6-3, 7-6; C Benjamin (US) bt P Huber (Austria) 6-3, 6-4; P Barg (US) bt K Skronska (Cz) 7-5, 4-6, 7-5; K Gompert (US) bt C Jolissaint (Swi) 6-2, 6-2; S Gomer (GB) bt P Fendick (US) 7-5, 7-6.
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post #98 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Re: 1986

Some of these smug and even a trifle condescending articles about the unending superiority of the Evertilova Axis and/or hopelessness of the competition are hilarious in hindsight.

The Miami Herald
Sunday, February 16, 1986

Hul-lo, up there . . . up there . . . up there. Are you lonely atop the mountain, Chris? . . . Chris? . . . Chris? Don't worry, Martina should be back up soon . . . soon . . . soon.

With Martina Navratilova skipping the $1.8 million Lipton International Players Championships at Boca West, citing a busy schedule, Chris Evert Lloyd is left to battle herself for the title.

If Evert is slightly off her game, as she was early Saturday in a 7-5, 6-1 third-round victory over Catherine Suire of France, she could be taken. But if she is on . . .

"She could always trip on the staircase or fall getting out of the car," No. 14 seed Barbara Potter said when asked how Evert Lloyd could be deprived of the title.

Potter's point is well-taken. Evert, who rallied from a 5-3 first-set deficit against Suire, has yet to lose a set in 1986. That includes five matches in the Virginia Slims of Florida tournament on Key Biscayne, during which Navratilova was sick, and three in the Lipton.

Evert also is 20-2 lifetime against Lipton's top three surviving seeds -- No. 2 Steffi Graf, No. 4 Manuela Maleeva and No. 6 Zina Garrison. They will fight among each other for the right to play Evert Lloyd in the final, barring upset or pratfall.

As if another edge were needed, No. 8 Gabriela Sabatini was upset Saturday by Australian Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat, 7-5, 6-4, leaving only one player among the top 10 seeds -- No. 9 Kathy Rinaldi -- in Evert's bracket until the final.

Sabatini, a 15-year-old Argentine who lives on Key Biscayne, held a 4-0 lead in the second set before dropping the final six games. She could have played Evert in the quarterfinals.

"I don't think it was her play that decided it," said Balestrat, who was ranked No. 4 in the world in 1979. "I think it was my good play."

Saturday's only other upset came in the men's draw, where No. 13 Brad Gilbert fell to No. 19 Thierry Tulasne of France, 7-5, 6-2. Gilbert has been one of the tour's hottest players this year, beating John McEnroe in the Masters, extending eventual champion Ivan Lendl to three sets in the Pro Indoor championships and defeating Jimmy Connors and Stefan Edberg en route to the U.S. Indoor title last week in Memphis.

No. 2 seed Mats Wilander avenged last year's Lipton loss to Mike Leach with a 6-1, 6-2 victory, and No. 5 Stefan Edberg defeated Damir Keretic of Yugoslavia, 6-1, 6-1.

Connors, seeded third, struggled early before beating Mark Dickson, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

"I said I came here to get some tennis in, and I'm doing it," said Connors, who needed three sets and two tiebreakers to win Thursday. "I can play better, and I'll have to."

Evert, who will face 16th-seeded Kathy Jordan today, also can play better. The question is how much she needs to.

"I didn't start out real sharp and I was lucky to win the first set," she said. "I played bad, and maybe she got a little nervous on some big points, so she probably helped me out a little."

Uh, nervous?

"Well," Suire said, "you try to concentrate on the game and not think about the pressure of playing her. I think I did well, but it's difficult mentally playing the best."

Evert knows this. She only has to harken back to those dark days when Navratilova won 74 straight matches.

"I think when you get into a winning position with a top- ranked player, the psychological aspects always enter into it," she said. "I know the players feel that way against me because I felt that way against Martina -- or maybe still feel that way against Martina."

Navratilova is expected to enter the Virginia Slims of California tournament in Oakland later this month.

Far be it from Evert, though, to overlook her competition in the Lipton.

"I'll have to play better the second week," she said. "Maybe if I played players that stretched me, I would be now, but I've gotten by playing as I have."

Two South Florida players were eliminated Saturday. North Miami Beach's Penny Barg lost to Alycia Moulton, 6-1, 6-1, and former University of Miami star Christo Steyn lost to South African countryman Michael Robertson, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).
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post #99 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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Re: 1986

Sunday, February 16, 1986
Jim Sarni, Staff Writer

Not all tennis players wear braces and listen to Wham!

Some players actually shave and remember the Bay City Rollers.

Teen angels Boris Becker and Gabriela Sabatini may be the future of the sport but they are stale tea at the Lipton International Players Championships.

Friday night Becker was bounced by Czech giant Milan Srejber. Saturday, Sabatini, the 15-year-old Argentine princess was sent away by Dianne Balestrat, who along with Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd, proved that there is tennis after 30.

Balestrat, who will be 30 this year, ousted Sabatini, the eighth seed, 7-5, 6-4.

Connors, 33, defeated Mark Dickson 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 while Evert, 31, toppled Catherine Suire of France 7-5, 6-1.

It was like old times at Boca West. You could have turned the clock back 10 years and not missed a stroke.

In 1979, Balestrat was Dianne Fromholtz and the fourth best player on the women`s tour. She could beat Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with her lethal left-handed sword.

The Australian played competitive tennis until 1983 when she slipped to No. 75. Her biggest win that year was Claude Balestrat, a French businessman.

Fromholtz quit after the U.S. Open and got married. But life on the farm in the outback of Australia got a little boring.

Balestrat yearned for the tennis court. She had to start from the bottom but she worked her way up again. When the LIPC began, she was No. 30.

"I want to get into the Top 20 and eventually the Top 10," said Balestrat, who faces Terry Phelps in the round of 16 today.

"I hope to be seeded sometime this year. That will make it a lot easier. It was tough to go through qualifying and work my way up. I had my doubts but I kept training and that`s why I`m playing well now."

Balestrat is older and wiser.

"Technically I`m a lot better player than I was," she said. "Mentally, I`m stronger. I think a lot better on the court. When I was younger, I was just full of energy."

Balestrat was too smart for Sabatini who made too many mistakes and admitted she was tired in the second set.

Connors and Evert also showed the savvy of the experienced player in their determined victories.

"It took awhile for me to get into the rhythm of the match," said Connors, who beat Claudio Panatta in a third-set tiebreaker in his last match.

"Dickson is a tough player. I had to return well and pass well. I came here to get some tennis in and I`m doing it. I don`t want to play three-set matches but that`s the way it`s going."

Evert was down a set point against Suire before taking control. She has now had four difficult sets in three matches.

"I started out real slow again," said Evert, who faces Kathy Jordan today. Jordan has beaten Evert three times in 19 career matches.

"I didn`t feel good until the second set. I think she got nervous on the big points. It`s hard to be in a winning position against a top player. The thought of winning can get you excited. That`s where experience comes in.

"I`ve gotten by so far. I`m going to have to play a lot better in the second week of the tournament. Martina isn`t there but this is still a tough tournament."

Although Suire swooned, the French had reason to celebrate Saturday.

Thierry Tulasne upset 13th-seeded Brad Gilbert, last week`s winner at Memphis, 7-5, 6-2 to join countrymen Yannick Noah and Guy Forget in the final 16.

Only the Americans and the Swedes, with four men each, have more.

"Since the end of 1985, I`ve improved my confidence, my serve and I can hit better volleys," said Tulasne, 22, who is ranked No. 24.

"I feel very confident right now. When I beat Mats Wilander in five sets in Barcelona on clay last year and when I won this match, I feel I can beat anybody."

Tulasne will try to beat Connors Monday.

Mats Wilander (2), Stefan Edberg (5) and Joakim Nystrom (10) give the Swedes three of the remaining seven seeds still alive. The men have lost quantity but not quality. Becker is the only one of the top six to make an early exit.

Ten of the 16 women`s seeds have survived. Nine of the remaining 16 women are American.

The women play their entire round of 16 today.


Ivan Lendl vs. Greg Holmes (Stadium, 1st match, day session): Lendl has been battling a finger blister.

Chris Evert Lloyd vs. Kathy Jordan (Stadium, 2nd match, day session): Jordan has beaten Evert three times.

Andres Gomez vs. Mats Wilander (Stadium, 3rd match, day session): Two of the best on a slow court.

Helena Sukova vs. Caterina Lindqvist (Grandstand, 3rd match, day session): Lindqvist has given Sukova problems.

Alycia Moulton vs. Steffi Graf (Stadium, 4th match, day session): Moulton took Graf to three sets at Key Biscayne.
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post #100 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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Re: 1986

Carling Bassett advances along with Connors, Lloyd
The Toronto Star
Sunday, February 16, 1986

BOCA RATON, Fla. (CP) - Toronto teenager Carling Bassett moved into the fourth round of the $1.8 million Lipton International tennis tournament yesterday with a victory over American Camille Benjamin. Bassett, 18, the No. 12 seed, ousted Benjamin, 6-2, 6-4, in third-round action.

Veterans Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd also moved into the fourth round. Connors, 33, seeded third in this two-week, Grand Slam-sized event, was extended to three sets for the second time in three days before he topped fellow American Mark Dickson, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Lloyd, 31, heavily favored to capture the women's singles, topped Catherine Suire of France, 7-5, 6-1.

Slow start

Connors, who didn't enter this tournament until the last possible moment, overcame a slow start, tricky winds and the heat to stop Dickson.

"I said I came down here to get a little tennis in and I guess I'm doing it," said Connors, who rallied Thursday from a three-game disadvantage in the final set to defeat Italian Claudio Panatta.

Dickson, rushing the net at every opportunity, forced the action in the opening set. He broke Connors' serve in the seventh game and served out the set.

A patient Connors assumed control of the match in the second set, breaking Dickson for a 3-1 lead and then holding his own serve for a 4-1 advantage. He broke Dickson in the third and seventh games of the final set and never was in serious trouble.

"It took me a while to get in the rhythm of the match," Connors said.

Suire surprised the crowd when she grabbed a 5-3 lead in the opening set against Lloyd. It was the last time the French player would threaten Lloyd, a native of nearby Fort Lauderdale.

"It was a combination of maybe she got a little nervous and I started to concentrate more," Lloyd said.

Ranked second in the world, Lloyd ripped off the next seven games to wrap up the first and take a 3-0 lead in the second.

"It's the same old story, like my other two matches," Lloyd said. "I didn't feel good until the second set. Maybe if I was playing tougher players - not that these players aren't tough."

Swedish stars Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg also advanced to the fourth round.

Avenges loss

Wilander, the reigning French Open champion and seeded second, trounced Mike Leach, 6-1, 6-2, to avenge a loss to the American in the tournament a year ago.

No. 5 seed Edberg needed only 40 minutes eliminate Damir Keretic of West Germany, 6-1, 6-1.

In other third-round matches, Australian Dianne Balestrat continued her comeback from retirement with a 7-5, 6-4 upset of No. 8 Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, and Barbara Potter, the No. 14 seed, downed fellow-American Kathleen Horvath, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Jimmy Arias, the men's No. 17 seed, beat fellow-American Glenn Layendecker, 6-3, 6-4.
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post #101 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Re: 1986

Monday, February 17, 1986
Andy Cohen

She is a victory waiting to happen, a star waiting to shine. Helena Sukova, one week shy of her 21st birthday, has all the tennis tools to carve herself a spot among the best.

The only thing left is to go out and do it.

"I`m trying," she says with a shy smile. "I`m playing better than I have in a long time."

Helena Sukova. Remember the name. She has beaten Martina Navratilova once. She has won a few sets from Chris Evert Lloyd. She has done nothing against Hana Mandlikova.

But all of that is in the past. What matters now is that Sukova, a native of Czechoslovakia, is finally gaining confidence. Once that confidence reaches the top of her powerful 6-foot-2 frame, the women`s tennis tour could be her throne.

"I don`t think I have a weakness right now," she says without hesitating. "When I hit a shot, I feel I can win the point. Before, I just hoped I could win the point. That makes a difference."

A big difference. Sukova, seeded seventh, toyed with Sweden`s Catarina Lindqvist Sunday on her way to a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the fourth round of the Lipton International Players Championships. She`ll play Barbara Potter in the quarterfinals.

Even when Lindqvist took a 3-0 lead in the second set, Sukova wasn`t worried. "I felt in control," she said. "I was playing so well, I always felt like I could come back."

It has always been just a matter of time for Sukova. Her mother, Vera, was a Wimbledon finalist in 1962. Her father, Cyril Suk, is president of the Czechoslovakia Tennis Federation. She began playing when she was old enough to grip a racket. She entered her first tournament at the age of 10. She won, of course.

Her repertoire includes a powerful serve, an excellent net game, a smooth backhand and a drop shot that usually leaves her opponent flat-footed. Unlike most women on the tour, she employs an attacking style, reminiscent of Navratilova.

"I wouldn`t mind having a backhand like (Ivan) Lendl, a serve like (Boris) Becker and a forehand like (Mats) Wilander," she said. "But I`m happy with what I can do."

Tennis insiders believe the only thing Sukova lacks is a big-time victory, something to convince her that she belongs among the elite. She has come close many times, reaching two finals and six semifinals in a 1985 season that saw her voted the WTA`s most improved player.

But coming close isn`t enough for Sukova.

"I want to reach for Martina`s level," she said. "I don`t want to play her and hope she plays bad. I want to be able to go out and beat her, win the match because I played well."

She has set no timetable to attain that status.

"You hope," she says, "it`s going to be the next day, like tomorrow. I hope the next time I play a big match, I feel it like I felt it against Catarina. I played her last year and lost. This time I was much improved."

Without Navratilova in the Lipton field, Sukova finds herself in a good position. Evert is in the other half of the draw. With a victory over Potter, Sukova could face No. 2 seed Steffi Graf in the semifinals. Then, if things fall into place, she`d meet Evert in the final.

Sukova doesn`t want to think that far ahead. But with her confidence growing as each match passes, it is obvious she longs for the chance to play for a championship, a chance to break out of the pack of promising players.

"I`m improving little by little," she said. "All I can do is hope for the best. I`m doing a lot of hoping."
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post #102 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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Re: 1986

Monday, February 17, 1986
Jim Sarni

The Lipton International Players Championships serves up its second week today, and this year, you don`t need a program to follow the men`s event.

The headliners are still in the headlines.

Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, Yannick Noah, Stefan Edberg.

They`re all still alive and swinging at Boca West.

Remember the first LIPC?

The top eight men`s seeds were gone before the quarterfinals. Noah was the best player left and then he lost. The final four consisted of eventual champion Tim Mayotte, runner-up Scott Davis, Tomas Smid and Jan Gunnarsson.

Sunday, Wilander (2) moved into the quarterfinals and today Lendl (1), Connors (3), Edberg (5) and Noah (6) hope to join him.

The outlook is good.

Edberg faces Marty Davis, Lendl takes on Jimmy Arias and Connors opposes Thierry Tulasne in a stadium tripleheader beginning at 10 a.m.

Noah meets Gunnarsson in a match that was postponed Sunday night because of rain.

Meanwhile, the women played down to the last nine, seven of them seeds. Terry Phelps and Dianne Balestrat, the two non-seeds, were postponed by rain with Phelps leading 2-1. They resume today.

In Tuesday`s quarterfinals, Chris Evert Lloyd (1) meets the Phelps-Balestrat winner, Carling Bassett (12) faces Kathy Rinaldi (9), Steffi Graf (2) meets Zina Garrison (6) and Helena Sukova (7) takes on Barbara Potter (14), who eliminated Manuela Maleeva (4) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in a mild surprise Sunday.

Of course, there are a few strangers in the midst of all the stars.

Milan Srejber, the 6-foot-8 Czech, is standing tall in the quarterfinals after defeating David Pate 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.

And then there`s Guy Forget (remember him, the 1982 Orange Bowl champion?) and South African qualifier Michael Robertson, who square off today for a quarterfinal berth.

"Yes, I`m surprised I`m still here," Srejber said. "But after beating Boris Becker (Friday), I am more confident than ever."

Srejber needed a set to warm up his powerful serve, but after he did, Goliath was too strong for David.

Lendl, who shook Srejber`s hand as they met for the first time in the interview room, had a sticky match with pesky Greg Holmes of Salt Lake City, who hits everything with two hands.

Lendl won 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) after Holmes saved two match points at 5-4.

"I expected a very tough match," said Lendl, who reported that his finger blister, which kept him off the court Saturday, is healing fine.

"Holmes hits the ball hard and well. You have to play well against everyone these days and I`m not hitting the ball well enough. A lot of it has to do with being outdoors."

Lendl refused to let his sub-par form, unlucky net chords or unfavorable line calls bother him Sunday.

"At 5-all in the second set, some players might have gotten frustrated and said `the hell with it` and thrown points away," Lendl said. "But I`ve worked too hard to throw my work away."

Like Lendl, Evert, the women`s top seed, was broken as she tried to serve out a set in her 7-5, 6-2 victory over Kathy Jordan.

And she got a little mad at herself, too.

"I don`t like having leads and losing them," Evert said. "It`s a sign that I`m losing concentration and easing up a little bit."

"I didn`t force Chris enough," said Jordan, who lost to Evert in last year`s LIPC. "It was the same last year. But I can`t be unhappy, I pushed her a little bit.

"Chris played great at Key Biscayne (two weeks ago) but I thought she played horrible -- for her -- against (Catherine) Suire Saturday. She improved today."

"I haven`t played great," admitted Evert, 9-0 in 1986. "But I`m still in the tournament and I haven`t lost a set.

"I`d just as soon play great every match but if you don`t, you justify it by telling yourself that you`re saving it up for the second week. I`m ready for the second week."

The LIPC, with a good start at the box office, is also anxious for the stretch run. The first week`s attendance (number of tickets sold) is 96,049, up from 65,090 for the first week (6 days instead of 7) last year.

The LIPC was aiming for 150,000 in its one year at Boca West before moving to a planned permanent home at Weston in 1987, but it could hit the 200,000 mark with good weather and a few more victories by Lendl and Connors.

Saturday`s women`s final is 2,500 seats away from a sellout while Sunday`s men`s final is 1,000 seats away.

Last year the women`s final between Evert and Martina Navratilova outdrew the Mayotte-Davis men`s final by 3,500.
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post #103 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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Re: 1986

Monday, February 17, 1986
Jim Sarni

Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova could cross paths for the first time this year at the Virginia Slims of California next week in Oakland.

Navratilova entered the tournament Saturday, ending weeks of speculation whether she would play.

Navratilova missed the Virginia Slims of Florida two weeks ago in Key Biscayne with the flu, spoiling the chance of a rematch with Evert there. Navratilova did not enter the Lipton International Players Championships, which she won last year.

Evert and Navratilova will be joined in Oakland by Hana Mandlikova, the defending champion and the No. 3-ranked player who could spoil an Evert- Navratilova confrontation. Mandlikova, who has been suffering from a bruised shoulder, is also absent from the LIPC.

The Virginia Slims of California is a 28-player draw. Evert and Navratilova must win three matches to meet in the final.

By entering Oakland, Navratilova satisfies her Virginia Slims requirement of five named events to participate in the bonus pool distribution. First place is worth $250,000.

Tennis` Millionaires Club opened its doors last Wednesday to its newest member.

He`s Stefan Edberg of Sweden, who passed the $1 million mark in career prize money before his 21th birthday when he defeated Stefan Eriksson 7-6, 6-4 in the first round at the LIPC.

Edberg became the 47th man to earn $1 million. Fourteen women have surpassed that total.

Jeanne Evert Dubin is co-hosting Channel 29`s nightly (11:30 p.m.) highlights show. . . Tomm Warneke of Lakeland won the British Airways Fast Serve contest at Boca Pointe last Monday. His winning serve was clocked at 127 mph. Steve Denton hit one serve at 130 mph in the preliminaries. Thirty players participated. Warneke`s prize is a trip on the Concorde.

Winemaker Aldo Cella listed Evert on his list of the world`s Most Romantic Women.

Evert joined Dolly Parton, Maria Shriver, Sophia Loren and Susan Lucci, among others, who received rhymed Valentines and wine on Valentine`s Day.

Cella said he looked for the same things in women that he looked for in wine -- sweetness, beauty and lots of sparkle.

The LIPC was the first tournament to use 32 male seeds. The ATP gave 128- player tournaments the option this year to double the number of seeds. Players ranked from 17-32 felt it wasn`t fair for them to play a seed in the first round.

"We`re getting like the National Hockey League," said Mike Leach, the 31st seed, "trying to see how many teams we can get into the playoffs."

The French Open and U.S. Open will probably follow suit but Wimbledon, that bastion of tradition, is not expected to select 32 male seeds. Some people believe Wimbledon wants just eight seeds.

The women are staying with 16 seeds at major events.
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post #104 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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Re: 1986

Lexington Herald-Leader
Monday, February 17, 1986
Associated Press

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The top seeds at the $1.8 million Lipton International Players Championships rolled along yesterday with Ivan Lendl pounding his way into the fourth round and Chris Evert Lloyd advancing to the quarterfinals.

Sweden's Mats Wilander and West Germany's Steffi Graf, the No. 2 seeds in their respective brackets, also moved on to the round of 16 with fourth-round victories on the hard courts at Boca West.

A night match between sixth-seeded Yannick Noah of France and Sweden's Jan Gunnarsson was postponed because of rain. A fourth-round women's single match between Australia's Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat and Terry Phelps was also stopped, with Phelps leading 2-1 in the first set.

Lendl, playing with a sore right ring finger, struggled before eliminating Greg Holmes 6-4, 7-6. Lloyd's performance was streaky during a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Kathy Jordan.

Wilander, the reigning French Open champion, and Graf cruised to their fourth-round victories. Wilnder beat No. 15 Andres Gomez 7-5, 6-4, and Graf ousted Alycia Moulton 6-1, 6-4.

One seed fell under the bright, warm sunshine as No. 4 Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria was upset by No. 14 Barbara Potter 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

Among other winners were Czechoslovakia's Milan Srejber, No. 9 Kathy Rinaldi and No. 12 Carling Bassett of Canada. Helena Sukova, the seventh seed from Czechoslovakia, and No. 6 Zina Garrison were also victorious.

Wilander against Gomez was a battle of big serves and short, quick points - an oddity since the match pitted two clay-court specialists. When Wilander broke Gomez's service in the sixth game, the Ecuadorian left-hander broke right back in the seventh.

They stayed on serve until the 12th game, when Gomez double-faulted to fall to love-30. He won the next two points to level the game at 30-30, but then Wilander hit a perfect lob and won the set when Gomez sailed a forehand long.

In the second set, neither player had trouble holding serve, the score never going to deuce, until the decisive 10th game. A passing shot by Wilander pulled him to deuce. He won the ad point on an unforced error, then closed out the match when Gomez was wide when he tried a down-the-line passing shot.

Lloyd, who has yet to lose a set in 1986, broke Jordan three times in the first set with the last one giving her a 6-5 advantage. A break in the seventh game of the second set gave her a commanding 5-2 lead.

"The first set could have gone either way. After I won it, she may have been a little disappointed and my confidence picked up," Lloyd said.

"I was a different player in the second set, as usual in this tournament," said Lloyd, who also started slowly in the previous rounds. "She was dangerous. She served well and I wasn't returning the ball well in the first set."

Jordan extended the world's second-ranked woman to three match points before dropping the final game.

The triumph sent Lloyd into the quarterfinals. Lendl advanced to a fourth- round meeting with Jimmy Arias.

Lendl, winner of 54 career singles titles and ranked No. 1 in the world, broke Holmes' serve in the ninth game of each set, but needed a tie-breaker he won 7-2 to finally put the 32nd seed away.

Holmes, winless in two matches against Lendl, fought back from double break-point in the seventh game of the second set. He also fought off match point twice in the 10th game to break Lendl's thunderous serve for the first time and pull even 5-5.

Lendl held serve to force the decisive tiebreaker and cruised after winning the first three points.

Srejber continued his surprising success, beating the 20th seed, David Pate.

Coming off a third-round upset of Wimbledon champion Boris Becker of West Germany, Srejber, the tallest player on the tour at 6-foot-8, bounced back from an opening set loss to win 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Rinaldi and Bassett advanced to the quarterfinals in the women's bracket with fourth-round victories.

Rinaldi topped Anna Ivan 6-3, 6-4, and Bassett defeated Kate Gompert 6-3, 6-1. Sukova knocked off No. 10 Catarina Lindqvist of Sweden 6-1, 6-3, and Garrison dumped Yugoslavia's Sabrina Goles 6-1, 7-6.
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post #105 of 1280 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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Re: 1986

Tuesday, February 18, 1986
Jim Baker

In all of sport, perhaps no two games are more opposite in mental preparation and physical requirement than professional football and tennis.

So it would seem unlikely that a former National Football League star who spent 13 years adapting mind and body to the violent rigors of his profession would find himself involved in the relatively genteel world of professional tennis.

Nevertheless, Johnny Sample is doing just that. From 1958 through 1970, Sample roamed the defensive secondary for the Baltimore Colts, Washington Redskins and New York Jets. He is perhaps best remembered as the defensive captain of the 1969 Jets team that upset the Colts in Super Bowl III.

These days, however, Sample feels more at ease patrolling the baseline than the football field. As a certified U.S. Tennis Association official, Sample has run full circle in two vastly different sports.

What was the adjustment like?

"To be honest, I find that my experience as a football player really helped me make the adjustment," said Sample, who is refereeing at the Lipton International Players Championship at Boca West. "As an ex-athlete, I have a different perspective than other people. I know what it`s like to be on the other end of the action."

Sample`s introduction to tennis came about in an unusual manner, an experience that he laughs about now but would just as soon forget.

"I`ve always enjoyed tennis as a form of relaxation, but I was never what you would call a talent. I certainly didn`t hold claim to any expertise about the rules, either. As it so happened, I was almost literally thrown into learning."

Seven years ago, Sample was busy operating his sporting goods business in Philadelphia when a call came in from officials of the U.S. Pro Indoor Championships being held in that city. The tournament needed linesmen and wondered if Sample would lend his assistance and name to the event.

"I told them honestly that I had no idea how to call the lines at a tennis match, but that didn`t seem to deter them," recalled Sample with a laugh. "I guess they found out quickly enough."

Sample remembered his first experience as a linesman as if it were yesterday. "It was a match between Jay Lapidus and Sandy Mayer, and I was horrible. I called shots out that were in and vice versa, I was out of position more often than not and my calls were indecisive and weak.

"Both the players were pretty tolerant under the circumstances, but I didn`t need to hear a critique to know I messed up.

"I told Lapidus after the match that I just didn`t think I was cut out for this kind of work. I don`t recall him objecting to my opinion."

Despite that embarrassing experience, Sample`s professional pride wouldn`t let him quit on such a negative note. A month later, he found himself training in tennis umpiring school in Philadelphia.

"I worked several local amateur tournaments that first year, and I found that, like most things in life, I

became more confident and competent as I went along.

"I worked very hard on becoming the best I could be, giving it my total concentration."

Two years later the hard work paid off: Sample became an officially certified USTA umpire and linesman. Even though he works the big, prestigious tournaments now, such as the U.S Open, his outlook is no different today than it was when he started out.

"When I`m calling the line or sitting in the chair, I`m always conscious of the fact that my decisions to some degree have an effect on the player`s income. When I blow a call, I`m literally taking bread out of their mouths. I know as a former player how important that really is."

There are occasions, however, when the players take exception to Sample`s judgment. It`s hard to imagine anyone on the circuit trying to intimidate a muscular, 6-foot-2, 200-pound-plus official, but it happens in the heat of the action.

At times like this, Sample again relies on his athletic background to keep the situation in perspective.

"I`m no different than any other official," Sample said. "When players get irritated at my calls, they yell and give me a look. When that happens, I replay the shot over in my mind and say to myself, `Did I make the right decision?`

"If I`m sure of my call, I just ignore the criticism. If I find I`m questioning my own decision, I store it in my memory and try to use it as a learning experience.

"For the most part, though, I really don`t have many problems on the court. I think the players understand where I`m coming from."

Two years ago Sample officiated a match involving John McEnroe, who has had his share of disagreements with umpires and linesmen.

"I can`t remember which tournament it was, but I was working the line during one of John`s matches. His opponent hit a close shot that I thought was in, and obviously he didn`t.

"He put his racquet down, walked over to me and said, `You really should quit doing this and go back to football.` "

There was a time when Sample may have heeded McEnroe`s advice, but not anymore.
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