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post #76 of 417 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2014, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

Still can't believe McEnroe ever landed a job as a TV commentator given his treatment of the camera/sound crews as a player.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Monday, June 11, 1984
Associated Press

Ivan Lendl staged a remarkable comeback yesterday and outlasted John McEnroe, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5, to win the men's singles title at the French Open, his first victory in a Grand Slam tournament.

"I had to work hard for it, that's for sure," Lendl said after the 4-hour, 8-minute match on the sun-baked Center Court at Roland Garros Stadium.

"John was playing great in the first two sets. He was hitting corners and lines all the time," Lendl said. "Then I think he got a little tired. I was in better shape today and could run all day long."

When he left the court, however, Lendl began vomiting, apparently because of the mental and physical strain.

Lendl, ranked No. 2 in the world behind McEnroe, had reached the final of a Grand Slam event four times previously, losing to Jimmy Connors at the U.S. Open in 1982 and 1983, to Bjorn Borg here in 1981 and to Mats Wilander in last year's Australian Open. But this time, Lendl prevailed, crushing McEnroe's hopes of becoming the first American to win the French title since Tony Trabert in 1955.

"I'm very happy that I won my first Grand Slam tournament in Paris, and I will be back next year," Lendl told the crowd, which booed when McEnroe refused to take the microphone.

Earlier, women's singles champion Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver added the French doubles title to their championships at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. They beat Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia and Claudia Kohde of West Germany, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

It marked the first time that the same doubles team captured the four Grand Slam events. Navratilova also won the singles title at all four tournaments.

Asked to describe his feelings when he found himself two sets down, Lendl said: "I saw a glimmer of hope as soon as I broke his service for the first time in the match in the middle of the third set. He broke me back, but I felt that once I had broken him once, I could do it again. I just had to hang in there."

Three times in the opening set, McEnroe served an ace on game point. When he swept into a 4-0 lead at the start of the second set, breaking Lendl twice and serving two love games, the title looked as if it were his.

In the third game of the third set, McEnroe, who had never before survived the quarterfinals here, lost his patience with a television camera operator and grabbed the man's headset and threw it to the ground, as the crowd booed. McEnroe pulled out the game, but he went on to lose the set, and he suddenly looked vulnerable.

His big first serve, used to such deadly effect earlier in the match, began to fail. Lendl broke him twice in the fourth set and squared the match at 2-2.

As McEnroe grew increasingly frustrated with his service and overhit his approach shots, Lendl turned on the power, hitting a succession of devastating service returns and forehand and backhand passing shots.

At 3-3 in the final set, Lendl saved two break points, then held his serve at love the next time around. Suddenly McEnroe was serving at 4-5 to save the match.

McEnroe held for 5-5, but Lendl won another love game. Again McEnroe served to stay in the match, but he could not hold again. Lendl won on his second match point when McEnroe sent a volley wide.

Said McEnroe: "I had a lot of opportunities, a couple of times in the third set and three or four games in a row. I could have won all of them but ended up winning none.

"It's tough to serve on clay in a long match. But I just didn't serve well enough."

McEnroe said the crowd's support for Lendl, 24, undoubtedly helped his opponent.

"That's why it's so tough to be No. 1. I'm playing Lendl in France, and they are rooting for Lendl. It was kind of frustrating because I was playing well, but I should have been able to to put the match away in the fourth set.

"I got it (his intensity) to a really high level, and then I kind of leveled off and went down a bit."

"It feels great finally to answer different questions," Lendl told reporters, referring to the "choke" label he had carried after his previous Grand Slam failures. "I guess it's better just to win this tournament, but once you win, it's better to win against someone like McEnroe."

It was the first time Lendl had beaten McEnroe since January 1983 in the Volvo Masters at New York.

In terms of the number of games played, it was the longest final at Roland Garros Stadium since the introduction of tiebreakers in 1974.

Navratilova's victories in singles and doubles - and the $1 million bonus for winning the four Grand Slam singles titles - raised her career earnings to more than $8 million.
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post #77 of 417 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2014, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

Ira Berkow
June 12, 1984
new York Times

Serene John McEnroe had blown a point to Ivan Lendl in the third set of the French Open final Sunday morning (in Paris and on NBC-TV), and he reacted with the cool civility that has distinguished him.

''McEnroe, upset, is attacking the net-cord,'' reported Dick Enberg, the play-by-play announcer.

Indeed, McEnroe was hacking away at the net with his racquet.

''The net-cord,'' said Bud Collins, the color commentator, ''has never lost one of those battles.''

As it turned out, McEnroe lost two battles on Sunday, one to the net-cord, as predicted by Collins, and one to Lendl, as predicted by virtually no one.

There were at least two winners, however - Lendl and the spectators, including the television audience. The viewer certainly felt that way. It was a captivating match after a lopsided start, with McEnroe comfortably ahead midway into the third set, and a sweet video presentation.

The viewer enjoys the mature, literate professionalism of Enberg, and the humor and genuine enthusiasm for the sport conveyed by Collins. A pleasurable doubles team.

A few questions were raised in the viewer's mind, however. One concerned the opening interview with Tony Trabert, who in 1955 was the last American male to win the French title. He spoke about McEnroe's temper tantrums and how they were perhaps done on purpose ''to relieve the tension'' of the match.

A few years ago, in The New York Times Magazine, Collins wrote about McEnroe and quoted him as having said that he never threw a tantrum when playing Bjorn Borg because he had to conserve all his energy for the battle with the stoic Swede.

In fact, McEnroe's behavior was unrestrained early in the match, but by the fourth and fifth sets, when he protested, he did it ''rather calmly,'' as Enberg noted.

Like to have heard Collins's views on that. Was John conserving energy? Did his earlier outbursts cost him vigor on this emotionally draining afternoon?

There is an integrity in reporting with Collins and Enberg. When Lendl was down, 3-6, 2-6, 1-3, Enberg said, ''One of the knocks on Lendl is that he gets into a situation like this and he sinks back on his heels.'' Translation: he folds.

Shortly after, Enberg added, ''Not much drama at this stage.''

As Lendl made his spectacular comeback, the announcers pointed out that McEnroe was ''a tired athlete,'' and that when he fell or eyed a clunky cameraman, he was ''buying time.''

After a game but not when switching sides, McEnroe went to the sidelines to freshen up by throwing water on himself. Collins pointed out that the rules allowed only 30 seconds in the halting of play.

''Do you have your stop-watch, it's more than 30 seconds,'' said Collins.

''Why don't they call it?'' asked Enberg, about penalizing McEnroe.

Good question, but no answer. The viewer was characteristically baffled.

The reporting, though, was generally solid during the match and even after, when we were informed that Lendl had been vomiting because he had been so exhausted from his triumph.

Another superb spectacle has been the National Basketball Association championship playoff series on CBS. Dick Stockton and Tom Heinsohn as commentators are fine.

The viewer, though, can't let it go at that, of course. On occasion, Stockton will mint a cliche, such as ''not to be denied'' and ''pull out all the stops.'' But Stockton knows a good pass when he sees it - the connoisseur listens for such perceptions - and he asks relevant questions of the former coach and player at his side.

The viewer's favorite play was missed visually by Heinsohn (he said his veiw had been blocked) and, it seems, esthetically by Stockton. It happens. The play occurred in the fourth game in Los Angeles. The ball bounced into the stands and into the hands of a spectator. It looked fairly clear on television that it was Los Angeles's ball. But Larry Bird, that rara avis, came flying across the court and snatched the ball from the stunned spectator before the Laker player could get it.

Stockton: ''Bird thinks it's his ball.''

But when the referee took the ball out of Bird's hands and gave it to the Laker, there was no chirp of dissent from the aviary.

What Bird had done was keep the Los Angeles player from starting a fast break, the thing the Lakers had been doing routinely to flatten the Celtics. The move was Exhibit A of how, even when in the stands, Bird plays basketball the old-fashioned way: he thinks.

The viewer also had a favorite camera shot: focus on Laker bench with several players burying their heads, unable to watch James Worthy and Magic Johnson shoot critical, last- second free throws.

Catching Up: Two Friday nights ago on WNEW-TV, Bill Mazer and Al Bernstein did an excellent job of broadcasting the Johnny Bumphus- Gene Hatcher World Boxing Association junior-welterweight championship fight and the Ray Mancini-Livingstone Bramble W.B.A. lightweight championship tussle. When Mancini was cut by a butt early in the fight, and there was a question about his continuing, Bernstein knew the rules about an accidental and an intentional butt, and filled in the viewers immediately.

Mazer, known to some as Amazin' Mazer because of his profound grasp of sports trivia, nicely gave historical backdrop during the bouts. He compared Mancini's style to the bob and weave of its most famous practitioner, Jack Dempsey, and he recalled how the cut-bloodied Sugar Ray Robinson some 30 years ago came back to defeat Randy Turpin for the middleweight title.

Friday's first bout was won by the challenger Hatcher. Several times after that, Mazur, not averse to plugging the promoter, hailed the evening as the ''Katz Sports Night of Upsets.'' He spoke plural when there had been only singular. Mancini then went out and lost his title, too, and corrected the error.
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post #78 of 417 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

Will it be a whole decade of Navratilova as No. 1?
Daily Breeze
Torrance, CA
Friday, August 3, 1984
Associated Press

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. -- Martina Navratilova, the world's top-ranked tennis player who has reeled off 30 straight match victories, could dominate the women's game through 1990 in the opinion of some of the sport's all-time greats.

Billie Jean King, the winner of 20 Wimbledon titles, says there's nobody now who can challenge Navratilova's domination of the game.

"There might be some 15-year-old out there right now that ultimately is going to come along. But right now, if you asked me right at this moment, there's nobody I can see in the near future," King said.

Francoise Durr, who was ranked in the world top 10 six times between 1965 and 1972, sees Navratilova dominating "four or five more years. She's so much stronger than anybody else."

"She's almost 30. She's 29. I think if she has no injuries, she could continue to be successful until she's 35 or 36," says Rosie Casals.

King, Durr and Casals are here for a $30,000 event in the Lincoln-Mercury Women's Tennis Classics, an over-30 circuit that Casals organized last year.

Virginia Wade, Kerry Reid, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Laura DuPont and Wendy Overton are also vying for the $6,000 top prize.

King said tournament tennis is structured so that most of the attention is directed toward the top two players -- currently Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd.

"Martina is way up there, Chris is below that and below Chris is a huge drop, although I think it's getting a little closer," she said.

Durr agreed that after Navratilova and Evert Lloyd, "No. 3 or No. 4 can be beaten by No. 25."

Navratilova won't be ousted from the top spot "until somebody comes along and will take the net away from her," King said. "The top 10 can't threaten Martina because no one's playing her really. They're not forcing the issue with her."

Casals, who has won five Wimbledon doubles titles along with four U.S. Open Doubles crowns said Navratilova's domination of the game "is a good thing at the moment."

"I would like to see women's tennis going in the direction of Martina as far as the type of serve-and-volley and the type of game," she said.

She predicted that Navratilova's continued dominance "is going to depend on how much she wants to win and what her motivation is. If she continues to win so easily, it's awfully hard to motivate yourself to find a reason to win."

Durr added that while Navratilova's success may be bad news for other players, it's good for women's tennis in general because of all the attention focused on her dominance of the game.
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post #79 of 417 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2014, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

The Miami Herald
Tuesday, August 7, 1984
BOB RUBIN, Herald Sports Writer

She has been accused of tanking, of tantrums, of malingering, of quitting. Classic spoiled bratism. Burned out. Too much, too soon.

Once the latest little darling of the tour, Andrea Jaeger became a monster, or so they said.

But Jaeger's critics, and they are legion, should have seen her gut out a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Tine Schueur-Larsen of Denmark Monday on the opening day of Olympic tennis, a demonstration sport headed for full medal status in 1988.

If they had seen her fight off the pain shooting through her right arm, if they had heard her enthusiasm over playing for nothing but an unofficial medal because "The Olympics are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," if they had listened to her describe the thrill of mingling with the other athletes in the Olympic Village at UCLA and the "goosebumps" she got when the U.S. men gymnasts won their team gold, they might feel they had done her an injustice.

They should. At times, Jaeger may have acted like the monster they portray, but remember this was a kid barely past puberty who was bullied by a Prussian for a father and thrust into an international spotlight. Adolescence is a tough enough gig for kids under normal circumstances, and Jaeger's were anything but. She had to grow up too soon.

But the critics didn't want to hear about that. She's a millionaire, travels all over the world, got life by the tail. Why doesn't she behave like a lady?

Because she wasn't a lady. She was a kid, tough as nails, but still only a kid. She's a grand old 19 now, but far older inside her head.

Jaeger was the youngest sports millionaire in history. She has been a Wimbledon and French Open finalist, a semifinalist twice at the U.S. Open and the world's third-ranked player. But her finest moment may be here.

And it may be her final moment. She's hurting, hurting bad. Her right arm should be shipped to Harvard Medical School for embalming and study. The rotator cuff is a mess. She has tendinitis on the outside of her elbow and tennis elbow on the inside, which she thinks stem from a pinched nerve in her neck. There's something wrong with a set of muscles she can't even pronounce. She tried to count up all the doctors she has seen and gave up.

The pain forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon this year and quit in the opening set at the French. She's been trying to cope with it for three years now, and she's just about ready to give up.

"I mean when you get to the point where you have trouble writing righty . . . " she said.

Except for an exhibition in Sydney, Australia, last week to which she had been long committed, she hadn't played in seven weeks before the Olympics, hoping in vain that her injuries would heal. They haven't.

She had planned in any case to take a year off to attend school, Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, where she'll study zoology. She doesn't duck the obvious question. She, too, wonders if she'll ever come back.

So at the grand old age of 19, she may be through, a teen-ager once thought to be the heir apparent to the tennis throne who proved a shooting star.

Which made Monday's match so poignant. Just last year, Jaeger played Martina Navratilova for the world's most prestigious championship before royalty on Wimbledon's hallowed Centre Court. Monday, she was facing a possible swan song on court two at the UCLA Tennis Center against a nobody in front of a few thousand unaware of the drama taking place before them.

What a trip.

Her serve was pathetic. She couldn't hit out, so she had to rely on moonballs and patience, hoping her opponent would get antsy and take risks going for winners. Schueur-Larsen did just that, and after Jaeger absorbed a 6-2, first-set drubbing from an opponent who might not have won a game had she been healthy, she slowly took command of the match.

Guts and guile won it for Jaeger, but against some of the more experienced players, like top-seeded Kathy Horvath, she's going to have to rely on prayer. Jaeger's the No. 2 seed, but that's strictly on reputation.

Yet, she's curiously unemotional about her plight because she's so looking forward to life without pain.

"For three years I can hardly remember a tournament when I wasn't hurting," she said. "And the more treatment I get, the more irritated it gets. I hate to keep talking about it because it sounds like I'm a paraplegic or something, but it is very frustrating."

So is all the criticism, or at least it was.

"You have to be mentally tough when people are calling you a head case and say you're tanking. But I've gotten past the point where I'm hurt by all that garbage. People who know me believe in me."

The prospect of life without tennis is not frightening. One almost sensed it would be a relief, though Jaeger insists she is not burned out.

"I've loved tennis and I have no regrets," she said. "I hope to come back to the tour some day, but if I can't I won't sit around and cry about it. I'm excited about going to school. I don't think I'm a one-dimensional person. I think I can do other things.

"I grew up with tennis, but I always knew it wasn't going to be the only thing I was going to do until I was 40. At certain times, something has to take a back seat to something else, and right now tennis will."

Jaeger smiled, then stuck out her arm to have an ice pack strapped on her shoulder. Another one was attached to her elbow.

"Gee, I do look like a paraplegic," she said.
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post #80 of 417 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2014, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

Connors-Lendl match to benefit San Ysidro fund
The San Diego Union
Thursday, August 2, 1984
Ailene Voisin, Staff Writer

Jimmy Connors was at home in Florida, watching television, when ABC interrupted the regularly scheduled program to present an update on the July 18 massacre in San Ysidro.

Like millions of other viewers, Connors was appalled by what he was hearing, sickened by what he was seeing. It was enough to make a grown man -- even a tennis superstar -- cry.

"Words can't describe how terrible I felt," Connors said recently in a telephone interview. "I was really broken up. It could have happened to me ... to someone I knew ... to anybody. I really felt for those people, both the people who were killed and the ones who were left behind. I wanted to help."

Connors, current U.S. Open champion and recent Wimbledon runner-up, immediately called his business adviser, Ivan Blumberg, in Washington, D.C., and told him he wanted to help. Name it, he'd do it. Blumberg suggested a tennis benefit be held in the near future in San Diego.

Connors agreed. Within a few days, he personally contacted Ivan Lendl and asked him to participate. He called his friend, television personality Merv Griffin, and asked him to take part. Then he made calls to the agents of actor John Forsythe and Clint Eastwood and requested their participation for the benefit, which is scheduled for August 9 at 7 p.m. in the Sports Arena.

Lendl and Griffin accepted right away, according to Connors, and either Forsythe or Eastwood is expected to participate in a best-of-three doubles match that will follow the Connors-Lendl match.

Connors also contacted representatives of the companies whose products he endorses and asked for donations, ticket purchases, or any other contribution that might help alleviate the financial burdens borne by the survivors and families of the victims.

The players hope to add $250,000 to the $1.2 million already collected for the San Ysidro Family Survivors Fund, which was established shortly after the shooting tragedy that left 22 dead and 19 injured.

"The important thing to keep in mind is why we're doing this," said Connors. "We're not in this for the publicity. It's simply a situation where I was affected and am able to use my tennis to help. How could anyone not be affected by this?"

Though he also works for the Ronald McDonald House program, which houses families of children undergoing treatment for cancer, leukemia and similar illnesses, Connors said next Thursday's benefit is unusual because he prefers to keep his contributions private.

But one advantage of being a professional athlete, he says, is that there are opportunities, like this one, where fame and exposure can help.

One spokesman said Connors and Lendl ordinarily would earn between $50,000 and $100,000 for such an exhibition. Instead, all proceeds will be donated to the fund.

Both players also will travel to San Diego at their own expense.

Connors, the runner-up to John McEnroe last month at Wimbledon, currently is in Los Angeles attending to business and "seeing some of the Olympics."

He plans to take the rest of this week and next week off -- excluding the benefit match -- before traveling to Toronto to compete in the Canadian Open. Then it's on to New York, where he will defend his U.S. Open championship.

o o o

Martina Navratilova, the No. 1 women's player in the world, and Chris Evert Lloyd will meet in a 7 p.m. exhibition Sept. 12 at Rancho Bernardo Inn. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $40 for box seats and are available now at the Inn.
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Re: 1984

Intriguing read on Andrea Jaeger-as it really was more or less her swan song.
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post #82 of 417 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2014, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Friday, August 24, 1984
United Press International

In the space of three days, John McEnroe has suffered more setbacks than he did in the preceding eight months.

On Tuesday, he was handed a stunning defeat by Vijay Amritraj in the opening round of the ATP Championship in Ohio.

And yesterday he was presented with his draw for the $2.5 million U.S. Open , which begins next week. McEnroe has the toughest draw of any of the top seeds and will have to be at his best almost from the beginning if he hopes to win a fourth U.S. Open title. Although he should dispose of South African Colin Dowdeswell easily in the opening round, the 25-year-old left-hander faces obstacles in the next two rounds.

McEnroe's second-round foe will probably be Stefan Edberg, an 18-year-old Swede who swept all four Junior Grand Slam Championships in 1983 and captured the Olympic title earlier this month. In the third round, McEnroe faces the prospect of playing South African Kevin Curren or American Mel Purcell, either of whom could be troublesome.

Should they both advance that far, McEnroe's semifinal opponent would be Jimmy Connors, conqueror of Ivan Lendl in the 1982 and 1983 finals and a five- time Open champion.

Top-seeded McEnroe won the crown in 1979, 1980 and 1981, and he is favored to regain the title this year. Before his loss to Amritraj, McEnroe had been beaten only once in 60 matches this year, dropping a total of nine sets. He was an awesome force at Wimbledon, crushing Connors, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2, in the final.

Lendl, the only other man to defeat McEnroe this year, besting him in the French Open final, is seeded second at Flushing Meadow, and Connors is third.

In contrast to McEnroe, Lendl has a softer quarter, although in the opening round he has a respectable opponent in Brian Teacher, who has a strong serve-and-volley game. Like McEnroe, Lendl comes into the Open after a surprising loss; he bowed last week to Francisco Gonzales of Paraguay in the Players International Tournament at Toronto.

Connors, at ease with a new mid-size graphite racket he started using in Toronto, will play his first match against Californian Matt Mitchell, and he, too, should be tested early. If he gets by Mitchell, Connors would face Brian Gottfried or Ben Testerman in the second round, and his next opponent would be Henri Leconte, John Sadri or Lloyd Bourne.

On the women's side, top-seed Martina Navratilova will be shooting for her sixth consecutive Grand Slam crown, and on her present form it does not appear that anyone can beat her. She has won 48 consecutive matches, eight shy of the record held by Chris Evert Lloyd. Since the beginning of 1983, Navratilova has won 138 singles matches and lost two. She has captured nine tournaments in a row.

Navratilova's opening opponent will be Lea Antonoplis of Glendora, Calif., while Evert Lloyd, the No. 2 seed and a six-time Open champion, drew Sharon Walsh of San Rafael, Calif.

The best players among both men and women will be out in force at this richest of all U.S. Open competitions. Of the top 114 ranked women players in the world, the only absentees are Andrea Jaeger, sidelined for the rest of the year with an injury, and Ivanna Madruga-Osses of Argentina.

The most prominent among the missing in the men's draw is Yannick Noah, ranked fifth in the world, who withdrew from the Open because of a persistent groin injury.

Seeded behind McEnroe, Lendl and Connors are Mats Wilander, Andres Gomez, Jimmy Arias, Johan Kriek, Aaron Krickstein, Henrik Sundstrom, Eliot Teltscher, Juan Aguilera, Vitas Gerulaitis, Tomas Smid, Anders Jarryd, Pat Cash and Joakim Nystrom.

For the women, the 16 seeds are Navratilova, Evert Lloyd, Hana Mandlikova, Pam Shriver, Kathy Jordan, Manuela Maleeva, Zina Garrison, Claudia Kohde, Lisa Bonder, Jo Durie, Kathy Horvath, Bonnie Gadusek, Wendy Turnbull, Carling Bassett, Barbara Potter and Andrea Temesvari.
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post #83 of 417 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2014, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1984

Jinxed it, because after this edition of the U.S. Open, the furriners would more or less take over, with the exception of 1993-1996 on the men's side and 1998-2002 on the women's side.

The U.S. Open: Does Wimbledon really compare with this event?
Evening Tribune
San Diego, CA
Saturday, August 25, 1984
Elson Irwin, Tribune Sportswriter

REGARDLESS OF WHAT some Wimbledon loyalists steadfastly maintain, the U.S. Open tennis tournament is the toughest, most exciting of them all. While you could color the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club of Wimbledon the "granddaddy of them all," aged and vine-covered, decrepit if you will, color the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadow rigorous and vibrant and hard-rock tough -- from the prequalifying rounds to the final Center Court duel.

On Tuesday, the best players in the world will start taking forehand and backhand whacks at each other. To be sure, there will be the usual coterie of foreign players who gripe about the slick playing surface and the "Masked Marvel" who comes out of nowhere to establish himself or herself suddenly on the tennis landscape. But, in the end, it undoubtedly will be left-handed Americans wearing the men's and women's crowns.

After all, this is an American tournament (foreigners have had a tough time in the past six years), and despite the fact that our best left-handed woman is a transplant from Czechoslovakia, this event, which takes place beneath the roar of approaching airliners on their way to LaGuardia Airport, has become a virtual graveyard for players without a Yankee birth certificate.

If Ivan Lendl thinks he can steal the American crown just because he owns a house in Florida, he better think again. Yes, he did win his first "major-major" event in the French Open (on clay) this year, but that gives him no claim on the treated concrete of Flushing Meadow.

So, bet on a left-hander. John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors are left-handed. Martina Navratilova is left-handed. 'Nuff said. A right-hander hasn't won the U.S. Open since John Newcombe did it back in 1973 -- when Australians were riding high.

Why is the U.S. Open a more exciting tournament than Wimbledon? Because everybody plays the U.S. Open. Wimbledon can't make that claim. Sticking to that age-worn grass surface at Wimbledon turns some people off. It even turned Lendl off a few years ago. This year, after winning the French, Lendl saluted, genuflected and bowed to the Wimbledon officials, and later bowed in the draw as well.

McEnroe is the logical favorite, although Connors usually plays like a man possessed in this tournament. Plus, consider that McEnroe may be dog tired by the time Open play begins. Sure, he plays with the elan of a runaway train, but only the other day he lost (only his second defeat this year) to India's Vijay Amritraj (of all people). The other loss came at the hands of Lendl in the French Open.

McEnroe, who said he was not right mentally for the Amritraj match, figures to have his head on straight for the Open. And though he'll hear his share of boos and catcalls in his own hometown if he decides to throw a tantrum, he's still the best player in the world today -- perhaps the best of all time. Thankfully, McEnroe has put his tirades on the backburner recently. He has discovered he can win without the outbursts.

Connors has a way of getting up for the U.S. Open. His age (he turns 32 Sept. 2) is the only factor that may bring him down. And in the opinion of many, Lendl still isn't tough enough for a tournament of this type, no matter what the computer says. But then you could say Lendl is playing under a different kind of pressure, most of it coming from political sources back home.

The Czech government lately has accused Lendl of becoming "too American." Lendl, whose tennis earnings have been in the millions, also is known to be leaning toward defection to the U.S. However, the Czech Tennis Federation recently reinstated him to that country's Davis Cup squad after he was forced to sit out a year for playing an unsanctioned exhibition in Botswana, South Africa. Lendl recently lost a charity exhibition match here in San Diego to his good buddy, Connors, and while he was playing for charity, it appeared that he lacks the skills to deal with the overall aggressiveness of the two top Americans.

Navratilova, on the other hand, has no peer. Chris Evert Lloyd, slowed by the years of competition and perhaps a lack of adrenalin, only has history on her side. Lloyd, who has won the Open six times, dearly would love to win another before she retires to the sidelines. Navratilova finally broke through for her first Open win last year, but the way she is playing, only an injury would prevent her from taking it again this year.

How dominant is Martina? Well, she not only doesn't lose any matches, she rarely loses sets. About the only player who can "buy" a set off her is Pam Shriver, the tall net-crowding fireball who also serves as Navratilova's doubles partner. For Navratilova, the U.S. Open had been sort of a jinx event until she learned to relax and play it for fun. Of course, her idea of fun is to grind an opponent into the concrete with a twist of her heel.

Surprises have happened before in U.S. Opens of the past, but they have been rare, indeed. Says Navratilova: "Now that I have done it once, I can do it again." No one doubts this. No longer does she allow her once-fiery temperament to fog her mind. Every weapon in her stockpile is primed and ready. She has turned all that emotional energy into an asset rather than a liability.

Fortunately for those San Diego tennis fans who won't be able to make the trek to Flushing Meadow next week, Navratilova will be playing an exhibition match at the Rancho Bernardo Inn next month. The U.S. Open's main draw, announced yesterday, has Lendl meeting former San Diegan Brian Teacher in the first round. A tough draw for Teacher, a fairly tough opponent for the Czech.

McEnroe, on the other hand, gets Britisher Colin Dowdeswell, not a formidable foe. Connors' path to the semifinals appears more treacherous than McEnroe's. Connors faces Matt Mitchell, the 1977 collegiate champ, in the first round, and from that point his potential opponents are France's Henri Leconte and Paul Annacone, his quarterfinal opponent at Wimbledon. In McEnroe's portion of the draw is Jimmy Arias, a feisty little baseline player, but ahead of him would be Sweden's Stefan Edberg, the 18-year-old who won all four junior grand slam championships in 1983, and either Kevin Curren or Mel Purcell, both aggressive fast-court players. Connors and McEnroe very well could meet in the semifinals, while Lendl has an easier path, despite the presence of Mats Willander and Vitas Gerulaitis in the lower draw. There also is the presence of Billy Scanlon, an upset winner over McEnroe last year.

In the women's draw, Navratilova meets Lea Antonopolis in the first round and that has to be considered akin to a "walkover." Evert Lloyd faces Sharon Walsh in first-round play, but she has to be looking ahead toward a possible semifinal go against Hana Mandlikova, the No. 3 seed. It will give Lloyd another chance to teach Mandlikova about modesty. The only player of exceptional ability in Navratilova's path is Shriver, although Kathy Jordan, a gambling net-rusher, could provide some trouble as late as the quarterfinals.

For those who like pyrotechnics, the highlight of the first round could be a match between Ilie Nastase and Pat Cash. Nastase, 38, has participated in some of the stormier matches in Open history, and Cash, 19, is the most promising Australian in years, but also one who lacks the courtly manners of his predecessors.

For the record, the last foreigner to win the U.S. crown was Guillermo Vilas, who upset Connors in 1977. Connors, the year before, had battered a beleaguered Bjorn Borg in the final, the first of many times the expressionless Swede failed to win the U.S. Open (the only major tennis title Borg hasn't won). Before that, the last foreigner to take the U.S. Open was Spain's Manolo Orantes, who triumphed in 1975.

Oddly enough, Orantes also beat a struggling young Connors, who has been in the finals a record seven times. Also for the record, Bill Tilden won the U.S. title seven times (six times in a row from 1920 to 1925). Of course, that was back before it was truly "open." Only lily-white amateurs played in those days.
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Re: 1984

San Diegans gain in qualifying Two locals win, three sent packing in N.Y.
Evening Tribune
San Diego, CA
Saturday, August 25, 1984
Elson Irwin, Tribune Sportswriter

AFTER THE FIRST round of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament qualifying round at Flushing Meadow, two San Diego area players remain in the hunt in New York while three others are packing their tennis rackets and returning home.

Grossmont Community College star Todd Nelson, who is seeded eighth in the qualifying tournament, defeated Bill Stanley of nearby Rye, N.Y., 6-1, 6-2.

Unseeded Randy Nixon of Coronado got past 12th ranked Slobodan Zivojinovic from Yugoslavia, 6-1, 6-3.

Former Point Loma High star Kelly Jones, who made the Olympic exhibition team, dropped his opening round match to Bud Cox of Atlanta, 6-3, 6-1.

Bruce Kleege of La Jolla, who has been fighting the good fight on the minitour for several years now, received a first round knockout blow by Houston's Kevin Belcher by a 6-2, 6-2 count.

Charles "Buzz" Strode, also from Grossmont College, was the third San Diegan to make an early exit, losing to Andy Kohlber of Dallas, 6-0, 6-4.

Other locals competing in the qualifier this weekend include Butch Walts, a "pseudo San Diegan" because of his connection with the Team Tennis Friars, oops, Buds, and the fact that his dad is a pro at the San Diego Racquet Club, and Stan Perry, a Grossmont graduate now playing for Arizona State University.

Figured into the main draw among the women are Terry Holladay of Carlsbad, Kim Jones-Shaefer, formerly of Point Loma, and Janet Newberry.

In the men's draw, of course, is former Crawford High star Brian Teacher, who now lists Los Angeles as his home. Teacher is the only singles player who has a realistic chance of making the final 16, and even he has not been playing that well of late.
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Re: 1984

Lexington Herald-Leader
Saturday, August 25, 1984
John Clay, Herald-Leader staff writer

MASON, Ohio - It began, of course, with Bjorn Borg. With each Borg title, surely another Swede took up tennis in anxious anticipation of the day his own assault on the tennis world would come.

It may be here. If there is anything to be drawn from this week's Association of Tennis Professionals Tournament at Kings' Island, surely it is the tremors of a Swedish invasion. Four - Anders Jarryd, Joakim Nystrom, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg - reached yesterday's quarterfinal matches. Wilander has done so as the defending champion.

And after last night's play, the presence of at least one Swede was assured for Sunday's final match at 1:45 p.m. after all but Edberg advanced to today's semifinals.

Of course, all this keeps getting lost. As yet, the Swedes are hardly household names or star attractions. John McEnroe, the top seed, and Jimmy Connors, the No. 2 seed, of course, are the attractions, and it did not take long for either to stir up controversy.

McEnroe's controversy came through defeat. He was ousted in the first round, with India's Vijay Armitraj doing the trick. He made McEnroe look bad in the second and third sets. Quickly the rumors flew, speculation being that McEnroe may not have given it his all so that he could return to New York for more practice time. After all, the U.S. Open begins next week.

But his absence has lent more spotlight to Connors, something he can capture with mere presence. He has been his usual self this week, grunting, spitting, playing the crowd. "It must be nice to do anything and make people laugh," said a fan Thursday night while watching Connors destroy Pete Fleming 6-1, 6-4.

Connors in the press tent is not always a laughing matter. "I answered that question two nights ago," said Connors when asked why he decided to play Cincinnati. "I felt like it. I think that's the best answer I can give."

Yet outside of Connors' usual shenanigans - he did afford the press a hilarious McEnroe impersonation - the story here has been the Swedes' success.

"I'm not that surprised," said Connors of the Swedish showing. "They're all good players. I think with Borg and all they've been making an effort to turn out a lot of good players."

To that, the Swedes partly agree. "I'm surprised we have done so well in a big tournament like this," Wilander said.

None, however, discredits the influence of Borg. None discredits the influence of the Swedish Tennis Federation. But neither do they agree to an enjoyed advantage. "We don't have that many coaches," Wilander said. "At the club where I played there was not a professional coach. I don't know if there is a reason why we have done so well."

But as impressive as the number of successful Swedes has been, so, too, has been their deportment. They have been charming with their savvy, talent, and most of all, manners. Not one has been seen to give anything more than a puzzled look over a bad line call. Not one has engaged in an dispute. Not one has even shown the flicker of a temper. The natives are shocked.

"It's not that we don't have a temper," Jarryd said. "It is good to have a temper. It sometimes makes you fight harder. But we don't have one so much that we can't control it."

Not that the Swedes here appear uncommonly close. They are not opponents, they are countrymen, watching each other's matches, rooting for each other. ''Swedes like to be together as a group," Jarryd said.

Once again, this goes back to Borg. When he was atop the tennis world, four of his proteges were then globe-trotting, playing the junior tournaments for two years. Wilander, Jarryd, Hans Simmonson and his brother Stefan all played the junior tournaments together, honing their talents.

"We have all played the juniors from a very young age," Wilander said.

That is the frightening part. Edberg is 18. Jarryd is 23. Nystrom is 21. Wednesday, Wilander, who is ranked No. 4 in the world, turned 20.

It doesn't seem possible. It was three summers ago that Wilander burst onto the tennis scene like a man shot from a cannon by winning the French Open. Last year he won the ATP, beating first Ivan Lendl (not here this year), then McEnroe (was here) for the title. He won eight other tournaments last year, the Australian Open among them.

But Wilander has not won a tournament in 1984. In fact, before Cincinnati, he had not played in two months. A wrist injury sidelined him, occurring when he fell on his left arm while practicing.

"The doctors told me it was nothing to worry about," he said this week. ''I had to rest it."

He said it hasn't bothered him here. Still, he doesn't necessarily expect to win. "The chances of winning the same tournament two years in a row are slim," he said.

And it will not bother him if he does not.

"If you lose it's not that important," Wilander said. "It will bother you at the time, but in a month or two it isn't going to matter. There will be other tournaments."

And the Swedes will be there.
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Re: 1984

The Miami Herald
Sunday, August 26, 1984
JIM MARTZ, Herald Sports Writer

The way Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe are ruling the game, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships could be renamed the U.S. Closed.

Navratilova has won 48 consecutive matches, eight short of Chris Evert Lloyd's modern record of 56 set in 1974, and she has lost only twice in the past two years. Martina also has won five consecutive Grand Slam events in both singles and doubles, including her first U.S. Open title last year.

McEnroe, who was upset by Bill Scanlon in the fourth round of the U.S. Open a year ago, is 59-2 for 1982. He lost to Ivan Lendl in the French Open final and suffered a surprise loss to a name from the past, Vijay Amritraj, last Tuesday in the first round of the ATP Championships in Mason, Ohio. But perhaps McEnroe, who was coming off routs of Jimmy Connors and Vitas Gerulaitis in the Canadian Open, was more interested in resting a week for the U.S. Open , which begins Tuesday at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, N.Y.

Whatever, both singles' draws look like one-horse races. Thoroughbreds against nags.

"McEnroe and Navratilova have won so much, neither seems to know how to lose, even when they're not playing well," says Cliff Drysdale, the television commentator who said he believes Navratilova's domination is not good for the game.

"Navratilova is a shoo-in unless something physical happens. You used to say her mind might be a factor, but that's history. McEnroe is not as much a cinch, but I don't see anybody who can beat him but Lendl. I think Connors' days are over in terms of beating McEnroe."

Drysdale, tennis director at the new Fisher Island resort off Miami Beach, said that Mats Wilander has a chance to break through "like Bill Scanlon and Mark Dickson did last year (in reaching the semifinals and quarterfinals). Jimmy Arias and Aaron Krickstein play well, but they're more likely to be upset. They play best on clay and the U.S. Open is on cement. Andres Gomez could come through with an upset because of his big

If Navratilova is somehow upended or injured, Evert would be the solid choice to win her seventh U.S. Open, one short of Molla Bjurstedt Mallory's record number of U.S. championships.

"If it weren't for Martina, I'd be dominating women's tennis," said Evert, who has lost 12 straight matches to Navratilova.

After winning more than $8 million, the prize money no longer means much to Martina.

"It's like a giant lollipop," she says. "You win so much, it's nice, but it doesn't make me or break me. It's not what I'm out there to prove."

And get this: Navratilova says she hasn't reached her peak. "The potential's there, I just haven't gotten to it," she says.

One intriguing question in the men's draw is whether anyone has the right stuff. No right-hander has won the men's title since John Newcombe in 1973. Left-wing players Connors (five titles), McEnroe (three), Guillermo Vilas (one) and Manuel Orantes (one) have prevailed the past decade.

The Great Right Hope is Lendl, who is seeded second. He reached the final the last two years, bowing to Connors, and he got the can't-win-the-big-one label off his back when he won his first Grand Slam event at the French Open in May. Lendl also is the Great Foreign Hope. Americans have won every men's championship since the tournament moved from clay at Forest Hills to the cement at Flushing Meadow in 1978.


Men Odds Comment

John McEnroe 1-2 Racket is hot, head is cooler

Jimmy Connors 3-1 Always a threat at U.S. Open

Ivan Lendl 4-1 Broke Grand Slam jinx at French

Mats Wilander 15-1 Dislikes Flushing Meadow atmosphere

Andres Gomez 20-1 Due to break through at Open

Women Odds Comment

Martina Navratilova 1-4 Unflappable, unstoppable, unbelievable

Chris Evert Lloyd 8-1 If Martina falters, she's a cinch

Hana Mandlikova 10-1 Has physical tools to win

Kathy Jordan 15-1 Aggressive style suited to Open

Pam Shriver 20-1 Chronic sore shoulder hurts chances
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Re: 1984

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunday, August 26, 1984
United Press International

The best news the U.S. Open Tennis Championships could have received has come from such unlikely places as Kings Mills, Ohio; Mahwah, N.J.; Toronto, and Montreal.

It was in those places that people such as John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl and Hana Mandlikova injected new interest in the Open by proving they weren't as infallible as they - and tennis fans - might have thought.

So when the $2.5 million Open begins its 13-day run Tuesday, maybe the fans won't believe the script is already sealed right through to the finals.

For most of the long, hot summer, it was beginning to appear that the Open would be no more than a rerun of Wimbledon, where McEnroe and Navratilova swept to successful defenses of their titles.

Until last week, the twin terrors of tennis had lost only two matches between them all year. But McEnroe, after a 6-0, 6-3 rout of Vitas Gerulaitis in the final of the men's Canadian Open, lost to Vijay Amritraj in the opening round of the Association of Tennis Professionals Championships in Kings Mills last week. The defeat was only his second in 61 matches this year.

Before that shocking setback, McEnroe had dropped only nine sets all year, three of them to Lendl in his only other loss, which came in the French Open final.

Navratilova takes a winning streak of 48 matches into the Open, but at least she gave evidence of being vulnerable when she had to struggle for a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 decision over close friend Pam Shriver in the final of the tournament in Mahwah last weekend.

Lendl, seeded second behind McEnroe after having reached the U.S. Open final two years in a row, and Mandlikova, third seed among the women, also come to Flushing Meadow after suffering crushing defeats in Canada. Lendl fell to Francisco Gonzales of Paraguay in the men's Canadian Open in Toronto, and Mandlikova lost to Alycia Moulton in the women's Canadian Open in Montreal.

On top of the loss to Amritraj, McEnroe, a three-time U.S. Open champion, got further bad news Thursday, when the draw was conducted.

Although he figures to dispose of South African Colin Dowdeswell comfortably in the opening round, he must face two solid obstacles in the next two rounds. McEnroe's second-round foe figures to be Stefan Edberg, the 18- year-old Swede who swept all four Junior Grand Slam championships in 1983 and then captured the Olympic title earlier this month. In the third round, McEnroe would face the prospect of playing either South African Kevin Curren or American Mel Purcell, either of whom can be troublesome.

Should they both advance that far, McEnroe's semifinal opponent would be third-seeded Jimmy Connors, conqueror of Lendl in both the 1982 and 1983 final U.S. Open finals and a five-time Open champion.

Despite the overwhelming presence of Navratilova, all but two of the world's top 114 women players will be at Flushing Meadow to challenge her. The only absentees will be Andrea Jaeger, out for the rest of the year with an injury, and Ivanna Madruga-Osses.

Of the top 50 players in the women's field, 24 are foreigners. Nevertheless, the last non-American to win the women's singles was Australian Margaret Smith Court in 1973, and it was another Australian, Wendy Turnbull (1977), who was the last to reach the final.

Navratilova has captured the last five Grand Slam tournaments, and her string is eight short of the all-time women's record held by Chris Evert Lloyd. Since the start of 1983, she has won 138 singles matches and lost two, and she has taken nine tournaments in a row.

Navratilova's opening opponent will be Lea Antonoplis, while Lloyd, the No. 2 seed and a six-time Open champion, drew Sharon Walsh as her first-round opponent.
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Re: 1984

Lexington Herald-Leader
Sunday, August 26, 1984
Associated Press

NEW YORK - When the crowd rose and applauded, Martina Navratilova could no longer hold back the tears. The ovation came after she had lost the women's singles final at the 1981 U.S. Open tennis championships.

Now, Navratilova is chasing numbers - 2, 6 and 55 - as she takes the court at this year's tournament, which begins Tuesday at the National Tennis Center.

After completely dominating women's tennis over the past three years, the left-hander is going after her second consecutive U.S. Open crown and her sixth straight Grand Slam title. If she accomplishes the feat, she will have won 55 consecutive matches, one shy of pro tennis' longest winning streak - a record set by Chris Evert Lloyd in 1974.

"She doesn't remember how to lose," Billie Jean King, a five-time winner of America's most prestigious tennis event, said of Navratilova, the women's No. 1 seed this year. "She's just in the habit of winning."

The third of four jewels in the Grand Slam crown, the U.S. Open begins a two-week run with most of the world's top players aiming for the largest purse in tennis history: more than $2.55 million. The winners of the men's and women's singles each will pocket $160,000 after surviving seven matches.

"It's different because of the location, the planes from LaGuardia Airport going overhead," King said of the U.S. Open site in Flushing Meadow. ''It's different because it's a little bit noisier. It's different because we get more people.

"You've got to have good concentration to win at Flushing Meadow. And before you get there, it's very important that you think about it - the noise, the hassle of getting out there every day.

"It's a weary tournament to play. It's just a tough tournament. It's a fast pace - it's New York."

For Navratilova, it's another challenge.

The Czechoslovak, who defected to the United States after the 1975 U.S. Open and since has become a U.S. citizen, cried again last year but they were tears of joy as she finally won the one major title that had eluded her.

This year, Navratilova has lost only once - to Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia in January. Last year she also had one defeat, to Kathy Horvath in the French Open.

"She's just at a peak in her career," King said of the talented Navratilova. "That's where's she's at."

In the men's singles, New Yorker John McEnroe has been almost as dominant, having lost only twice in 61 matches this year. Last month McEnroe - who captured the U.S. Open for three consecutive years, 1979-81 - won Wimbledon for the second straight year and the third time in his career.

"I'm certainly playing the best tennis of my career this year," McEnroe said. "I think I'm coming into my prime. The next two to four years should be my best years."

For the third straight year McEnroe is the top seed in the men's field that will take to the hard courts at Flushing Meadow, a concrete-and-asphalt edifice.

"It's American," said King, who now heads World Team Tennis and at the age of 40 has drastically cut back on the number of tournaments she plays. ''It's got a lot of energy."

McEnroe is favored to win in his backyard. But then he had been favored the past two years - years that saw Jimmy Connors, who will be 32 before this fortnight is over, defeat Czechoslovakia's Ivan Lendl to win his fourth and fifth U.S. Open titles.

Connors, a favorite of the New York crowds with his scrappy, never-say-die style of play, is seeded third this year, behind McEnroe and Lendl. The Czech finally won his first Grand Slam title when he stopped McEnroe in the finals of this year's French Open, contested on the slow, red, clay courts of Roland Garros Stadium.

Mats Wilander of Sweden, the 1982 French Open champion who won the Australian Open last year, defeating McEnroe in the semifinals and Lendl in the championship match, is seeded fourth.

Aaron Krickstein of Grosse Pointe, Mich., at 17 is the youngest player ever to be seeded in the men's field in the Open era, which began in 1968. The young right-hander is seeded eighth behind No. 5 Andres Gomez of Ecuador; 20- year-old Jimmy Arias of Buffalo, N.Y., No. 6; and No. 7 Johan Kriek, a native of South Africa who is now a U.S. citizen.

Wilander heads a group of young Swedes who are attempting to do something their illustrious predecessor - Bjorn Borg - couldn't do: win the U.S. Open . Others seeded are No. 9 Henrik Sundstrom, No. 14 Anders Jarryd and No. 16 Joakim Nystrom.

Behind Navratilova in the women's field is Lloyd, a six-time champion who is playing some of the best tennis of her career right now.

"People forget that if Martina wasn't playing, I would be dominating women's tennis," she said after falling to Navratilova in the Wimbledon final last month.

The No. 3 women's seed is Mandlikova, a finalist here in 1980, while Pam Shriver, Navratilova's doubles partner and runner-up to Lloyd in 1978, is seeded fourth.

The odds are heavy that Americans will capture both singles crowns. The last non-American to win the men's singles was Guillermo Vilas of Argentina when the tournament was played on clay at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest

In the women's singles, you have to go all the way back to 1973, when Australian Margaret Smith Court won on grass at Forest Hills.

In the men's singles, the U.S. Open has been a left-hander's paradise. The last right-handed champion was John Newcombe of Australia in 1973.

The event, which will be televised live during the week by USA cable network and on the weekends by CBS, boasts the strongest field of any tennis tournament in the world. Only Yannick Noah of France, who is injured, will be missing among the world's top 60 ranked men players.

A total of 459 men entered the singles competition, which is limited to 128, the same size as the women's singles.

All but two of the top 114 ranked women have entered. Missing are Andrea Jaeger, who has taken a sabbatical because of an injury, and Argentina's Ivanna Madruga-Osses.

Of the top 50 ranked women entered, 26 are Americans.

Navratilova will be trying to become the first woman to successfully defend her singles title since Lloyd won four straight from 1975 to 1978.

The women's finals will be held in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Sept. 8, with the men's title match scheduled the following day.
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Re: 1984

Reading these articles, it's a wonder that womens tennis ever grew or progressed. There were many in the media that weren't covering the sport, they were parotting the rambling stereotypes perpetuated by mostly non tennis people. Some of these same people will tout Martina's greatness and Chris'. But the problem with that is you can't truly be great if your competition wasn't decent. It's the same dribble I read by Johnette Howard in her book. Howard can't even tell you how a tiebreak works, but she thinks she's qualified to judge the greatness of the subjects that she wrote about or their contemporaries. For whatever reason, I found less of this attitude in Europe, Australia, and Japan. Those journalists largely paid glowing tribute to Martina and Chris without dumping on everyone else. Perhaps they understood that greatness does not operate in a vacuum, and maybe this is partially why tennis shifted so heavily away from the U.S.

"I cannot survive in this world with my honesty." Hana Mandlikova
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Re: 1984

Originally Posted by HanaFanGA View Post
Reading these articles, it's a wonder that womens tennis ever grew or progressed. There were many in the media that weren't covering the sport, they were parotting the rambling stereotypes perpetuated by mostly non tennis people. Some of these same people will tout Martina's greatness and Chris'. But the problem with that is you can't truly be great if your competition wasn't decent. It's the same dribble I read by Johnette Howard in her book. Howard can't even tell you how a tiebreak works, but she thinks she's qualified to judge the greatness of the subjects that she wrote about or their contemporaries. For whatever reason, I found less of this attitude in Europe, Australia, and Japan. Those journalists largely paid glowing tribute to Martina and Chris without dumping on everyone else. Perhaps they understood that greatness does not operate in a vacuum, and maybe this is partially why tennis shifted so heavily away from the U.S.
Bud Collins: "Everybody knew the tennis beat was always given to the new man, the staff drunk or an old guy they were phasing out. My daughter asked me which one of the three I was."

To say that the tennis media are unprofessional is an understatement. There are a few who try/tried to put the actual play on the court first, but most of them would rather write about the players' press conferences or the non-play action on the court (tantrums, clowning, insults). One of my theories is that since so few of them want to be covering tennis and since fewer of them have played tennis at any level (not even for fun), they have no idea what happened during the match that was impressive and/or important. Of course, the various tennis organizations and many of the players from the so-called Peak Popularity era were also unprofessional, so that didn't help their cause.
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