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View Full Version : Mandlikova article : Jana was 'too lazy and too laid back. She really didn't want it'


raquel
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:05 PM
Tom Rife: Mandlikova was consumed by the game
By TOM RIFE
April 4, 2004

They all thought she would be the next Martina Navratilova.

Come to think of it, so did Hana Mandlikova.

But at the age of 28 ? and with 27 singles titles packed in her bags ? Mandlikova called it quits.

Four times a champion in Grand Slam tournaments, she had gotten her fill of professional tennis.

"I did. Physically, I still enjoyed it. But mentally, I was just totally burned out. I just couldn't mentally take it anymore," the leggy, still-cat-quick 42-year-old said Saturday at The Colony Golf & Country Club in Estero.

A resident of Delray Beach and the mother of twin toddlers, she was making a rare appearance on the court again. She was doing a favor for Naples' Johan Kriek by showing off some of her still-classic strokes in the Johan Kriek Classic for Kids charity event.

Though her own person in all respects, Mandlikova never was able to fully emerge from Navratilova's shadow.

She at one point made it to No. 2 in the world, and she left the game ranked No. 14. Of the 567 singles matches she won, Mandlikova was victorious just seven times in her 30 head-to-head encounters with Martina.

Ironically, four of those seven victories came in Grand Slam events (once at Wimbledon, once in the Australian Open and twice in the U.S. Open).

"I always had good matches with her," Hana said of her rival. "I enjoyed playing her very much. I did get pumped up when I played her. That's why you're a champion. That's what separates you from the others," Mandlikova went on.

"You have to know when to lift the level of your game up. I always in the finals against her felt I had nothing to lose. I just went all-out. If you want to achieve big things, you have to do that."

Mandlikova seized 15 doubles championships as well as a pro, ultimately banking $3,340,959 in winnings. She captained the Fed Cup team for her native Czech Republic, playing on three championship teams.

Immediately after calling an end to her career as a player, Mandlikova spent the next nine years coaching Jana Novotna.

While her accomplishments were many, Mandlikova readily admits that at times, she was her own worst enemy.

"I was totally consumed. If I think back, if I would have taken it a little bit easier on myself, I would probably have achieved much more than I did. I just wanted it too much. I put too much pressure on myself," she said.

"Jana was totally the other way. I had to put the fire in her butt because she was too lazy and too laid back. She really didn't want it. I had to put everything in her hands. We were different personalities. It was a hard job, I can tell you that."

While Mandlikova teamed up with Kriek for Saturday's mixed doubles exhibition, the man across the net as Brenda Schultz-McCarthy's mixed doubles partner for the afternoon, had some thoughts of his own regarding Hana's ability.

Pavel Slozil, the former coach of Steffi Graf who now teaches tennis locally at the World Tennis Center, lived in Prague and monitored Mandlikova's progress from the time she was 13 years old. He was close to her mother and father.

"She was always the most talented player from our country. I think she could produce better shots, fancy shots," Slozil said. "I think Martina was a hard-working player with a good serve-and-volley and athleticism. Hana was a shotmaker. It showed because she was able to play on all kinds of surfaces even though she did not win Wimbledon."

Mandlikova carries no haunting regrets about a pro career than began in 1978 and ended in 1990. In 1994, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

"All I do, I do with my heart," she said. "Now I feel totally at peace with what I did in the past.

I don't want to change anything."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting to hear Hana say it was a hard job coaching Jana and how Jana did not really want it. Jana had such great touch and was very naturally talented yet someone like my favourite player Arantxa just had the want and determination to win and look how their career stats ended up. I wonder if Jana had been a bit more determined she would have achieved more, even with her famous nerves. I wonder what Jana thinks about Hana's quote - 'I had put everything in her hands'.

Also this article is filled with people talking about how talented and gifted Hana was and she had a great career, winning 4 Slams. No one really talks about how 'gifted' Arantxa was and she won 4 Slams. People focus more on Arantxa's fighting ability. But with everyone praising Hana like this and winning 4 Slams, did she underachieve? Is it even possible to say someone who won 4 Slams underachieved? Or did Arantxa maybe overachieve against expectations?

KV
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:22 PM
Would say Hana was a shotmaker who produced lots of winners. Very offensive style. Arantxa was more kind of defensive player, where you had to make the point four times against. Players like Hana are generally rather considered gifted/talented than Arantxa.

irma
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Tom Rife: Mandlikova was consumed by the game
By TOM RIFE
April 4, 2004

They all thought she would be the next Martina Navratilova.

Come to think of it, so did Hana Mandlikova.

But at the age of 28 ? and with 27 singles titles packed in her bags ? Mandlikova called it quits.

Four times a champion in Grand Slam tournaments, she had gotten her fill of professional tennis.

"I did. Physically, I still enjoyed it. But mentally, I was just totally burned out. I just couldn't mentally take it anymore," the leggy, still-cat-quick 42-year-old said Saturday at The Colony Golf & Country Club in Estero.

A resident of Delray Beach and the mother of twin toddlers, she was making a rare appearance on the court again. She was doing a favor for Naples' Johan Kriek by showing off some of her still-classic strokes in the Johan Kriek Classic for Kids charity event.

Though her own person in all respects, Mandlikova never was able to fully emerge from Navratilova's shadow.

She at one point made it to No. 2 in the world, and she left the game ranked No. 14. Of the 567 singles matches she won, Mandlikova was victorious just seven times in her 30 head-to-head encounters with Martina.

Ironically, four of those seven victories came in Grand Slam events (once at Wimbledon, once in the Australian Open and twice in the U.S. Open).

"I always had good matches with her," Hana said of her rival. "I enjoyed playing her very much. I did get pumped up when I played her. That's why you're a champion. That's what separates you from the others," Mandlikova went on.

"You have to know when to lift the level of your game up. I always in the finals against her felt I had nothing to lose. I just went all-out. If you want to achieve big things, you have to do that."

Mandlikova seized 15 doubles championships as well as a pro, ultimately banking $3,340,959 in winnings. She captained the Fed Cup team for her native Czech Republic, playing on three championship teams.

Immediately after calling an end to her career as a player, Mandlikova spent the next nine years coaching Jana Novotna.

While her accomplishments were many, Mandlikova readily admits that at times, she was her own worst enemy.

"I was totally consumed. If I think back, if I would have taken it a little bit easier on myself, I would probably have achieved much more than I did. I just wanted it too much. I put too much pressure on myself," she said.

"Jana was totally the other way. I had to put the fire in her butt because she was too lazy and too laid back. She really didn't want it. I had to put everything in her hands. We were different personalities. It was a hard job, I can tell you that."

While Mandlikova teamed up with Kriek for Saturday's mixed doubles exhibition, the man across the net as Brenda Schultz-McCarthy's mixed doubles partner for the afternoon, had some thoughts of his own regarding Hana's ability.

Pavel Slozil, the former coach of Steffi Graf who now teaches tennis locally at the World Tennis Center, lived in Prague and monitored Mandlikova's progress from the time she was 13 years old. He was close to her mother and father.

"She was always the most talented player from our country. I think she could produce better shots, fancy shots," Slozil said. "I think Martina was a hard-working player with a good serve-and-volley and athleticism. Hana was a shotmaker. It showed because she was able to play on all kinds of surfaces even though she did not win Wimbledon."

Mandlikova carries no haunting regrets about a pro career than began in 1978 and ended in 1990. In 1994, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

"All I do, I do with my heart," she said. "Now I feel totally at peace with what I did in the past.

I don't want to change anything."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting to hear Hana say it was a hard job coaching Jana and how Jana did not really want it. Jana had such great touch and was very naturally talented yet someone like my favourite player Arantxa just had the want and determination to win and look how their career stats ended up. I wonder if Jana had been a bit more determined she would have achieved more, even with her famous nerves. I wonder what Jana thinks about Hana's quote - 'I had put everything in her hands'.

Also this article is filled with people talking about how talented and gifted Hana was and she had a great career, winning 4 Slams. No one really talks about how 'gifted' Arantxa was and she won 4 Slams. People focus more on Arantxa's fighting ability. But with everyone praising Hana like this and winning 4 Slams, did she underachieve? Is it even possible to say someone who won 4 Slams underachieved? Or did Arantxa maybe overachieve against expectations?
ASV is one of the most underestimated players ever. A little bit the Lendl of the WTA;)

You don't win 4 slams without being an incredible player. period

People claim Conchita was so much more talented too. Almost like that's a bigger credit then winning 3 more slams :o

Another thing I noticed is that when you have a lack in a baseline shot then it's also a prove that you have no talent, but when your serve sucks then it does nothing for your talent reputation. kind of weird;)

LiliaLee-Frazier
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:41 PM
They must have just had a lovers spat when she gave that interview ;) :tape:

KV
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:42 PM
You could call Arantxa a very gifted defensive player. Obviously hitting winners from all over the place was not her speciality.

Jakeev
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:56 PM
First of all Aranxta and Hana were two different types of players but we already know that. Perhaps Hana should have had the better career but like she said she would not change anything.

Hmm and somehow with the fact she has twin toddlers, I have a feeling we have not heard the last of Hana Mandlikova.

raquel
Apr 4th, 2004, 09:41 PM
Hmm and somehow with the fact she has twin toddlers, I have a feeling we have not heard the last of Hana Mandlikova.

Do you mean you think we might have another pair of siblings dominating the tour in the future?

Celeste
Apr 4th, 2004, 10:00 PM
It's great to hear from Hana! She was outspoken when on the tour. Her comments on Jana are pretty tame in comparison. When Pam Shriver called her a "whacko" in her book, Hana responded that for someone with such a modest record in tennis, Pam Shriver has much to say. :D

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 10:01 PM
Truth is youŽre only as good as your record. The rest shouldnŽt really matter. Or at least if I were to be considered untalented having won more titles and slams than a more "talented" player....well IŽd take the titles anyday.

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 10:02 PM
Do you mean you think we might have another pair of siblings dominating the tour in the future?


Nah....that happens just once every millenium! :lol:

Philbo
Apr 5th, 2004, 12:58 AM
Thanks for the article, I enjoyed it.

Hana was just unfortunate in that she was around when Chris and Martina were both at their best. I think she underachieved in a way - her mental game really let her down. If she had the concentration/will to win of a Chris Evert, Martina, or Steffi, she probably would have won 8-10 slams, but she would often just go 'walkabout' during a match..

For example - Hana won the 85 US Open vs Martina in a classic match, but it was also illustrative of how Hana was - she came out firing, couldnt miss a single shot, just playing amazing and went to a 5-0 lead, then her concentration wavers, and Martina comes back to 5-5 and has chances to take the set whcih Hana eventually wins 7-6, the 2nd set Hana is just not on the court and loses it 6-1, cant recall exactly what happens in the 3rd exept Hana wins it in a tiebreak..

Arantxa though overachieved IMO. She was just a defensive player (not saying anthing wrong with that), but she would need her opponents to be a little bit 'off' to win...

Philip
Apr 5th, 2004, 02:34 AM
Arantxa OVER achieved? if asv had won all the finals she lost, she would have been one the greatest wta player the tour had ever seen! imo.

ASV won 29 titles. 4 GS.

asv was runner up in:
French 91, 95, 96
USOpen 92
Ausopen 94, 95
Wimbledon 95, 96

so arantxa won 4 of 12 GS finals made.
as well as other titles she lost in the final (total 38 non GS)

you could some what say she underachieved :p

fammmmedspin
Apr 5th, 2004, 03:11 AM
Arantxa OVER achieved? if asv had won all the finals she lost, she would have been one the greatest wta player the tour had ever seen! imo.

ASV won 29 titles. 4 GS.

asv was runner up in:
French 91, 95, 96
USOpen 92
Ausopen 94, 95
Wimbledon 95, 96

so arantxa won 4 of 12 GS finals made.
as well as other titles she lost in the final (total 38 non GS)

you could some what say she underachieved :p
Add to which all the times Steffi stopped her before the final and it makes the point that just counting GS wins doesn't tell you everything - if you are unlucky enough to run up against an all time great throughout your career it doesn't mean you are a worse player than someone with more success who didn't.

Brian Stewart
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:15 AM
I think the remarks about Jana were refering to early in Jana's career. In the late 80's, Jana wasn't as dedicated, and wasn't as fit, and played from the baseline. She didn't become a pure serve/volleyer until Hana molded her into one. Not coincidently, that was after she upped her work ethic and became fitter, which is more of a necessity for S/V play.

After Jana got her game on track, she did want it. That's why she choked so often.

Philbo
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:45 AM
I still think Arantxa over-achieved. Its not meant as an insult, its actually a compliment.

But I feel that, playing their best, Arantxa would lose against Steffi, Monica, Gabriela and Navratilova (past her best).

Even Novotna has a career head to head vs Arantxa. Gabby underachieved based on her potential. But Arantxa is someone who made the ABSOLUTE most of her potential. She was short, didnt have very powerful strokes (but very solid, bar the shocking forehand as she got older), but still managed to win 4 Grand slams, and got to eb ranked # 1 (albeit partly due to the stabbing)...

But there is no way anyone could argue that Arantxa did NOT fulfil her potential. Whereas, Sabatini, Mandlikova, and to soem degree Novtona all were capable of winning more, they just didnt have the mental aspect - somethig Arantxa had plenty of.

Jakeev
Apr 5th, 2004, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the article, I enjoyed it.

Hana was just unfortunate in that she was around when Chris and Martina were both at their best. I think she underachieved in a way - her mental game really let her down. If she had the concentration/will to win of a Chris Evert, Martina, or Steffi, she probably would have won 8-10 slams, but she would often just go 'walkabout' during a match..

For example - Hana won the 85 US Open vs Martina in a classic match, but it was also illustrative of how Hana was - she came out firing, couldnt miss a single shot, just playing amazing and went to a 5-0 lead, then her concentration wavers, and Martina comes back to 5-5 and has chances to take the set whcih Hana eventually wins 7-6, the 2nd set Hana is just not on the court and loses it 6-1, cant recall exactly what happens in the 3rd exept Hana wins it in a tiebreak..


Although it could be argued Hana had one of the toughest draws at the 85 U.S. Open, she really made things difficult I think the entire tournament not just her final against Martina.

The only really easy match she had was against Amanda Brown in the first round, 6-2, 6-1, and it was all uphill as each match she played seemed to get more difficult.

But she went on to win the tournament and for me that tournament was the best performance she ever gave in a Grand Slam.

Mr_Molik
Apr 5th, 2004, 11:21 AM
i dont see y ppl always say that defensive players dont deserve their achievments and theyre opponents have to be off for them to beat them. if aranxta was at her best then she would be tough to beat no matter who she was playing. she had great passing shots, dropshots, lobs, slices, and was very fit. players like aranxta do have a talent, they are gifted MENTALLY. just because they werent given the great shots and serves, they were mentally prepared to work hard and fight out matches which is what is needed to win grandslams.

Mr_Molik
Apr 5th, 2004, 11:25 AM
both hana and aranxta were unlucky to be in the era they were. hana had martina and chrissie, aranxta had steffi and monica

Declan
Apr 5th, 2004, 12:28 PM
I still think Arantxa over-achieved. Its not meant as an insult, its actually a compliment.

But I feel that, playing their best, Arantxa would lose against Steffi, Monica, Gabriela and Navratilova (past her best).

Even Novotna has a career head to head vs Arantxa. Gabby underachieved based on her potential. But Arantxa is someone who made the ABSOLUTE most of her potential. She was short, didnt have very powerful strokes (but very solid, bar the shocking forehand as she got older), but still managed to win 4 Grand slams, and got to eb ranked # 1 (albeit partly due to the stabbing)...

But there is no way anyone could argue that Arantxa did NOT fulfil her potential. Whereas, Sabatini, Mandlikova, and to soem degree Novtona all were capable of winning more, they just didnt have the mental aspect - somethig Arantxa had plenty of.

Your comments on Sanchez-Vicario are spot-on, Czechfan, and mirror mine EXACTLY.

hanafan
Apr 5th, 2004, 10:00 PM
It's really great to hear about Hana! I'd dream to read a detailed article about her life after tennis, how it goes with kids, her partner, her parents, is she always involved in tennis.... It was way too short!!!

Philbo
Apr 6th, 2004, 02:35 AM
Well you have good sense and logic then Declan ;)