-   Blast from the Past (
-   -   MIMA!!! (

PamShriver Dec 3rd, 2002 03:09 PM

I decided to start a thread about an unsung hero of late '70's-early '80's tennis. Yugoslavia's Mima Jausovec. Mima won RG in '77 (albeit in a depleted field) was a finalist in '78 and in '83 (in a non depleted field). Considered primarily a clay court specialist Mima did manage to make it to the semis of the Aussie Open with the likes of Mandlikova, Turbull and Navratilova in the draw. She also twice made the quarters at Wimby, showing that she was not just a one surface wonder. A semifinalist at the UO in '76 when it was on clay, she also made it to the quarters when it was on hardcourts a couple of times as well. Looking through her results I never realized how successful she was. She was blessed with a huge forehand and fast feet, sadly injuries constantly plagued her throughout her career. She played at a time when there were so many great players that in retrospect Mima has often been overlooked. Still she was the first Yugoslav lady to make an impact on the tour and paved the way for Seles and Dokic after her.

Just wanted to know if anyone else knew anything else about this great, yet overlooked champ.

Gandalf Dec 3rd, 2002 04:07 PM

I confess it's the first time I hear about her :o

What is she doing now? Does she work for the Yuogslav federation? Has she ever been the Fed Cup captain? I wanna know more!

Rollo Dec 3rd, 2002 05:24 PM

There is a quite a bit on her in Peter Bodo's book on the tour in 1978. Keep after me Pam and I'll dig it up ;)

I'm guessing from where she was born and lived that Mima was Slovenian. The last I heard of her was 1983, when she snuck through the section of the draw Navratilova was in by beating Kathy Horvath and Jo Durie in the quarters and semis.

Mima was very cute, tiny, and hardhitting for that era. She was good friends and doubles partners with Virginia Ruzici-they won the 1978 French dubs and perhaps (?) had match points in the Wimbledon final that year.

Her weight caused her problems off and on and injuries were a factor. That's all I can recall at present.

Rollo Dec 3rd, 2002 05:30 PM

The Wimbledon site says she represents Slovenia.
She was born in 1956. It seems her last full-time year on tour was 1985. Tenniscorner lists 3 titles but she won more than that.

Career spanned 1973-1988

Rollo Dec 3rd, 2002 05:37 PM

Seems as if she's in charge of the Slovene women's programme.

There's an e-mail address. Maybe one of us could e-mail and ask her what her greatest thrill was. Greatest ON COURT thrill pam-we're not talking about adventures with the dudes!

Rollo Dec 3rd, 2002 05:43 PM

Apparently Mima was a big help to current pro Tina Pisnik who calls Mima "my guide and friend". Pisnik is from Mima's hometown of Maribor and jausovec is her WTA mentor.

Tina has a cool page at

Mark43 Dec 3rd, 2002 06:48 PM

Wow, Mima still looks great. I always remember her with a fluffy perm and she seemed rather voluptuous, not unlike mid seventies Chris Evert.

God, Helena Sukova looks like Petr Korda on acid! Who is Helena's partner? She looks familiar but I am having a brain f@rt! Is it a grass court specialist from Australia, name of...?

darren cahill Dec 3rd, 2002 08:22 PM

Mark, isnt that Ros Fairbanks (later was Ros Neidifer or something like that) I didnt think she was Australian though? i thought maybe South Africa? I remember her cause Steffi played her at the Open or Wimbledon in 1989

darren cahill Dec 3rd, 2002 08:23 PM

And Mark, HUGE LOL about Korda on acid! you are a real blast! :D

Rollo Dec 3rd, 2002 08:51 PM

OMG!:eek: That "acid" tongue of yours was my fall off the chair laugh of the day Mark.

Sorry I missed you and Darren in the 1979 thread going on about
bitchy tennis stars. I didn't roll my eyes. Promise. I may have batted an eyelid though ;)

Seriously though-Rollo's rule on repeating stories is it's perfectly OK to retell "bitch" stories, as long as they get juicier in the retelling.

Rollo Dec 3rd, 2002 09:04 PM

You've got a sharp eye Darren. I went back and checked, and the other woman is indeed Ros Fairbank Nideffer of South Africa.

Speaking of bitchery------

Everything I ever read indicated Ros was a queen of gamesmanship. Her tactic of choice was slowing down the pace of a match by taking her sweet time to serve and receive.I bet Steffi hurried her along! I think Pam Shriver had some choice words regarding Ros in her book " Passing Shots".

Ros jumped up a level whenever she was on grass. The only two slam quarters she reached were at Wimbledon in 1988-89.

In 1987 Evert barely escaped the 4th round at 6-2 2-6 7-5.
In 1988 she tested Navratilova 4-6 6-4 7-5
In 1989 she upset Sabatini.

Not bad for a blonde who liked to stall. She also won a LOT od doubles titles, including the French one year. Ros was one of the few women on tour to have a baby and return to compete. Maybe her husband taught her all the gamesmanship-he is a sports psychologist!

The match you remember was at the 89 US open Darren. I found an article and posted it in the Steffi thread. Ros complained of smoke from the hamburger grill (she's a vegetarian) in an earlier match.

ColinB Dec 3rd, 2002 09:33 PM

I really like Jausovec too... She had a good carrer and reached a career high of 6, but her ranking went up and down like a yoyo. She actually beat Martina at Wimbledon as well back in 1974, when Martina was still unseeded but already beginning to show signs as a top player.

Jausovec burst through the pack in 1976 when she reached the semi's of the US Open beating 4th seed Virginia Wade on route and ended the year in the top 10, she then played the indoor Virginia Slims circuit in the spring of 1977 where she qualified for the finals as one of the top 8. She then won the French Open as the top seed that year (she was ranked 9th at the time) - only one other top 20 player played as everyone else was at Team Tennis.

She didn’t do much else in 1977, and remained just outside the top 10 again in 1978 when she was runner-up to Ruzici at the French and reached the quarters at Wimbledon. She then slumped in 1979 and early 1980 falling out of the top 20 and putting on some weight, but turned it around by reaching the US Open quarters unseeded in 1980 (this time on hard-courts).

She then built on that reaching the semi’s of the Australian Open later in 1980 to end the year back in the top 20. She beat 2nd seed and Wimbledon Champion Evonne Goolagong in the 2nd round of the Australian that year 6-2,4-6,6-4 for one of her biggest victories – it was Evonne’s last match before the birth of her second child. The following week she lost 6-2,3-6,7-6 to Martina Navratilova on GRASS at Sydney – almost another huge victory.

That started the second stage of her career as she hit her best form in 1981 and 82 being well inside the top 10 for both years. Having been known as a clay-court expert up until then, she started having her best results across other surfaces. She qualified for the top 8 finals of the Avon Circuit in both 1981 and 1982 – she even finished 2nd in the points standing in the 1982 series, making her the 2nd seed for the Championships at Madison Square Garden – she reached her career high of 6 then.

She defeated 5th seed Andrea Jaeger at Wimbledon to reach the quarters in 1981 having also reached the quarters at the French, and reached the finals in Boston and Brighton to end the year comfortably in the top 10. She also qualified for the top 8 season ending championships that year as well as the Avon Circuit finals.

As I said, she started 82 with a bang finishing 2nd in the Avon Circuit – winning Los Angeles and being runner-up in Detroit and Dallas.

She then continued her great record against Martina by stretching her to 3 sets in the semi’s of the Hilton Head and Orlando a few weeks later - once again going down in a final set tie-break to her in Orlando after having had match-points (Martina was Number One at this point).

But having reached the top 6 in the spring of 82, when she was so close to hitting the top 5, everything seemed to fall apart and she didn’t do much else that year – even losing 6-0,6-0 to Martina later on in the year in Filderstadt. She ended the year just outside the top 10 based on her Avon and spring results.

1983 continued in the same way as she barely won a match early in the season winning only 5 of 12 matches and not even reaching a quarter-final. She had dropped out of the top 30 by the French Open and most people had thought that her career was over… But in an upset plagued top half of the draw at the French Open she re-discovered some form at the scene of her greatest triumph. She defeated 6th seed Silvia Hanika in the 2nd round and pushed through to the quarters unseeded. There she met Kathy Horvath who had just posted one of the biggest upsets of all time by beating top seed Martina in the previous round (Martina’s only loss of the year). Kathy naturally suffered a let-down and got killed by Mima 6-1,6-1. That took her through to a surprise semi-final against fellow unseeded Jo Durie (the attacking grass court lover from the UK). Jo had been in great form having beaten 4th seed Austin and 5th seed Shriver, and built up a lead against Mima before choking – Mima’s Grand Slam experience got her through to her 3rd Grand Slam final 3-6,7-5,6-2. There she had to play the might Every on clay and lost 6-1,6-2.

That was her career swan-song… Instead of returning to her top 10 form, it seemed to just be a miracle tournament for her as she continued to slide – not reaching another quarter-final until the summer of 1985 (over 2 years later) at a small event in Bregenz, Austria. She officially retired after the Athens event in 1988 after a long 15 year career.

She also led Yugoslavia to the semi’s of the Fed Cup in 1984.

It was a very under-rated career as most people ignore her French run’s in 1977 and 1978 because of the weak entries. She was the top seed each year – but she still had to win 6 matches each year to reach the final!!!

I think the highlight of her career was probably the French final of 1983, but also finishing 2nd on the Avon Circuit in 1982 – Indoors… a great achievement for a so-called clay courter… :-)

ColinB Dec 3rd, 2002 09:36 PM

Jausovec also played senior doubles with Jo Durie at Wimbledon last year - it was amusing watching them as Jo is so tall (around 6 foot) - it made Mima look like a midgit - like MiniMe from the Austin Powers films...

darren cahill Dec 3rd, 2002 09:58 PM

Rollo, thanks for the info...the first name that came to my mind was Laura Gildemiester. Remember her? then all the sudden it clicked that it was Ros. Yeah she was very deliberate. I remember seeing the match with Sabatini on HBO. It was on Court 1 (the old court 1). i dont recall what the score was with Steffi at the US open but i remember she had a lead like 4-2 or something before Steffi rolled over her,. I bet it was a 60 2nd set?! LOL

I dont think I ever heard her talk or anything though. She seemed very quiet and to herself...i'll go check the steffi thread now

Rollo Dec 4th, 2002 04:15 AM

You're goldmine of info Colin. One day you MUST post in the Virginia Wade thread.

LOL At the "Mini Me" comment Colin. I'll have "mimi Mima" running through my head in my dreams tonight:)

The World of Tennis for 1983 lists her at 5' 3" and 110 pounds.

I didn't know Ros' face at all Darren. You've got a good memory. I DO recall Arraya, cause she was one of those 80s blonde cutie-pies with the "big" hair and she hit bullets. Too bad they didn't go in more.......there was a final vs. Navratilova in 83 or 84 where Arraya hit tons of winners and still lost 6-1 6-0 (or some score like that) because every other ball she walloped hit the fence or net.

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