Join Date: Jul 2012
EVERT TO FACE FORMIDABLE CHALLENGE IN '83 DEBUT
The Miami Herald
Sunday, January 30, 1983
In commercials plugging the $150,000 Murjani Cup women's tennis tournament beginning Monday in Palm Beach Gardens, Chris Evert Lloyd says that 17 of the top 20 players will be competing.
That statement is inaccurate, although Evert was only reading cue cards written by tournament officials. Five of the top 10 players in the Women's Tennis Association computer rankings are not entered.
"When we got the original list from the WTA, it had 17 of the top 20," said Janice Brown, assistant tournament director. "But there were several changes, and it was hard to change the ads to reflect them."
Nevertheless, a formidable field awaits Evert in her first tournament of 1983 as she attempts to regain the No. 1 ranking she lost to Martina Navratilova in 1982.
Navratilova will not compete at Palm Beach Gardens. Neither are No. 4 Tracy Austin, No. 6 Pam Shriver, No. 8 Barbara Potter or No. 9 Bettina Bunge. But the 56-player field does include third-ranked Andrea Jaeger, fifth-ranked Wendy Turnbull, seventh-ranked Hana Mandlikova and 10th-ranked Sylvia Hanika, in addition to Evert.
Other notable entries include two-time Wimbledon champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley; Kathy Rinaldi of nearby Jensen Beach, Fla.; Virginia Ruzici, Ann Smith and Zina Garrison.
For several years, the women's tour traditionally has played indoors from January to April. But this year, it's making two outdoor stops on clay courts in Florida, the $100,000 Avon Cup this past week at Marco Island and the Murjani Cup.
"I think it's a nice change, and I think a lot of the players will enjoy it," said Evert.
Ruzici, winner of the 1982 U.S. Clay Court title, added, "I think it's good for us to have a choice and to get to play on clay for a change before April."
Evert has been skipping most or all of the winter circuit in recent years to recharge her batteries and travel to tournaments with her husband John, who plays on the men's circuit. But she's eager to reach peak form in time for the French Open and Wimbledon tournaments, her main goals this year.
In last year's French Open, Evert suffered her worst loss ever on clay, 6-0, 6-3, to Jaeger in the semifinals. She dropped the Wimbledon final to Navratilova in three sets.
The Murjani Cup will be the second of four women's tournaments in southern Florida this year. The second annual Citizen Cup, a four-player event offering $250,000 in prize money, will be played April 2-3, also at PGA National. And the $125,000 Lynda Carter/Maybelline Classic will return to Deer Creek in Deerfield Beach Nov. 7-13.
Evert already is entered in the Citizen Cup, and invitations are being extended to Navratilova, Jaeger and Austin.
"I'll play all the South Florida tournaments," said Evert, a native of Fort Lauderdale who now calls Amelia Island, Fla., home. "If they arrange it, I'll be there."
MURJANI CUP AT A GLANCE 98
What -- $150,000 Murjani Cup women's tournament.
Where -- PGA National Resort at Palm Beach Gardens (three miles west of I-95 on PGA Boulevard).
Field -- 56-player main draw headed by Chris Evert Lloyd, Andrea Jaeger, Wendy Turnbull, Virginia Ruzici, Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Kathy Rinaldi.
Schedule -- Today: qualifying matches, 10 a.m.; Monday through Thursday: matches at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Friday: quarterfinals at noon and 6:30 p.m.; Saturday: semifinals at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday: finals at 2 p.m.
Admission -- Today, $3 and $5; Monday through Wednesday, $6 and $8 per session; Thursday and Friday, $8 and $10 per session; Saturday, $10 and $12.50 per session; Sunday, $12.50 and $16. For ticket information, call 627-LOVE in Palm Beach Gardens.