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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 08:36 AM   #1
country flag Volker
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Federation Cup 1986

A question: Why was the Czech team seeded at no. 2 with Mandlikova being no. 4 and Sukova no. 7, whereas the German team had Graf on no. 3 and Kohde-Kilsch on no. 5?
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

Good question! I was asking myself that recently. And, just as bad, Germany was seeded to play the USA in the semi-finals. Surely it would have been better to seed Germany to play Czechoslovakia in the semis?

Interesting that Graf was injured at the Cup, because she could by that time handle either Navratilova or Evert on clay... 1986 was an interesting year, because for the first time there were real new challengers coming up, Hana was refinding her form and a little consistency (!), and the reign of the old guard really looked under threat after so many years. It was not the end, maybe just the beginning of the end...
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

Did they take doubles rankings into consideration? At that point, Mandlikova would've been much higher than Graf, while Sukova and Kohde-Kilsch would've been even.
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #4
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volker View Post
A question: Why was the Czech team seeded at no. 2 with Mandlikova being no. 4 and Sukova no. 7, whereas the German team had Graf on no. 3 and Kohde-Kilsch on no. 5?
Per German reports, the Czechoslovakian team was promoted to the 2nd seed because they were the hosts. The ITF also expressed some doubt that Graf (coming off an illness) and/or Kohde-Kilsch (in bad form) would be able to play, and they didn't want to go through a last-minute reseeding/redraw if one or both of them had to drop out. The Germans lodged a complaint with the ITF, and the ITF quickly dismissed it. Of course, the desire for a Czechoslovakia vs. USA final had to be part of the reason, but considering that Kohde-Kilsch's form did turn out to be so bad she likely would have been benched in both singles and doubles if Graf hadn't been injured, the ITF could justify itself.
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

on a side note, i don't know if graf could have "by now handled both evert and navratilova on clay" handled implies that graf could do away with both chris and martina without any trouble?... yes, graf had her 1st victory over evert that year 1986 and would never lose to evert again as it turns out, but that win that 1st win was yes on clay, but the faster green har-tru clay of the family circle cup..

i would still bet my money on evert at her very best on slow red clay in 1986 against graf, but then again NOT at this federation cup in 1986 because evert with a bad knee that she had to actually wear a brace on and off in her matches should NOT have even played and was in no condition to play but did it as a favor to martina...

you would think graf would have the clear edge over martina on slow red clay in 1986 but you never know, i mean graf DID LOSE on a big occasion that year on slow red clay to mandlikova at the french, so playing in prague and the crowd pulling for martina of course, anything could have happened and martina did play very very well throughout her matches.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 06:11 AM   #6
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Per German reports, the Czechoslovakian team was promoted to the 2nd seed because they were the hosts. The ITF also expressed some doubt that Graf (coming off an illness) and/or Kohde-Kilsch (in bad form) would be able to play, and they didn't want to go through a last-minute reseeding/redraw if one or both of them had to drop out. The Germans lodged a complaint with the ITF, and the ITF quickly dismissed it. Of course, the desire for a Czechoslovakia vs. USA final had to be part of the reason, but considering that Kohde-Kilsch's form did turn out to be so bad she likely would have been benched in both singles and doubles if Graf hadn't been injured, the ITF could justify itself.
Thanks for that Information. IMO it was an unfair decision. Never before or after has a 'bad form' of a player been considered for the seedings of a tournament. This is why there are the rankings, they reflect the player's form. And if one player drops out, well, that happens, so go through a reseeding, or leave the draw as it is. Very dissembling, cause it was all about supporting the Czech team, and giving them a wildcard into the final. I'm guessing the Czech Tennis Federation put enough pressure on the ITF to get that done.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

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Originally Posted by Volker View Post
Thanks for that Information. IMO it was an unfair decision. Never before or after has a 'bad form' of a player been considered for the seedings of a tournament. This is why there are the rankings, they reflect the player's form. And if one player drops out, well, that happens, so go through a reseeding, or leave the draw as it is. Very dissembling, cause it was all about supporting the Czech team, and giving them a wildcard into the final. I'm guessing the Czech Tennis Federation put enough pressure on the ITF to get that done.
Maybe tinkering with the seeds didn't happen before/again in Federation Cup, but it did happen at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open -- and there were always arguments for and against it. Promoting the Czechoslovakians to second seed wasn't guaranteed to give them a free pass to final, because there was the chance that they could have drawn the German team for the semis. Even if the Germans had been seeded second, there was the chance they could have drawn the Czechs for the semis. Yes, I understand that if the Germans were seeded second they had a 1 in 2 chance of an easy semi compared with a 0 in 2 chance as third seed, but it's not like ITF blatantly arranged the draw so that the U.S. and German teams had the harder semi. It's an artifact of having three strong contenders.

Much the same scenario would happen the next year. IIRC, the Germans were again seeded third, with the Czechs second and the Americans first. The Germans faced the Czechs in the semis, while the Americans had the Bulgarians. No offense intended to the Maleevas, especially Manuela, who did put up a struggle, but I am sure the U.S. team breathed a sigh of relief when they saw they didn't have to face the Germans in the semis this time.
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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Re: Federation Cup 1986

Honestly, I believe they fixed the draw anyway (the organisers/Czech Tennis Federation), they just wanted to make sure that the Czech team won't have to play the US nor Germany before the finals. By seeding them on no. 2 they could avoid that.
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