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Old May 7th, 2002, 10:52 PM   #31
Hidden Stillness
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I have been thinking about that one point you made that Jana went from having a great forehand at the beginning, to having the two truly great kinds of backhand shots, and the forehand pretty much dropping off the map as a useful shot. Wow--that was so interesting; I never thought of it exactly that way! You think of her backhand becoming so great and varied, but I never stopped and thought about how her forehand, very early, was once so great--and it was! She used to really gear up for it, set up and SLAM it, and later it really did become her least reliable, as you mentioned. Why did Mandlikova get her away from it while the backhand shots developed, rather than keeping all weapons?
You tend to just think of her going from being a good baseliner to a great serve+volleyer who could also stay back and slam, but this point about losing her great forehand gradually was so weird and interesting. I had never really focused on that, specifically.
Her great match against Navratilova, 1993 Wimbledon semi, has been mentioned, but she was also totally brilliant, one of her greatest ever, beating Seles at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Watch it and marvel. Also nice about that one, was that Novotna was so relaxed, smiling even, playing to the crowd, etc., and playing brilliantly against Seles. That whole Atlanta Olympics , as a matter of fact, had such a nice, friendly atmosphere to it--until the bomb went off!
Anyway, two more questions: 1) Is there any way to get a video of the 1987 Fed Cup at Vancouver, B.C., where Novotna and Mandlikova played doubles together; is it even on video? and 2) Has anybody ever met Novotna? What was she like?
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Old May 9th, 2002, 01:08 PM   #32
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Sorry can't answer either question, but to comment on the transformation of Jana Novotna.... you only need to look at Hana. Hana's best matches weren't the ones where she flightly smacked winners anywhere. Her big matches... the likes of 85 US Open, 86 Aus Open final wins she was unbeleivably solid, consistent, tough and controlled her agression. I think she imparted these characteristics into Jana's game. Become more consistent, cut down the errors on the forehand and use her atheliticsm at the net, which means developing an effective slice.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2002, 11:49 PM   #33
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Well, it's been a while, so: a few Canadian Open 1998 stories, highlighting the "Sanchez-Vicario feud." As we know, briefly, Jana got sick of ASV's constant complaining over calls at the '96 Olympics, complained back, it escalated, and broke up their partnership. Actually, when you think about their personalities, backgrounds, etc., it was probably inevitable that they would eventually clash. Anyway, after that, of course, their matches were pretty strained. (Anybody got any great '97 Wimbledon stories? I was not paying any attention to tennis or anything else, at that time.)
Over the years, Jana's personality on court started to come out more+more, and not interfering with her ability to play well, so that she wasn't just goofing off. During the early '90s, when Jana would get frustrated or stressed, she got angry, sometimes uncomfortably so. Later though, she started to show this hilarious sarcasm, and there was a lot of it here.
During the QF against Magui Serna, Serna had hit Novotna with a shot. Where once she would've fumed, now she waited a chance. Second set, she hit a shot right at Serna's head + Serna dropped to the ground to avoid it. Then Jana went up to the net + pretended to whack Serna several times with the racquet, and the crowd loved it. She won that and went on to face ASV.
This year, 1998, was Novotna's greatest. She was on a 19-match winning streak, and had just won Eastbourne, Wimbledon and the Czech Open. The crowd was largely for ASV, who had done well there before (Montreal), but as so often happens, Novotna can win over a crowd by opening up, and by playing great. (My video of this match, from Sports Resources, those great people, was of the CTV broadcast with a male announcer I don't know, who was really good, and Virginia Wade, who was ...Virginia Wade.)
The first set was all Novotna, all business. She seemed poised, all skills under her command, this whole variety of shots she had, and won it 6-4. All during the match, she did all the things she was famous for: these precise shots right at the feet of the opponent, unhittable, while herself returning shots at her feet; changing the pace of shots, returning a blast a lot faster than, or hypnotically slower than, what was hit to her; great lobs; down-the-line, crosscourt, etc. I actually think Novotna was a better player than Graf, but her nerves would destroy matches. Play the '93 Wimbledon thing right up until the 4th game 3rd set or whatever it was, when Novotna had Graf crying on the Duchess's shoulder. I admit, I never liked Graf + never followed her career; I know next to nothing about Sophie Graf. Anyway, 2nd set started to get screwy--this is Novotna, after all. A couple of bad calls went against her (the anncrs. noticed it), + she started to get suspicious. She was still clowning and fun, though. After some trouble with her serve, she did a goofy shrugging of her shoulders, to the crowd, like "I don't know what to do." She hit a net cord that went over to ASV's side, gave a very screwy, insincere-looking "Sorry" look and wave of the hand, then turned around to the crowd and stuck her tongue out. I loved it! Wade commented, "Yeah well, I'm sure she's not all that sorry," + the other one laughed. There were other gestures, and meanwhile, Novotna had fought back from being 4-1 down, to 6-6, and a tiebreak. There were other iffy calls, agitating her somewhat, and weirdly, the crowd sometimes audibly called "Out." When two important bad calls went against her (both anncrs. agreed), she got so fed up that at 5-1 Sanchez-Vicario, at the changeover, the moment arrived. How can I put this? While walking across the court, Jana gave a big hello to you too, to chair umpire George Rutscheff. Yes--the big one, a graduate of F.U. She got a code violation, and all the fun was gone from her. Grim, against the umpire (this crew WAS pretty incompetant). Then when a back line judge actually got a call right (ASV was long), Novotna gave a very sarcastic, extreme bow and blew a kiss at that judge. Then a great rally with some incredible Novotna shots that had the crowd cheering her, she applauded them and seemed to recover a little, almost winning the set anyway, coming back to 4 points, before ASV won. She asked WTA Director Brenda Perry if she thought the calls were good, and played the 3rd, but it was gone. She seemed defeated, and Wade referred to "a rather weary-looking Jana Novotna." She won only two games, and the last game of the match, serving, was up 40-0, but lost, distracted. The 19-match win streak was over, and after, she talked about how "I simply didn't like the umpire at all. I felt he wasn't in charge of the match at all," and hoped never to meet Rutscheff again.
That's the way the cookie crumbles.
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Old Jun 24th, 2002, 12:39 AM   #34
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*sob* Such beautiful memories...

My own personal favourite Jana moment was the Wimbly final '93 against Steffi. Now I know this isn't everyone's favourite piece of Jana's illustrious career, but I just love how close she was to the title before it was snatched away from her. Jana's mental strength really is something to be admired, it's a shame not many players these days are so tough when it comes to a grand slam final, except maybe Martina Hingis in the AO final this year. Now that's a girl after Jana's own heart! Here's a delightful pic of the two darlings:



And isn't the Duchess of Kent a nice lady? Hugging our Jana like that after her shocking loss, heaven knows the poor dear needed a little moral support.

But that's what I love about Jana, the way she gets on so well with others. Like her former doubles partner, Gigi Fernandez. I thought it was really admirable the way Jana gently let her down and partnered Larisa Savchenko who in turn left Natasha Zvereva in favour of Jana. The woman has taste and common sense.

Oh, and that time Jana *sob* lost to ASV (another former dubs partner) and said all she ever does is get the ball back, she didn't do anything else and didn't deserve to win: that really put Aranxta in her place, the uppity so and so She needed to be told, you know.

Jana~ Champion, brilliant doubles partner, strong minded woman and all round great gal. We love you!
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Old Jun 24th, 2002, 03:31 AM   #35
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Well, I admit that was actually even funny, and yes, you do make some good points. For example, I didn't like the way Jana treated Gigi Fernandez, and I am a huge Novotna fan. Beautiful picture of Jana, though.
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Old Jun 24th, 2002, 02:22 PM   #36
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Jana was a great player, but she didn't win as many doubles titles as me!!
I think me and her should have a commentator shoot-out to determine the best commentator too!
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Old Jun 26th, 2002, 06:12 PM   #37
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Trying something; (Picture)

[IMG]dcc.x-perts.com/DCCnonnude/pics/tennis/novotna_jana/novotn17.jpg[/IMG]
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Old Jun 26th, 2002, 06:15 PM   #38
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Why didn't it work? Can somebody explain this?
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Old Jun 27th, 2002, 04:50 AM   #39
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Oh, to hell with it. I'll just put the link. (Maybe someone else can post it correctly here):

http://dcc.x-perts.com/DCCnonnude/pi...a/novotn17.jpg

(Yes, that was the address.) This is a beautiful picture that was from the same photo session as the picture of Jana standing on the beach, used for both the Jul./Aug. 1999 "Tennis" Mag., and the old Jana Novotna Online website.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 08:10 PM   #40
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Oh, what a wonderful thread! So happy to find it!
The girl who was running "JNovotna OnLine", has stopped, cos her studies took her too much time! What a pitty, cos we were planning to make together an "Hana Mandlikova OnLine" website... But then she stopped running the site, cos she had too much work at the university, and started to make sites professionally, as a job, and didn't have enough time to run the Jana's site, and build Hana's... So bad!!!

Well maybe she'll read this topic and will give some news. 5BTW I can't remember her name, but I think her psudo on the official wta board was siouxsie... She lived in Cal.)

Well this week end I've found some pictures of Jana with the Czech Team (Holikova, Pospisilova Rajchrtova) at the Soisbault Cup in summer'85... Very funny! I'll try to scann and post it these days...

Steph
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Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 11:18 PM   #41
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Wow, that was so exciting to read that JNOnline information, and finally make some progress about finding out who ran it, asking questions, and so on. I really loved that website; there were so many sections to it that you could just go to and wander around in. I hope somebody will recognize that clue about her name on the wta board. It was a very knowledgeable site--they had a quiz on it that I couldn't answer, etc. etc. I would also like to know how to find photographs by Louterbach, who had many great ones on this site. (If anybody has access to them, could you post the one of Jana and her Mom, Zurich 1993, where they are both looking off to the side? It was so beautiful, as if posed, and I don't have it. It was on the website.)
Also, I hope you will post the 1985 pictures of Jana; I would love to see more really early pictures of her. She was, and is, a cutiepie!
Always great to meet a knowledgeable Novotna fan.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 11:50 PM   #42
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Hello HS,
"Louterbach" bis a french girl : Joelle Louterbach, but I don't have her adress anymore
She used to follow Hana, then Jana, and took hundreds pics! Maybe she'llread these lines and will get in touch!
I'll try to post the Jana pics of 85' as soon as possible but my collection is at my parent's home and I don't plan to go there before mid august! Just be patient!
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Old Jul 17th, 2002, 07:01 PM   #43
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Hi fan of Jana and everybody else: I just found a copy of the jnonline quiz I had printed up from before, which actually names the two people who wrote it. One is Joelle, probably Louterbach, and the other is Manami. Is that who ran the site? Also, there was a question on it that I thought was really interesting, that I hope people can just answer and talk about anyway: #5 was "In what year did Jana and Hana Mandlikova really get to know each other in Paris?" (1988/1989/1990) I would love to learn more about the background of their relationship, how they met ('87 Fed Cup?) and re-met later, (when Jana asked Hana to be her coach?). This was such a great relationship for both, while it lasted, and apart from that, Mandlikova ended up being a great coach. Does anybody have any really early stories about them? Also, there is a louterbach.com site, but it is always "under construction" (French). Does anybody know who is setting the site up, and when it will be up and running?
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Old Jul 17th, 2002, 11:24 PM   #44
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I'm afraid I can't really anwer clearly to your questions... I know that Hana and Jana were already "good friends" in 88, but how things have really started, well I don't know. As you point it, I assume they first get in touch during the 87' Federation Cup in Vancouver, and they played doubles together in 88'... But after...

Steph
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Old Jul 22nd, 2002, 02:53 AM   #45
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Wow, I didn't know they played doubles together apart from '87 Fed Cup; I'm glad I asked. How many times did they play together and where; what was their record? Where did you learn about it, anyway? I know that they never played (singles) against each other.
By the way, if you want to read a little more about the wild 1998 Canadian Open semifinal, (the du Maurier at the time), and Jana's reaction to it, you can click on the link

http://www.canoe.ca/SlamTennis98duMa...ug22_novo.html

and read the great article "Novotna rips chair umpire after loss"--I love that title.
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