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1987

The world as it was, kind of ...

YOU READ 'EM HERE FIRST: '87 PREDICTIONS THAT CAN'T FAIL
SACRAMENTO BEE
January 4, 1987
Pete Dexter

Thirty-seven can't-miss predictions for the new year:

SPORTS

1. Washington will win the Super Bowl, killing the Bears, edging the 49ers and then beating Cleveland by four points. (Note: These predictions were made Friday afternoon, before the playoff games.)

2. Steffi Graf will win Wimbledon, and establish herself as the No. 2 women's tennis player in the world.

3. Martina Navratilova, who is still No. 1, will attack another photographer.

4. Tyrell Biggs will decision Mike Tyson in the first of what will become the greatest series of heavyweight fights since Ali-Frazier.

5. Marvin Hagler will beat up Ray Leonard worse than Martina beats up the photographer.

6. The New York Times will call for the abolition of boxing.

7. Vinny Testaverde will get to the NFL and turn out to be the real thing.

8. The Lakers will win the NBA.

9. A coach somewhere is going to grab the wrong athlete by the front of his shirt to yell at him, and get himself squashed.

10. Vicky Aragon will become the best woman jockey who ever rode.

11. The Mets will fall apart.

TELEVISION

12. ABC's ""Wide World of Sports'' will run some variation of 12-year old girls standing on balance beams every Saturday until spring.

13. Dan Rather will be replaced as news anchor at CBS.

14. Diane Sawyer is going to get her own show -- maybe the ""CBS Evening News.''

15. Sam Donaldson is going to do something memorably arrogant, and I am going to be afraid to criticize him, because the last time I criticized Sam Donaldson for being memorably arrogant, it was for something Roger Mudd did.

16. Stan Borman will interview a chicken.

POLITICS

17. No one is ever going to offer Geraldine Ferraro a million dollars again to write a book.

18. Sandy Smoley will become a huge cult figure.

19. Ron Reagan Jr. and his sisters and brother will eat, drink and be merry, and fill their dance cards, because when the ball is over, it's over, and there isn't anybody going to come by fitting any of them for glass slippers.

20. Oliver North will decide he doesn't want to tell the American people the whole story after all, at least not under oath. He will, however, be persuaded by a New York publisher to write his memoirs, a persuasion in the area of $350,000.

21. A chicken will collect enough signatures to run for mayor of Sacramento, but only one local television station will try for an exclusive interview.

22. It will take more and more energy to hate Richard Nixon.

HOUSING

23. If I don't find a house to buy before long, I will be in more trouble than Oliver North, and nobody is going to pay me $350,000 for it.

PUBLISHING

24. Esquire, now under new ownership, may become readable.

25. More serious fiction will appear initially in paperback, making it accessible to people who don't have $18 to pay for a hardback.

26. The national magazines are going to find out about Deborah Blum, who writes science for this newspaper as well as it is written anywhere, and she is going to have more article offers than she can keep track of.

27. Rupert Murdoch is going to disappear -- completely vanish -- and nobody is going to look for him.

28. The Sacramento Union will hang in there until somebody figures out a way to turn it around.

MUSIC

29. Willie Nelson and the Andrews Sisters, together for the first time.

30. Ray Charles will continue to prove he is one of the 10 or 12 genuine American geniuses of this century.

31. My daughter will discover a talent for the harp, or some instrument at least as expensive.

RELIGION

32. Willie Nelson and the pope, together for the first time.

CRIME

34. More people in suits will go to jail.

35. Someone will knock over a major race track.

36. The mayor of one of the five largest cities in the country will be indicted.

37. And I am going to get away with calling this work for another year.
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Re: 1987

Tennis: Hobbs has Shriver struggling
The Times
London, England
January 1, 1987
From BARRY WOOD, BRISBANE

Anne Hobbs, from Cheshire, now fitter and more hungry for success than at any time in her career, came within a hair's breath of causing an upset in the second round of the Jason 2000 women's classic here yesterday. The Briton made Pam Shriver, the second seed, fight all the way before eventually losing 7-6, 7-6.

Miss Hobbs looked in excellent condition. A more positive mental attitude, rather than improved fitness, though was the predominant reason for her resilience against an opponent she had never before come close to beating.

'I decided that I wasn't playing Pam Shriver, No. 5 in the world,' Miss Hobbs said. 'I was playing a tennis player.

'Mentally, I was hanging in there right up to the last point and I think it shows that I should be able to do better against the top players in future.

Although Miss Shriver was lethargic at first, failing even to get angry with herself in her customary way, towards the end of the second set she bagan to put fire into her game and her service and that drew praise from Miss Hobbs. 'She was serving to a fantastic length, especially at crucial times, and was forcing me to do more on my returns. But being that close, I obviously could have won so naturally I am disappointed. '

Miss Shriver acknowledged that Miss Hobbs had also served well enough to trouble her during most of the match. She was also aware that she needed more time to adjust to playing tennis again after five weeks away from the circuit.

'It's difficult to practice immediately before Christmas for a tournament like this, and I'm really using these two weeks as my training for the Australian Open,' Miss Shriver said.

RESULTS: Second round (Australian unless stated): P Shriver (US) bt A Hobbs (GB), 7-6, 7-6; E Pfaff (WG) bt R Bryant, 6-4, 6-1; C Jolissaint (Switz) bt L Field, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4; B Nagelsen (US) bt P Hy (HK), 6-1, 6-1; R Marsikova (Cz) bt A Minter, 6-3, 6-0. Third round: H Kelesi (Can) b E Burgin (US), 6-3, 6-7, 6-3; E Smyle bt D Balestrat, 6-4, 7-6; R Fairbank (SA) bt M Bollegraf (Neth), 6-4, 6-4.
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Re: 1987

Tiebreakers aid Shriver advance to third round
Houston Chronicle
January 1, 1987
Houston Chronicle News Services

BRISBANE, Australia - Second-seeded Pam Shriver of the United States won a pair of tiebreakers to beat Britain's Anne Hobbs 7-6, 7-6 to advance to the third round of the $100,000 Jason Classic women's tournament.

Canadian teen-ager Helen Kelesi, the eighth seed, was the first player to advance to the quarterfinals. Kelesi downed ninth-seeded American Elise Burgin 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

Liz Smylie upset fifth-seeded Dianne Balestrat 6-4, 7-6 in an all-Australian third-round match, while Regina Marsikova of Czechoslovakia downed Australian Anne Minter 6-3, 6-0 in a second-round match.

Evert Lloyd out of Open

MELBOURNE, Australia - Former champion Chris Evert Lloyd has pulled out of the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 12. Tournament director Colin Stubs said that Evert Lloyd was still suffering from a leg injury.

The decision figures to make it easier for defending champion Martina Navratilova to keep her title.

Masur, Michibata win

ADELAIDE, Australia - Australian Davis Cup player Wally Masur and Canadian Glenn Michibata both scored second-round wins in the $97,000 South Australian Open championships.

Playing in strong winds, Masur outlasted countryman Mark Woodforde 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 to advance to the quarterfinals of the grass court tournament. Michibata beat Australian Broderick Dyke 6-2, 6-3.

Zillner upsets Weidenfeld

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. - Markus Zillner of Wester Germany, the No. 7 seed, rallied to upset No. 1 seed Raviv Weidenfeld of Israel 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 and advanced to the boys' 16 division semifinals of the Port Washington International Junior Championships.
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Re: 1987

Sport (In Brief): Lloyd absent - Tennis
The Times
London, England
January 1, 1987

Chris Lloyd will not compete in the Australian Open tennis championships, which will begin on January 12. The tournament director, Colin Stubs, said yesterday that the American had a leg injury. Mrs Lloyd, who lost to Martina Navratilova in the 1986 Australian final, had not officially entered the tournament but it was believed that she would take part.
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Re: 1987

Alas, I do not think the movie was made.

Tennis: Rough and tumble times of Davies, a Welsh hot potato
The Times
London, England
January 1, 1987
REX BELLAMY, Tennis Correspondent

Mike Davies deserves a movie all to himself. His first 50 years had the basic material from which many a good movie has been made: poverty to power, plus an often tumultous private life. Davies, in fact, approaches his 51st birthday on January 9 with a movie in mind - but if it happens it will concern the history of tennis rather than the background of Davies.

Until last August he was executive director of the Association of Tennis Professionals and chairman of the Men's International Professor Tennis Council, the self-styled governing body of men's professional tennis. As an administrator Davies had gone as far as he could go.

In August he lost both jobs when the ATP board of directors decided they needed a change at the top and, as they put it, 'terminated' his contract. Davies does not mince words. 'I was fired,' he says.

Davies has lived in the United States for almost 23 years. He has travelled a hard road from Swansea to Texas, is still full of running, and is exploring three possibilities. For example, he has just been to St Louis for discussions with a company who make sports movies. 'It would be a high budget movie,' he says, 'and to do it really well would take up to two years. ' Basically, his own role in such a history of tennis would be that of producer.

A second possibility is that Davies may run the new, Miami site of the annual Lipton international players' championships. The complex is to be developed as a tennis resort and 'academy.'

His third option could involve joining the manufacturers of a new court surface. So this street-smart enthusiast for any and every challenge has three pots on the boil.

Well, Davies was never a man to sit on his backside and wait for something to happen. During his Swansea boyhood, when the family could not afford to pay for his equipment and entry fees, Davies needed money in order to compete in the Welsh championships. For a week, he arose at 3am and caught a bus to a farm to pick potatoes.

That was the first money Davies earned. Later he was to learn the knack of hitch-hiking, sleeping under hedges, and doing business at the pawn shop. But by 1956, when British rankings were reintroduced for the first time since 1938, Davies was No. 1. He retained that position in the next two years.

From 1955 to 1960, Davies won 15 of his 22 Davies Cup singles and nine of his 15 doubles with Bobby Wilson, Billy Knight or Roger Becker. Wilson had seven Davis Cup partners and reckons Davies (who nagged him into anger and brilliant shot-making) was the best of them.

As a player Davies was shrewd and sound and renowned for his fighting spirit, but lacked the penetration of shot to go to the top. But in 1960 he won the singles and doubles in the British hard court championships, reached the Wimbledon doubles final with Wilson, and signed a professional contract with Jack Kramer.

Davies stayed on tour until 1967, the last year before the introduction of open competition, but was out of his depth and had to find part-time work as coach to the German, Italian and Belgian Davis Cup teams. Twice he flirted with the idea of leaving tennis and going into business: noteably when he emigrated to the United States in 1964 with a wife, a son, but no real job.

Somehow Davies made ends meet for the last four years of his professional career and already the second-phase Davies, the administrator, was taking shape. He had been among the moving spirits behind a professional players' organization, a four-runner of the ATP.

In 1968 he joined World Championship Tennis - who were to run a circuit of tournaments in conflict with the grand prix - as associate director. He became executive director a year later and kept the job until 1981.

Davies had a good relationship with Lamar Hunt, the mutli-millionaire oil tycoon who owns WCT. But at the end of 1981, Davies moved to the ATP as marketing director and in January, 1983 he became their executive director, a post he retained until last August. During his last 12 months in that job he was also chairman of the MIPTC.

As a player Davies had an unusual but by no means unique career. It was his subsequent rise to the top as a smart, tough negotiator, businessman and administrator and crowned a one-time commoner as a kind of king.

Davies has been the rounds: as an amateur and then as part of the official ostracized travelling roadshow that, until 1968, was professional tennis. During the next 19 year hs fought for three different parties in the game's political jungle.

Davies has always enjoyed a fight (with or without the gloves on) and still does. I hope he makes his movie about the history of tennis. And I hope he makes another about the hardup boy from Swansea who first handled a racket at the age of 12 and, for the next 38 years, lived in the fast lane and never stopped looking for a scrap. At the moment he is just taking a breather between rounds.
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Re: 1987

MANAGER OF TENNIS TOURNAMENT WORKS THE COURTS HE PLAYED ON
The Miami Herald
January 1, 1987
LOURDES FERNANDEZ, Herald Staff Writer

Howard Orlin, tennis pro at Miami Beach's Flamingo Park, is standing on the roof of the press box, squinting into the late afternoon sun.

"Isn't it a beautiful sight?" he asks. The Miami Beach skyline spreads before him, but Orlin is looking at the tennis courts.

Orlin, 32, spends most of his days on the courts, giving lessons and managing the city operation.

Since beginning there 10 years ago, Orlin also has helped manage the annual Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, which this year were held Dec. 21 through Monday at the park.

Before the tournament, he's there to help the young tennis players with anything they may need.

During the tournament, he's the troubleshooter, making sure the sprinkler system runs, the press box is cool, the courts are well-maintained.

"I try to be as accommodating as possible -- and that's my job," Orlin said.

The tournament is the biggest junior championship, attracting players 18 years old and younger from 50 countries. It is a steppingstone that amateurs use to turn professional. Tennis greats John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Chris Evert Lloyd have competed in the tournament.

So has Orlin, a Miami Beach native.

His father, Sid, also a tennis instructor, took him as a child to Flamingo Park to learn how to play tennis. By the time Orlin was 8, he was playing on those same courts in the Junior Orange Bowl tournament. He returned each year until he was 18. He made it to the finals in the 14-and-under category, and still remembers getting his oranges, the tournament's prize.

He also remembers another moment two years later: "I was playing against a German teen-ager, and if I won the match, I would have been ranked in the top eight," Orlin said. "I was winning. I look up -- it was around 4 in the afternoon -- and the sun hit me right in the eyes. The ball hit me right on the head. It was the most embarrassing moment, and I don't think I won a tournament game after that."

Nevertheless, Orlin became state singles' champion as a high-school student and went on to play at Clemson, where he was named All-American.

After graduating from Clemson, Orlin took a job teaching tennis at Flamingo while waiting for his acceptance to law school. He got the acceptance, but never enrolled.

"At Clemson, I didn't have the desire to turn pro. I was going to be a lawyer," Orlin said. "So now, looking back, I regret the possibility of not pushing myself to turn pro. It's very tough to be a professional. You only hear about the top ones."

Orlin still competes, and he and partner Stanley Shanbron are ranked No. 1 in the over-30 men's doubles division.
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Re: 1987

HANA MADE TO STRUGGLE
January 2, 1987
Sydney Morning Herald

BRISBANE: Top-seeded Hana Mandlikova survived a "hiccup" in her tie-breaker set before charging into the quarter-finals of the Jason 2000 women's tennis classic at Milton yesterday.

Her Czech countrywoman Regina Marsikova put pressure on the world No 4 during their third-round centre court match.

Mandlikova took the first 7-6 in a tie-breaker but stormed through the second set 6-0.

"I did not expect Regina to play so well," she said later.

"Then I just served and passed a little better in the second set."

In a warning to her quarter-final opponent - either Canadian teenager Helen Kelesi or Manon Bollegraf - Mandlikova said she had improved with each match.

Kelesi, 17, won through to the third round by beating American Elise Burgin in three sets on Wednesday.
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Re: 1987

Tennis: Gomer stalls after promising start
The Times
London, England
January 2, 1987
From BARRY WOOD, BRISBANE

A fine first set performance by Sara Gomer was not enough to give her victory over Helena Sukova in the Jason Women's Classic here yesterday, as the third seed from Czechosolvakia advanced 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to the quarter-finals.

Gomer showed no sign of nerves as she broke serve in the first game of the match with aggressive serving and beautifully placed forehands which had Miss Sukova struggling. She then put her opponent under pressure, and had six break points to lead 5-2. Despite failing to covert the break points, she claimed the set in the ninth game.

However, when Gomer needed to press home her advantage at the beginning of the second set, her concentration lapsed and allowed Sukova to take an early break. 'I tried to be too careful in the first game of the second set. I played it terribly and then never recovered. I never felt totally in control again,' Miss Gomer said.

She was a little despondent after the match and did not feel she had lived up to her own expectations. 'I returned well all through the match but my serve was patchy,' she confessed. 'I might expect to lose my serve once in a set, especially against someone like Sukova, but I should never lose it twice.'

Despite that Sukova felt the British girl was not doing herself justice.

Hana Mandlikova, the top seed, struggled in the first set against compatriot, Regina Marsikova, squeezing through after a tie break in the first set to set up a revenge meeting with Canada's Helen Kelesi, who defeated her almost a year ago in their only previous meeting.

RESULTS: Third round: E Pffaff (WG) bt A Moulton (US), 7-6, 7-6; H Mandilkova (Cz) bt R Marsikova (Cz), 7-6, 6-0; P Shriver (US) bt C Jolissaint (Switz), 6-3, 6-2; H Sukova (Cz) bt S Gomer (GB), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2; B Nagelsen (US) bt H Ludloff (US), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
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Re: 1987

Piatek boosts American chances in USTA event
Chicago Sun-Times
January 2, 1987
Len Ziehm

The U.S. Tennis Association again will open its women's tournament season at Chicago's Mid-Town Tennis Club, and this year's $10,000 event could have its first American winner in five years.

Munster's Mary Lou Piatek, a regular on the Women's International Tennis Association circuit since 1980, requested a wild-card entry into the event usually limited to players with world rankings above 100. The top players generally open their seasons in Australia.

Piatek, once ranked 17th, opted to stay home this year and needed a warmup tournament for the Virginia Slims circuit. She recently became engaged to Paul Daniels, teaching pro at Mid-Town.

The USTA granted Piatek her wild-card entry into the 32-player main draw and she will be the event's top seed. Ninety players entered, with qualifying at noon Sunday and matches from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Friday. The championship in singles and doubles will be Jan. 10 (time to be announced).

Semifinalists qualify for berths on the Virginia Slims circuit.

Among the top players joining Piatek in the main draw, which begins Tuesday, are Yvonne Vermaak, a South African living in Chicago, and Beth Norton. Vermaak, ranked 104th, played Team Tennis for the Chicago Fire last season and was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1983. Norton, ranked 160th, won the USTA's Boston tourney in 1985.

Also assured spots in the main draw are Kirsten Dreyer, a California amateur who was runner-up last year, and Northwestern's Katrina Adams, a semifinalist the last two years. Adams received a Mid-Town's exemption.
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Re: 1987

Poor doomed girl. Going back to our discussions about tennis parents and the genesis of champions, here we see an example of making it "too easy" or "too fun" for the little professional-in-the-making. It's one thing to encourage a kid and build confidence through appropriate positive experiences; it's another thing to raise a kid inside some kind of perfect fantasy bubble yet expect her to cope with harsh reality. And then throw in this kind of media hype this early. Sure, this was a huge ego boost for a little kid and just the sort of thing to make playing professional tennis incredibly appealing to her, but it did nothing to prepare her for playing against opponents who did not want to boost her ego. Her confusion, burnout, and rebellion were almost inevitable.

AT 10, CAPRIATI'S SHOW ALREADY A SMASH
Sun-Sentinel
January 2, 1987
By CHRIS LAZZARINO, Staff Writer

Picture a 10-year-old child hitting a tennis ball. Even think about how an excellent 10-year-old player would hit the ball.

Then think about how a 21-year-old female professional tennis player would hit a tennis ball.

Merge the two thoughts. Then throw out every image of the child, except for size and the big smile a kid wears when at play. Toss in some magic phrases, and voila! Behold, Jennifer Capriati of Lauderhill.

OK, so Capriati wasn't created by David Copperfield. But the magic is, somehow, still there.

Just watch her play.

Or look at her record. As a 10-year-old, she recently won the National Indoor in Cherry Hill, N.J., 12-and-under division, beating Ann Mall of Illinois in the final.She followed that with a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory over Mall last week for the Girls' 12 title at the Orange Bowl Championships in Miami Beach.

During a practice session at Fort Lauderdale's Holiday Park in preparation for the recently completed Orange Bowl Championships, Capriati played a match with David Green, who has played in a few professional tournaments.

Of course Green didn't play at full speed, but he was playing at high speed.

The ground strokes were crushed, and rarely hit anywhere but near the baseline. Range was exceptional. Few balls were allowed to drop. Lobs had to be near perfection to succeed. Volleys were crisp and well placed.

And Green played well, too.

''She's ripping today,'' Green said to Capriati's father, Stefano, who was standing next to the court. ''I've never seen her hit this hard.''

The comment followed one of Capriati's two-handed backhands that Green couldn't reach. He was certainly trying hard. He was drenched in sweat.

''She's unreal,'' Green said as another winner sailed out of reach. ''You don't know how hard I'm trying.''

Jennifer just smiled her big smile, giggled a little girl's giggle and went on having fun.

Green's comments aren't the only indication that Capriati is pushing her level of play up one notch. The victories over Mall have made Capriati the No. 1 ranked under-12 girl in the country, and have shown that Capriati is improving.

Stefano said Mall beat Jennifer last year in the National Clay Court Championships, and that the victory over Mall in New Jersey was a big confidence booster for Jennifer. Now that Capriati beat Mall in Miami, there is no question which girl is playing better.

''She has been playing really well,'' said Jimmy Evert, director of tennis at Holiday Park and Capriati's coach. ''She is improving all the time.''

When on the court, Jennifer is nearly always smiling. She reaches for a forehand, cracks it down the line, and smiles. Even after a fall on the court's hard surface -- which was her first on a tennis court, according to her father -- she got up smiling.

One of the biggest tournaments of her career was just around the corner, and the kid could do nothing but smile.

''I don't get nervous,'' Jennifer said in a tiny voice. ''Maybe I'll be nervous right before a hard match, but not for long.''

Jennifer started playing tennis as a 3-year-old, and went to Evert when she was five.

''Stefano and I are in complete agreement about Jennifer,'' Evert said. ''It is important that she plays just the right amount. If she practices hard for an hour and a half, that's enough. No need for three-hour practices. And she doesn't live tennis 24 hours a day. That's the proper balance.

''It is unusual to see that much ability in a youngster who seems to be enjoying it that much, and I think that will last. That's her nature.''

When a player of Jennifer's caliber starts playing, it can be easy to forget that she's not 21. Or even 12.

''She's just a child,'' Stefano said. ''She plays with dolls.''

No, can't be. Dolls are for little girls.

And Green is probably still thinking about some of those passing shots hit by his opponent -- who plays with dolls.
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Re: 1987

On Sports: Getting a New Handle on Your Forehand
By Frederick C. Klein
Wall Street Journal
January 2, 1987

Cincinnati -- A new year is here, time for resolutions; and if you are a tennis player, improving your game no doubt is among them. Perhaps you are thinking about consulting a professional for some ideas.

So far, so good. Only maybe the professional should be an actuary.

The fellow I have in mind is Andrew J. Brown, a partner in the actuarial firm of Schneider & Brown here. The tall, trim Mr. Brown, who is 44 years old, is a relative beginner at tennis, but he thinks that has aided his analysis of the vexing game. "Sometimes, a mind clear of too much experience helps," he says.

What Mr. Brown's clear mind produced is pictured in the accompanying diagram. (See accompanying illustration -- WSJ Jan. 2, 1987.) It's his design for something he has dubbed the "Midwestern" racket handle. That's partly a joke -- he's a Midwesterner -- and partly descriptive. Its aim is to facilitate players grasping their rackets in the semi-Western grip, which, he says, will open to them a "more natural, more powerful" way to play.

Mr. Brown believes that his invention could have patriotic ramifications as well. "The main reason that the Europeans are on top of men's professional tennis today is that they've been quicker to realize the benefits of the semi-Western grip," he opines. "Teaching our kids that style could get us back on top."

Before going further into Mr. Brown's tale, a few words of explanation are in order. The two most common tennis forehand grips are the Eastern and the semi-Western. The Eastern grip predominates, and it's the one for which just about all tennis-racket handles are designed.

You get the Eastern grip by "shaking hands" with the racket, placing your palm against the flat of the handle's surface. The swing that goes with it is a horizontal affair usually described as "sweeping the dishes off the table," and results in a flat, hard shot. Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd are its foremost practitioners.

The semi-Western is an Eastern forehand grip with a quarter-turn to the right for right-handers. This makes it easier to hit "over" the ball and produce topspin, the miraculous force that pulls the ball down more sharply the harder you hit it. It goes with an upright, underhand swing that resembles a softball pitching delivery and makes a looping, higher-bouncing shot than the Eastern method. Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker and the Swedes -- in other words, most of the top male pros -- use it.

"The underhand swing is the one most people would use if they could choose," declares Mr. Brown. "It's the one we use in softball, horseshoes and bowling. In tennis, it allows you to hit the ball hard and still keep it in play. That's what most of us want to do when we go out there.

"The problem is that you can't use the swing without the semi-Western grip, which is tough to find on an Eastern-grip racket. If your hand is a degree or two off, you'll get a miss-hit. It takes a heckuva athlete to find it consistently. I guess that's why it isn't taught all that much."

Mr. Brown says his path to this knowledge began the hard way: by "looking like a clown" on a tennis court. He'd taken up the sport several times, but quickly gave it up for the same reason most people do. When he hit the ball hard, it sailed out of court. When he hit it soft, it found the net.

"The frustrating thing was, I'm a decent athlete," he says. "I'm excellent at pingpong, which ought to be played the same as tennis, only on a smaller scale. But when I tried the underhand pingpong swing on a tennis court, it was disaster. I'd have quit altogether if my wife didn't need a doubles partner."

Being a self-reliant sort, Mr. Brown repaired to his garage workshop. Using an auto-body filler that could be molded and sanded, he began remaking his racket handle to fit his swing.

In fairly short order he hit upon the angle of 33 degrees from the vertical racketface plane as the true home of the semi-Western grip. Then, he says, "I discovered I had to shift the racket to hit a backhand. That's how little I knew." Some 150 models later, he came up with the hexagonal design shown in the diagram. The palm fits along line E for the forehand and centers on B for the backhand.

The process took about four months ending in January 1984. Once on the court with his new toy, Mr. Brown says, he went from a "Z player" to a "solid B," able to beat fellow middle-agers who'd played varsity in college. His next stop was to a patent lawyer, the fruits of whose labor are pending.

Mr. Brown has contacted several racket makers about adopting his design, so far with no success. "They say it's contrary to accepted tennis practices, which is quite true," he says equitably.

He did, however, persuade one manufacturer to carry out a test in his presence, with interesting results. "They fitted a dozen rackets with my grip, and gave them to their staff pros," he says. "Half of them thought my idea had merit and half said it was ridiculous.

"I told them it wasn't pros I was aiming for, but beginners who hadn't developed tennis habits, so they brought over a couple of secretaries who hadn't played before. They gave one a standard racket, and she hit every ball off the ceiling or the floor. I gave her mine and told her to pretend she was bowling and meet the ball about a foot in front of her body. First swing, she hit as nice a forehand as you'll see. I think it made an impression."

I'm as eager to improve as the next tennis player, so I took a turn with one of Mr. Brown's rackets, with the inventor across the net. His self-assessment as a player is accurate. He's no swifty, but he hits an OK backhand and a topspin forehand that tested the back limit of our court.

I hit pretty good forehands right away, but finding the backhand position on the handle was difficult. My backhands went off the ceiling, off the floor, etc. I told him that I'd worked hard to achieve mediocrity, and that I thought I'd stick with what I had. He said he understood about old dogs and new tricks: "I'm shooting for the next generation -- the youth of America." And if the youth of Europe pick it up, that would be all right, too.
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Re: 1987

ROUNDUP - Mandlikova too much for Kelesi
The Globe & Mail
Toronto, Canada
January 3, 1987

Top-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia defeated Helen Kelesi of Edmonton 6-3, 6-3 yesterday to advance to the semi-finals of a $100,000 women's tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia.

Kelesi played mostly from the baseline, but lacked the variety of strokes needed to upset Mandlikova.

Mandlikova faces compatriot Helena Sukova today. Sukova scored a 7-5, 6-3 victory yesterday over South African Rosalyn Fairbank.

The other semi-final match has Americans Pam Shriver and Betsy Nagelsen Yesterday, Shriver beat West German Eva Pfaff 6-3, 6-4 in her quarter- final match, while Nagelsen defeated Australian Elizabeth Smylie 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The final is tomorrow.
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Re: 1987

TWO COURTING REVENGE
January 3, 1987
Sydney Morning Herald

BRISBANE: Revenge is the theme for the semi-finals of the Jason 2000 women's tennis classic at Brisbane's Milton courts today as the tournament's top seed, Hana Mandlikova, and second seed, Pam Shriver, seek to reverse upset losses from last year.

Mandlikova faces former Czechoslovakian Federation Cup team-mate Helena Sukova in one semi-final, while Shriver meets fellow American Betsy Nagelsen.

Sukova snatched her first win against Mandlikova last March for a 1-9 head-to-head record, while Nagelsen was responsible for a first-round Wimbledon defeat for Shriver last year.

Shriver rolled West German Eva Pfaff 6-1 6-3 yesterday while Mandlikova ousted Canadian teenager Helen Kelesi 6-3 6-3.

Nagelsen removed Australia's last hope, Liz Smylie, 3-6 6-2 6-3.
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Re: 1987

Poor Pam, hoping and waiting for a Grand Slam singles title to fall into her lap.

Tennis: Shriver is aiming to join elite
The Times
London, England
January 3, 1987
From BARRY WOOD, BRISBANE

Pam Shriver feels she is on the verge of claiming a grand slam title following a recent resurgence which has seen her push Martina Navratilova to the edge of defeat. But, even then, she will still demand more from herself.

'I would be very satisfied if I win one of the majors - Wimbledon or the US Open preferably, but I'd settle for the Australian in a flash,' the second seeded American said yesterday after reaching the semi-finals of the Jason 2000 women's classic here with a straight sets victory over Eva Pfaff.

Against Miss Pfaff, from West Germany, Miss Shriver led 6-1, 4-1, but then let her opponent back to 4-4 before closing out the match by winning the last two games. 'All that needs to happen now is that I get a little tougher mentally so when it's 6-1, 4-1, I shut the door and it's gone, history, and I'm out to practise. I just need a couple more matches.'

Even though she is now playing the best tennis of her career, Miss Shriver acknowledges that her best is still not quite good enough to compete with Miss Navratilova, Chris Lloyd, Hana Mandikova and Steffi Graf.

In the semi-finals Miss Shriver will face Betsy Nagelsen, who defeated the Australian, Elizabeth Smylie. The other match pairs Miss Mandikova against her fellow Czechoslovakia, Helen Sukova.

Anne Hobbs of Britain teamed with Miss Pfaff to reach the double semi-finals with an impressive upset victory over Miss Fairbank and Elise Burgin.

RESULTS: H Mandilkova (Cz) bt H Kelesi (Can), 6-3, 6-3; H Sukova (Cz) bt R Fairbank (SA), 7-5, 6-3; P Shriver (US) bt E Pfaff (WG), 6-1, 6-3; B Nagelsen (US) bt L Smylie (Aus), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
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Re: 1987

TENNIS - Rich 'racquet' for some players
The Globe & Mail
Toronto, Canada
January 3, 1987
NORA McCABE

In the year in which the governing powers finally put the tennis calendar in some meaningful order - a move creating two year-ending championships for each sex - Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl topped the charts for the second consecutive time.

Navratilova, winner of Wimbledon, U.S. Open and both Virginia Slims championships, received $1,905,841 (U.S.) in official prize money, including $280,157 in bonuses for heading the singles and doubles over-all standings. Lendl, winner of the French and U.S. Opens and both Masters titles, received $1,987,537, including an $800,000 bonus.

Navratilova played 18 tournaments over 21 weeks and Lendl 14 over 17.

Although the bonus made Lendl the first male to exceed $10-million in official career prize money - $10,292,129 - he trails Navratilova, the top female money winner with $11,792,315.

Incidentally, Lendl looks as if he will follow Navratilova and switch his citizenship to U.S. from Czechoslovakian. A homeowner in Greenwich, Conn., for five years, Lendl has applied for permanent U.S. residency and, if recently reported rifts with Czechoslovakia's Government are true, he will apply for U.S. citizenship when the residency requirement is fulfilled. Two other men cracked the million-dollar mark in 1986 - second-ranked Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, who netted $1,434,324, including $550,000 in bonus payments, and third-ranked Stefan Edberg of Sweden, Australian Open defending champ, who made $1,008,906, including $400,000 in bonuses.

By comparison, second-ranked and French Open champion Chris Evert Lloyd, sidelined with a knee injury for the final quarter of the year, won only $833,755, while third-ranked Steffi Graf of West Germany, winner of eight singles and five doubles titles, pulled in $695,846.

All told, 52 men and 22 women players won in excess of $100,000 last year. Among the new members of the $100,000 club are two players who made splashes in Canada - Czechoslovak Milan Srejber, runnerup in the defunct Corel indoor championships in Toronto, and Californian Jonathan Canter. Currently ranked No. 27, Srejber, who arrived in Canada broke and with holes in his tennis shoes, ended up with $136,633. No. 38-ranked Canter, who reached the semi-finals of last summer's Player's International, made $102,802.

Last year wasn't kind to Canadians. On Jan. 1, Canada had an unprecedented four players in the top 100 - two in the top 50. This year, while a dozen homegrown players are ranked in the top 300 - eight men and four women - only two remain in the top 100.

Although national champion Carling Bassett put together a wonderful spring campaign, her results tailed off drastically after Wimbledon - undoubtedly because of the death of her father, John F. Bassett. The 19-year-old from Toronto was fortunate to end the year at No. 20, down five places from 1985, when she achieved a career-high ranking, No. 8. Despite an erratic year, Bassett's on-court earnings were respectable - $83,823.

On the other hand, Helen Kelesi of Edmonton, who last fall won her first professional title, the Japan and Asian Open, improved marginally, rising to No. 39 from No. 48 and winning $58,213 - up substantially from $29,165 last year.

The men fared less well. Glenn Michibata of Toronto failed to duplicate his successful 1985 fall schedule and watched his ranking slip to No. 206 from No. 76 by year's end. However, Michibata's winnings increased to $58,337, compared with $26,031 in 1985.

Martin Wostenholme of Oakville, Ont., also dropped out of the top 100, but, like Michibata, he ended up winning more - $38,863, compared with $24,902.

The current top-ranked Canadian is Martin Laurendeau of Montreal, No. 119.

Briton John Lloyd won a paltry $38,066. However, if gossip mongers are correct, the estranged husband of Chris Evert Lloyd isn't in dire financial straits. Word is that Chris, alleged to be worth $20-million, offered John a $2-million settlement, leaving wags to christen John the "10 per cent man." To which other wiseacres retorted, "Not after their agent, International Management Group, takes its 27 per cent cut."
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