JanaNovotna's problematic doubles partnerships - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2005, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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JanaNovotna's problematic doubles partnerships

We know about Jana and Arantxa but she also had problems with Helena Sukova and Gigi Fernandez. Helena didn't want to split up their doubles partnership in 1991 because they had won 3 GS titles in 1990. Jana wanted to play with Gigi Fernandez and Helena never spoke to Jana again. During the course of 1991, Gigi and Jana started having problems in their partnership. Gigi is an ad-court player. But so was Jana. Gigi resented having to always be the one playing in the deuce court as it didn't feel natural to her. Jana then dumped Gigi because their good results started to wane and Jana wanted to partner Larisa Neiland, who was partnered with Natasha Zvereva at the time. Larisa broke up with Natasha, saying that they were getting stale together. The truth was, Jana had asked Larisa to play dubs with her and Larisa had said yes before splitting up with Natasha. So Jana and Larisa began 1992 playing doubles with each other. Dumped, sad and partnerless, Gigi and Natasha soon found each other and had the last laugh on their former doubles partners. When Jana realised that Larisa was not going to be too much use to her anymore, she dropped her and teamed with Arantxa instead. After that, Arantxa and Jana teamed with great success and eventually worked out how to stop the seemingly unstoppable Gigi and Natasha combination. Jana and Arantxa then had their own falling out.

Got all that? Phew! I'm not trying to be mean to Jana, but does anyone else think that she causes a lot of problems for herself and other players?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McAuley
We know about Jana and Arantxa but she also had problems with Helena Sukova and Gigi Fernandez. Helena didn't want to split up their doubles partnership in 1991 because they had won 3 GS titles in 1990. Jana wanted to play with Gigi Fernandez and Helena never spoke to Jana again. During the course of 1991, Gigi and Jana started having problems in their partnership. Gigi is an ad-court player. But so was Jana. Gigi resented having to always be the one playing in the deuce court as it didn't feel natural to her. Jana then dumped Gigi because their good results started to wane and Jana wanted to partner Larisa Neiland, who was partnered with Natasha Zvereva at the time. Larisa broke up with Natasha, saying that they were getting stale together. The truth was, Jana had asked Larisa to play dubs with her and Larisa had said yes before splitting up with Natasha. So Jana and Larisa began 1992 playing doubles with each other. Dumped, sad and partnerless, Gigi and Natasha soon found each other and had the last laugh on their former doubles partners. When Jana realised that Larisa was not going to be too much use to her anymore, she dropped her and teamed with Arantxa instead. After that, Arantxa and Jana teamed with great success and eventually worked out how to stop the seemingly unstoppable Gigi and Natasha combination. Jana and Arantxa then had their own falling out.

Got all that? Phew! I'm not trying to be mean to Jana, but does anyone else think that she causes a lot of problems for herself and other players?

I'm sure Jana did her fair share in these breakups. But such is the life in womens doubles where feelings and egos can be hurt rather easily. But we've got some other rather volatile personalities involved here.

Helena Sukova seems quiet and nice. For all I know, she's really that way. But Helena's had a checkered past with doubles break ups as well. The bad thing about Helena is that she likes to go to the press with things and cause problems for other people. She did this with Hana back when their homeland was still communist controlled which caused Hana problems with the tennis federation (conveniently headed by Helena's father) and problems with Czech fans when they read Helena's side (only) in the paper. Eventually she did this with Jana as well prompting Hana to fly to Prague and show up at Helena's press conference. In other words, Helena was a tattle tale.

Gigi could be such a fun doubles partner. You never know what to expect with her as she could do anything. But she wasn't an easy person to be around over the long haul. Gigi could win any tournament with any player and that's a credit to her. But not everyone can sustain a partnership with her. Sunny, nice and fun loving could turn to seething anger that would make a volcano look tame in under 60 seconds. If Jana had teamed with Gigi later in her career, they may have had a shot. But in the early 90's, they were too much alike.

I don't know anything about Larissa. But Jana's plan to snatch Larissa from Natasha didn't work out so well. They were good, but Gigi finally found the one person who could stand her long enough and could compliment her well enough to fulfill her doubles destiny......Natasha. In the end, everyone got their just desserts as Gigi and Natasha filled up their trophy case.

Aranxta and Jana seemed like an adventurous team full of fun. And they were for a while. They finally knocked Gigi and Natasha off their pedastal but at a cost. Less than two years into the partnership, feelings were hurt. Jana was mired in a long losing streak to Aranxta. And it didn't help matters when Aranxta tried to play linesperson (which annoyed everyone). This time, it was Jana who said something to the press instead of saying something directly to Aranxta which caused even more hurt feelings.

Lindsey and Jana seemed to have fun their one year together. But it wasn't an overly successful partnership. So along came Martina Hingis who Jana still says she enjoyed playing with more than anyone. But young Martina could sense Jana putting one foot into retirement and dumped her faster than a trick through a medicine cabinet. Then she had the gall to tell the world that Jana was "too old."

So I'm sure Jana gave as good as she got. But womens doubles partnerships and relationships in the 90's were a mine field of estrogen, pride, and pure b*tchery to say the least. But wasn't it fun? :-)

"I cannot survive in this world with my honesty." Hana Mandlikova
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2005, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanaFanGA
...the 90's were a mine field of estrogen, pride, and pure b*tchery to say the least. But wasn't it fun? :-)
The 90s? The 60s and 70s tension between Billie Jean King and Margaret Court, who faced off against each other dozens of times in doubles and mixed, were electrically charged.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by alfajeffster
The 90s? The 60s and 70s tension between Billie Jean King and Margaret Court, who faced off against each other dozens of times in doubles and mixed, were electrically charged.

Womens tennis has had many a soap opera hasn't it? Makes the wins that much sweeter and the losses all the more bitter. Usually, we all end up getting sucked into it. You could never accuse the ladies of not knowing how to put on a show!!

"I cannot survive in this world with my honesty." Hana Mandlikova
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanaFanGA

Aranxta and Jana seemed like an adventurous team full of fun. And they were for a while. They finally knocked Gigi and Natasha off their pedastal but at a cost. Less than two years into the partnership, feelings were hurt. Jana was mired in a long losing streak to Aranxta. And it didn't help matters when Aranxta tried to play linesperson (which annoyed everyone). This time, it was Jana who said something to the press instead of saying something directly to Aranxta which caused even more hurt feelings.
That fallout came after the Atlanta Olympics semis, which ASV won against Jana. Apparently Arantxa had questioned several line calls during that match (hard to believe ), and Jana went furious. She said in an interview that "it was sad to see your doubles partner and someone you consider a friend act that way, and that her conscience is clear, while Arantxa will have to live with hers, and that although she lost, she knows she has more fans and is more liked that Arantxa." Arantxa said that what she did was nothing personal and had nothing to do with Jana, and that she didn't know what the problem was.
But seems like Jana held a grudge for a bit longer time. I remember that in 1997, during Wimbledon I think, she was asked if she would rather play ASV or Mary Joe. She answered something like, Mary Joe, because she is a better player.
Ouch.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 2005, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joana
That fallout came after the Atlanta Olympics semis, which ASV won against Jana. Apparently Arantxa had questioned several line calls during that match (hard to believe ), and Jana went furious. She said in an interview that "it was sad to see your doubles partner and someone you consider a friend act that way, and that her conscience is clear, while Arantxa will have to live with hers, and that although she lost, she knows she has more fans and is more liked that Arantxa." Arantxa said that what she did was nothing personal and had nothing to do with Jana, and that she didn't know what the problem was.
But seems like Jana held a grudge for a bit longer time. I remember that in 1997, during Wimbledon I think, she was asked if she would rather play ASV or Mary Joe. She answered something like, Mary Joe, because she is a better player.
Ouch.
I didn't know Jana said that but I do remember that Wimbledon semi final and the hand shake was practically non existant. Jana played that day obviously wanting to win badly. You could see the determination in her eyes to beat Arantxa. Once she got to the final though she was quite introverted again. If Jana had played with the same fire as she did in that semi final against Arantxa more often in her career, things could have been different.

Jana was always a prickly character though. I know she and Martina Navratilova never really got on well either. Jana said before their Wimbledon match in 1994 when Martina was 38 that Martina couldn't compete with the younger girls and had become too nervous and intimidated as she got older, which is kind of ironic coming from Jana. Martina then won the match winning the last two sets 6-0, 6-1. I was happy for Jana when she won Wimbledon but she is the common factor in a lot of these little fallouts and I just think she was a bit touchy in general.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:18 PM
 
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Jana totally caved her last set against Martina that year though.

Still they seemed to have a nice ending when she double faulted on match point and served a third serve and they met at the net.

The build up to that 1997 semi was entertaining - Jana was asked about ASV being in the semis and she claimed it was because ASV had faced weak opponents to which ASV replied that those kind of comments were typical of Novotna because she was only interested in herself .

It's a shame that they fell out though - I always find it more fun to see rivals getting along.

Or maybe I'm just still annoyed that Jana won that match .
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 2005, 02:25 AM
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I was interested to see how Jana and Zvereva would do together. I felt like they could be the best team in '99, but they were only mediocre and then had the famous collision at RG.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 2005, 04:57 AM
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The collision led Jana into retirement I think.... She planned to play way longer than 2000 I read...

I think Novotna and Zvreva could have been a great team.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2005, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazillo
The collision led Jana into retirement I think.... She planned to play way longer than 2000 I read...

I think Novotna and Zvreva could have been a great team.
I think they could have as well but they’re both so mentally fragile, it’s inevitable that they would have many meltdowns, particularly in tight matches.
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