Originally Posted by BCP
On another note, Hana's biography made it clear that she did not get along with Helena Sukova at all. I think they tried playing doubles once, and Sukova accused Hana of not trying. She did not have much trouble with Sukova, and I think only lost to her late in her career after becoming an Australian.........
Mandlikova leads 12-2
Rnk/Seed Year Event Surface Rnd Winner Score Rnk/Seed
--/5 1981 AUSTRALIAN OPEN GRASS (O) R16 H. MANDLIKOVA 6-2 6-1 --/--
--/5 1982 SYDNEY GRASS (O) R32 H. MANDLIKOVA 6-4 6-3 --/--
--/3 1983 BRISBANE GRASS (O) R16 H. MANDLIKOVA 7-6 6-1 --/12
--/6 1984 VS OF WASHINGTON CARPET (I) S H. MANDLIKOVA 6-1 7-6(5) --/8
--/2 1984 VS OF NEW ENGLAND CARPET (I) F H. MANDLIKOVA 7-5 6-0 --/6
--/3 1984 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) R16 H. MANDLIKOVA 6-4 6-1 --/14
--/6 1985 VS OF CALIFORNIA CARPET (I) S H. MANDLIKOVA 6-4 6-0 --/3
--/3 1985 US OPEN HARD (O) Q H. MANDLIKOVA 7-6(4) 7-5 --/7
--/1 1985 EUROPEAN INDOORS CARPET (I) S H. MANDLIKOVA 6-2 7-6(4) --/4
--/2 1986 US INDOORS CARPET (I) S H. SUKOVA 6-2 2-6 6-3 --/4
4/1 1987 BRISBANE GRASS (O) S H. MANDLIKOVA 4-6 6-1 6-4 6/3
--/4 1987 MIAMI HARD (O) Q H. MANDLIKOVA 6-4 6-3 --/6
4/1 1987 VS OF WASHINGTON CARPET (I) S H. MANDLIKOVA 6-3 6-2 6/3
15/6 1989 EUROPEAN INDOORS CARPET (I) Q H. SUKOVA 7-5 6-1 8/5
Hana really had her way with Helena. There are some close matches mixed in there, but by and large Hana usually routined Helena. I've always found it fascinating that Hana had such a great record against Sukova and Shriver. Yet she had a more modest record (6-4) vs. Khode - a player that both Sukova and Shriver usually defeated easily. That just goes to show you that matchups between different players can produce different results......different strengths vs. different weaknesses.
You're so right BCP. I don't think I've ever heard anything about the Hana/Helena relationship from Helena's point over view except when she was quoted in Tennis
magazine as having said that Hana's not nice to others when her tennis isn't going well. So to be fair to Helena, I just wanted to report that. But Hana had a lot to say about Helena in her book.
First of all, Hana seemed to have very fond memories of Vera Sukova who helped train her. There was a lot of respect there. But the bone of contention between the two seems to be Cyril Suk, the head of the Czech Tennis Federation. Hana says that had she been Helena, she would've begged her father to resign his post because there were always assumptions by other Czech players that Helena received special benefits and favorable publicity. Now whether or not Helena should've had to worry about that, I don't know. But Helena didn't seem to be enormously popular amongst her fellow countrymen. At any rate, according to several sources including Hana's book, Hana didn't have a good ralationship with Cyril.
Hana says that she invited Helena to her place in Florida back in 1982 when Helena was first making an impact on the tour. They trained together and did play doubles regularly together off and on for the next two years. But then Hana started playing more with Khode Kilsch until their break up lead to the formidable Khode/Sukova team. Hana continued to play 2 or 3 tournaments a year with Sukova, probably for Fed Cup reasons. But that team was never as successful as it should've been........probably because of the tension between the two.
As BCP alluded to, they finally broke up for good in the spring of 1986 when Helena beat Hana for the first time ever. Perhaps Hana found it difficult to practice with her following the loss in singles. But she says she practiced at a friend's private court instead. The two then played their next doubles match and lost. Helena then told a Czech reporter that Hana didn't bother to practice for the match and was the reason that they lost.
The next time this Czech reporter interviewed Hana at the Fed Cup, the reporter warned her to watch out for Helena and that she was essentially tattling on Hana whenever she could.
Hana paid homage to Martina publicly at the Fed Cup in Prague, mentioning her name when "Martina Navratilova" was not to be said. Perhaps this is part of the price that Hana paid for that, but Hana essentially caught the blame for the Czechs Fed Cup loss when they were simply beaten by a better team. She started receiving negative press in Czech papers saying that Hana had become too "westernized" and didn't spend enough time at home. By the end of 1986, some Czech official came up with a new way to rank the country's best players. Instead of going on singles results, they would also add in doubles results. Under this crazy new system, Sukova was announced as the new Czech number one player. This, despite the fact that Helena had never been ranked higher than Hana and had only beaten Hana once against NINE losses.
Hana, then, applied for Australian citizenship via her new Aussie husband and announced that it was her intention to play for Australia in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Hana and Helena played doubles just once more at the 87 Fed Cup in Vancouver. But only when the doubles was the deciding match against Germany.
At the close of her book, Hana said that she and Helena had agreed that it would be better for both of them if they tried harder to get along. That may have worked for a while. But after Hana retired, the very succesful Novotna/Sukova doubles team broke up after almost winning the grand slam. Sukova called a press conference in Prague to talk about the breakup and when Hana heard about it, she booked a flight and attended the conference. What happened there, I don't know. But Sukova's coach essentially blamed Hana for the breakup while Hana accused Helena of being jealous of Jana.
After the Czechs' Velvet Revolution, Cyril Suk was no longer in his position. Whether it was by choice or not, I don't know. But Hana was named Fed Cup coach for the Czechs and Helena skipped Fed Cup for a while. But I do think that Helena eventually came back on the team while Hana was coach.
At the 2000 Wimbledon celebration, Hana and Helena posed standing next to one another and oddly enough had the same hairstyle and color!!! So perhaps eventually they ended their long standing feud.