Mandlikova Upset by Call, Gives Up, Loses to Shriver
November 21, 1986
United Press International
Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK — Pam Shriver, taking full advantage of an opponent who felt she was being cheated and so gave up in disgust, won 12 of the final 14 games Thursday night to upset Hana Mandlikova, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, and earn a berth in the semifinals of the $1-million Virginia Slims championships.
Martina Navratilova followed with a routine 6-2, 6-4 victory over Bettina Bunge, running her winning streak since early June to 51 matches. The defending champion, who is seeded No. 1, will meet Shriver in the semifinals, and Navratilova has won her last 19 matches against her doubles partner.
Mandlikova appeared well in control when she led, 4-1 and 5-3, in the second set, but she finally lost her cool following a series of calls that went against her. Mandlikova, seeded third, held service to open the final set but offered only token resistance as Shriver swept the final six games with the loss of six points.
In a statement, Mandlikova said: "I've played a hundred matches and I've never been cheated like this before. I don't want to take anything away from Pam. I was playing my best tennis at the beginning and I felt I was being cheated. I can fight to a certain moment, but then it's too much."
The single call that unsettled Mandlikova occurred when she was serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set. A forehand volley that appeared to hit the line was called out, allowing Shriver to complete the break and get back on service.
Jumping on the opportunity, Shriver took the next three games with the loss of three points to even the match.
Shriver admitted later that Mandlikova's disputed shot was good but added that all players have to expect bad calls.
"She lost all heart after that," the fifth-seeded Shriver said. "Things like that you just have to put out of your mind. I'm not going to give it to her, but I felt badly."
Asked what she said to Mandlikova when the match was over, Shriver answered, "I said, 'I'm sorry.' I'm not sorry that I won, but I'm sorry that she felt she got the bad call and I was sorry she didn't put up an effort the way she did in Chicago (when Mandlikova won)."
This one definitely goes down as one of Hana's most infamous episodes. But unlike most others, Betty Stove and others who didn't normally indulge Hana in her outbursts, took her side on this one.
I don't blame Pam at all. If you've ever observed Pam up close, she has a general policy of never giving a point away. Even with Martina, who could be very generous with giving away calls out of fairness, the players just know that Pam is going to go by the calls. So everyone knew that Pam wasn't going to give that point away.
But it wasn't just that one call, it was a series of calls and over rules going against the same player. It also wasn't about just this tournament, but a continuation of player complaints about the quality of officiating at this event from the previous spring. I mean, when Manuela Maleeva gets so upset that she smashes her racquet and elicits a code violation, you know something is wrong with the officiating.
At the March event, Hana had a meltdown while defeating Chris. She got robbed on a few calls which was disappointing because she actually gave away a call to Chris that gave Chris an early break point. There was a net judge in particular that felt the need to stir things up with Hana by constantly whispering to the chair umpire, who was not strong enough in handling the situation. Hana should've calmed down and asked to have that net judge removed, and the umpire should've complied. Instead, he allowed the situation to escalate to the point that Hana actually smacked a ball at the woman, not justified but still ...
After the match, the net judge actually stepped towards Hana as if to fight. I can't imagine an official doing that to Martina or Chris or anyone else for that matter. She should've just walked away like the other officials did.
All of this led to a move to professionalize officiating in womens tennis, as had already begun on the men's side. As long as humans are involved, mistakes are going to happen and, I suppose, personality clashes too. But what was happening in New York was just unbelievable at this level.