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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 2015, 07:12 AM
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Re: 1985

Originally Posted by PamShriver View Post
Such an intriguing year! Martina's level definitely dropped a bit (or did everyone else's level rise?), she lost two matches in the first couple of months to Evert and Mandlikova in South Florida and Princeton. Then she and Hana played an epic VS semi, which anticipated their U.S. Open final. She then lost to Kohde in Canada as well as two more losses to Chris and Hana in Paris and Flushing Meadow. I guess she was bound to lose some of the intensity that she had been carrying for basically two years straight, and she was already showing signs of vulnerability in the second half of '84. Still, both Hana and Chris raised their level and more importantly began to sense they had a shot.

Chrissie's year was one of the strangest of her career, yes, she beat Martina twice and ended the 13 match losing streak and kept her own Slam streak going with her emotional win in Paris, but I think she dropped the ball in the Wimbledon final and I think that match really set the course for the rest of the year, had she won that one I think her confidence level would've shot through the roof, but she doubted herself in the end and I think it effected her the rest of the years. She also began to have more bad losses than she used to, losing to Garrison on clay and Jordan at the Slims (I know she'd lost to her before, but this was only a couple weeks after her win over Martina and you'd think she'd be on a high).
I agree 1985 was an intriguing year.

And after 1982-1984 which were so dominant by Navratilova, with Chris picking up whatever Martina didn't win, the variety of 1985 was refreshing.

One aspect of 1985 I didn't like - and which was fixed the next year - was the Virginia Slims Championships being staged in March. So the official circuit-ending event was in March. I am sure it something to do with a contract or agreement with Madison Square Garden and an event in March. Thankfully by that time the 4 majors were firmly established as the "Big 4" so the VS Championships was no longer considered bigger than the majors.

The establishment of the Lipton in 1985 was a good thing, and it also served to break up and "modernize" the tennis calendar with more outdoor events early in the year.

Of course I thought it was a good thing that Chris defeated Martina at end of January - her first win over Martina in more than 2 years! And a pretty comprehensive win at that! Although Martina lost the previous January to Hana indoors in Oakland, I think Chris' win set the tone that Martina wouldn't have an automatic dominant year (which she didn't). I expected Chris to beat Martina at the Lipton - it being another event outdoors in South Florida. So I was a bit disappointed in that result. But I though it was a great foreshadowing that little 15 year old Steffi Graf made it all the way to the semis of a 128 draw event!

Another foreshadowing was Hana's win over Chris in Oakland. It was Chris' first loss to Hana in a long time, and seemed pretty shocking. I didn't feel as bad when Hana walloped Martina a month later indoors in New Jersey. Evert's loss to Jordan in New York was puzzling. It represented the third year in a row Evert lost to KJ. Even though the fast indoor surface may have helped the frying pan gripped Jordan, I think it was a match Evert should have won. Alas, I don't think Evert would have beaten Martina in a best of 5 match at MSG.

Chris looked really strong at the FCC. and of course it was Gabby's coming out party. And Steffi reached the semis too. So while none of the American Chrissie clones were matriculating to top class contenders, the newer, foreign ingenues were breathing some interesting new life into the women's tour.

One loss that i thought was going to seriously threaten Evert's chance to ever win a major or challenge Martina for #1 was her stunning defeat to Zina Garrison in the finals at Amelia Island. Kudos to Zina for winning the tournament - it was one of her finer moments in a very good year for her. But, Chris had no business losing to Zina on south Florida clay. I do think the combination of Evert winning FCC (and I think reaching the doubles final there), and then playing singles and doubles again at Amelia Island contributed to her being a little spent for the Amelia Island final. It was one of the few times I thought Chris looked slow and tired in a match. Evert was (surprisingly tested by Sabatini in the QF at Amelia Island. And Kohde Kilsch pushed her very hard in the semis. When Evert lost the finals to Zina I didn't think she would ever win a big match if she was starting to lose to players like Garrison.

Thankfully Evert got on track by winning the German Open, over 15 year old Steffi Graf who was definitely coming on strong. When the French draw was announced I wondered if Graf was ready to really challenge Chris, the way Manuela Maleeva did the previous year with her strong 1984 spring results. Evert easily handled Steffi in Paris on her way to the semis. Sabatini was waiting for her, eclipsing Manuela. (Still hard for me to believe Manuela never made it to the semis of Paris in her career! In 1984 I thought she would win the title there at least once.) Hana's puzzling loss to Kohde in the quarters was, well, pretty typical of how puzzling some of Hana's results could be!

We all know about the magical French final. For which I will never forgive NBC for. Gawd how I hate it that they still televise the event to this day!

I thought the co-#1 seeding at Wimbledon for Martina and Chris was a little odd. Yes, Chris had just regained #1, but Wimbledon always reserved the right to deviate from seeding, and Martina was a 5-time champion, so thought she should have been seeded #1. No matter, they were at opposite ends of the draw. Chris looked great all tournament, obviously inspired by her French win. Plus she won Australia on grass the previous year, and pushed Martina in the Wimbledon final in 1984, so she had every right to feel confident.

Unfortunately, I think Chris was more satisfied with winning the first set - similar to what happened in the US Open final the prior year. I'm not saying Chris didn't desperately want to win those matches. I think Chris relaxed just that little bit, and might have felt - and HOPED - Martina would cave a bit. Evert had more - and better - chances to win at the 84 US Open than at Wimbledon. Once Martina broke in the second set, the prospect for Evert winning was going to be that much greater. But, despite a final set score of 6-2 I always thought it was a close match, and Martina had to play well throughout to ensure her win.

I liked the way Chris went right back to playing and winning after Wimbledon. Blitzing Pam to win in Newport. And conquering the field in Canada, where Martina was beaten by Kohde Kilsch. I believed Evert's tough 3 set semi win over Hana in Canada would serve her well for Flushing Meadows. But, I was more fearful Kohde Kilsch would catch fire in Flushing and knock Chrissie out.

Evert was ruthlessly efficient in her quarter win over Claudia at the US Open to set up her semi with Hana. Meanwhile Steffi emerged as a bona fide top tenner with wins over #8 Maleeva and #4 Shriver (in that infamous tiebreak slugfest on the Grandstand) to reach her first ever major semi. When Chris won the first set against Hana - and Mandlikova flipped the bird to a linesman I thought Chris was in a great position to win the match. Then something happened. I do think Chris relaxed a bit. Maybe she thought Hana would go away. But Hana did not. I think they had an epic game in the third set that Hana finally won. By that time I had the dreaded sense it was not Chrissie's day ; - (

Like many, I loved the 85 US Open final. And am still breathless recalling the incredible pace and shotmaking of the match. Hana up 5-0! Martina rallying to 5-5!! A magnificent tiebreak with Hana winning. Yay! A walkabout by Hana in the second set. Oh no, Martina's gonna win again. Hana brilliantly taking a 5-3 lead in the third. But Martina's not done yet. Another third set tiebreak for Martina (did she feel jinxed?) I loved it that Hana kept going for it even though she had plenty of opportunities to fold. The final winning shot is one for the ages. I doubt we'll ever see a match like that again.

Again, I thought it was great for Chris she went right back to winning, and officially had a chance to end 1985 as #1 with an Australian Open win. I was hoping Hana would be able to beat Martina in the semis. I've never seen the 1985 Australian Open final. But it was great for women's tennis that all four majors went the distance in very compelling and unique circumstances.

Martina was #1 again, with Chris not far behind. A solid Hana at #3, Steffi not far behind, and solid, top 10 performances by Kohde, Sukova, and Garrison made 1985 one of the more interesting years of the Open era, IMHO!
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2015, 06:54 PM
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Re: 1985

Austin keeps her comeback secret
Daily Breeze
Torrance, CA
Thursday, February 21, 1985
The Daily Breeze news services

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- In January, 1979, one month after she turned 16, Tracy Austin defeated Martina Navratilova in the Avon Championships of Washington, D.C., her first major tennis tournament title.

The same year, she captured the Italian Open, defeating Chris Evert Lloyd and, at the same time, snapping Lloyd's 125-match clay-court winning streak.

Last Saturday, Navratilova and Lloyd met for the 63rd time in their careers -- the longest running battle in open tennis history -- this time for the women's title in the inaugural $1.8 million Lipton International Players Championships here.

As Navratilova was beating Lloyd, Austin was in the ABC-TV booth, commentating on the match.

Lloyd is now 30 years old and playing some of the best tennis of her career. Navratilova is 28 and the top women's player in the world today.

Austin, who turned 22 in December, is talking about attempting yet another comeback.

"Sometime soon," she said when asked when she'll return to the women's tennis tour.

"I started hitting in January. I don't want to give a specific date. I want to surprise everybody.

"I have a date in my mind and only a couple of people know. I don't want people asking me if I'm getting close.

"You get frustrated when you first come back because you're not hitting like you were when you were your best. And I want to play up to my best. I'm still learning shots."

In 1979, she became the youngest player ever to win the U.S. Open and later was named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She claimed the AP award again in 1981 after winning the U.S. Open for a second time.

In August, 1980, Austin became the youngest athlete at that time to reach the $1 million mark in career earnings.

Earlier that year, she won 19 consecutive matches and tied Navratilova for the No. 1 spot in the computer rankings.

"I had a sciatic nerve problem when I was 18," she said. "Five months later I came back and had probably the best seven months of my career."

That was in 1981. The next year, she was off the tour for another four months, again with a sciatic nerve problem.

The 5-foot-4 right-hander from Rolling Hills Estates sustained a stress fracture in her back at Eastbourne in June 1983, a week before Wimbledon. She was eliminated in the semifinals by Australia's Wendy Turnbull.

It was a tearful Austin who announced during a press conference at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club that she was withdrawing from Wimbledon because of her back.

"There's eight weeks in between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open," she noted. "I took six weeks off.

"I tried to play three hours my first day back and got tendinitis in my shoulder. I was trying to come back too soon."

At another news conference, this time at the National Tennis Center in New York, she announced she would not be able to play in the U.S. Open.

The stress fracture in her shoulder, she said, came at a time when she was in the best shape of her career, practicing four hours a day against Tony Roche. "I don't know, maybe that caused it," she said.

But the pulled muscles, tendinitis in her shoulder and other nagging injuries might have been avoided, she said, if she had been more willing to take time off.

"I could have picked up something heavy and hurt my back," she said. "But the other injuries happened because I wanted to play tennis. I didn't listen to my body and it became a vicious cycle."

In 1984, she made another comeback -- and it was a disaster, far from the results expected of Tracy Austin.

She defeated South African Yvonne Vermaak in the opening round of the Virginia Slims of Chicago in February 1984 but lost to Barbara Potter in the second round.

Two weeks later, she downed Terry Holladay in the first round of the U.S. Indoors, only to fall to Pam Casale in the second round.

It was time for Austin to disappear again.

"It was a very unhappy period in my life," she said. "I was not giving myself time to heal. I've had to learn to be patient. It's been a struggle, and personally I've learned a lot, especially about me.

"I was very depressed, it was hell. I was going through so many feelings. You throw yourself into tennis, tennis, tennis, and then it's very hard to wake up and know you won't be playing.

"I had so much success at a young age. My life was almost perfect. I never faced adversity until I was 20. Then I didn't understand what was happening."

A month ago, she began hitting tennis balls again, though nothing strenuous.

"It was a pure joy," Austin said.

She is now practicing with friends. After the time invested in getting well, she is in no hurry to get back to the tour.

When she entered the press registration trailer Thursday to have her identification photograph taken, the woman behind the desk did not recognize her.

"But I don't miss the spotlight," she said. "I miss tennis. I'm here to do commentary and that's nice, but I'd rather someone was commenting about me."

Last summer, she was at Wimbledon, as a commentator for NBC. She worked for ESPN, the sports cable network, during the women's tournament at Newport, R.I. Now, it's ABC.

But the dream remains for Austin, a dream to return to the court and to the past glories.

"I'm very eager," she said.

Robert Lansdorp, who began coaching Austin when she was 7 years old, is ambivalent about his former student.

"It's a strange thing," he said when asked about her return. "You can never bet against Tracy. She might go out and prove you're wrong.

"Her personality is always striving to be the best. I don't know if she can take coming back and not being the best.

"She's been out 1 1/2 years. That's very tough. I don't know when she's coming back or if she's coming back."

Lansdorp said Tracy's injuries stem from her personality and style of play.

"Her attitude was part of it," he said. "She would go after every ball. She was so tough that way. She had to have competition.

"The first time she had back problems, a local doctor told her to find a different profession. I thought that was cruel at the time.

"It looks like the guy was partly right.

"I remember in Tampa, Tracy had to play two matches in the same day. She went all out in both matches and won them both. But she came off the court in pain."

Austin sounded confident and happy the past week.

"I think I'll go back (on the tennis tour) a different person," she said. "I'm not so one-dimensional. That won't take away from tennis -- it's just adding something."
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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2015, 07:00 PM
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Re: 1985

Compare with the Tennis Is Dying incantation from 1994 and early 1995.

Saturday, February 23, 1985
C.W. Nevius

WHATEVER HAPPENED to the tennis boom? Remember when tennis was on the cover of Newsweek? It was going to be the sport of the '70s, and certainly of the '80s. Riding the fitness wave, it was supposed to cut across that wide segment of active sports fan.

This week, top-flight tennis came to the Bay Area -the best women players in world, with the single exception of Martina Navratilova - and the spectators, although numerous enough, certainly do not represent a cross section of America's sports fans. Most looked as if they'd just come from a few sets at the club themselves.

As one observer pointed out, the most incongruous announcement of the week was information on how to buy tickets for an upcoming pro wrestling card. Among this crowd (some having brought their own cheese, wine and glasses), few fans of Hulk Hogan were in evidence.

Exactly 182 spectators were counted watching Hana Mandlikova and Wendy Turnbull, the No. 3- and No. 6-ranked players in the world, play a doubles match Tuesday afternoon. (At the All-Star baseball game last summer, thousands of fans turned out in the afternoon just to watch batting practice.)

Some 7000 turned out Thursday night to see Chris Evert Lloyd in her first match, but that's the point - tennis is more like a concert tour than a sporting event. (And now, hitting a medley of your favorites . . . you love her records . . . let's hear it for Chrissie.)

It's not that tennis isn't making money. It's that none but the hard core fan cares. In January of this year, a $1.5 million tournament was held in Las Vegas. The field included John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Yannick Noah, Johan Kriek and Vitas Gerulaitis. It was televised by NBC and ESPN. The crowd? Five hundred.

Tennis is a never-ending story. Its season has no beginning and no end. There are high-water events, like the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, but there are tournaments the week before and week after, too. They play indoors in Japan and outdoors in Australia, 12 months a year. Strike the tent and move on.

``It's not a circus,'' Turnbull says, ``but it is a traveling show.''

AS TURNBULL points out, ``Before the creation of the indoor season, tennis players followed the sun.'' Now they carry their own roll-away court to arenas all over the world.

``You play tournament after tournament,'' says San Francisco's Peanut Louie. ``It's like you're in the same city.''

Since tennis doesn't stop, the players have to. ``I create my own off-season,'' Evert says. ``I don't play in December, January and most of February most years.''

The game, as it has evolved, isn't helping. As Alycia Moulton said after her Thursday loss to Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, ``It was basically a matter of whoever could get to the net first.'' The women, who are supposed to have the game of long rallies, have gone to power.

Just as an example, in the Thursday match between Barbara Potter, a top server ranked seventh in the world, and Robin White, an up-and-comer, no point in the entire second set lasted longer than nine strokes. Of the 50 points in that set, 22 were decided in three swings. Serve, return, put-away. The ballboys got most of the exercise.

IN CONTRAST, a random count during the match between Louie and Evert showed two rallies of 21 strokes, one of 22 and one 34-shot marathon that earned a roar from the crowd when it was decided.

Evert, whom women's tennis needs like boxing needed Muhammad Ali, is celebrated for her personality, but she also plays tennis the average player can identify with. (A sporting goods firm is bringing out a new ball for hackers that is regulation weight, but seven percent larger. The ``moon ball'' is supposed to create longer rallies.)

Evert, and her style, are considered charming anachronisms, but what will women's tennis do without her? Tennis as presented this week is like gymnastics - young, driven women. ``They all go to the camps and hit 5000 balls,'' says White.

They come in different sizes, shapes and nationalities, but they all look the same - new-wave haircuts, dripping gold chains and designer sweats. ``Valley girls,'' one reporter noted this week.

WHO ARE these women? Who are the Evonne Goolagongs, Virgina Wades and Billie Jean Kings of today? Tracy Austin and Andrea Jaeger are out, burnout and injury casualties of the grinding schedule.

By the way, it's no accident that Navratilova isn't here. Evert disclosed Thursday night that she and Martina get together to compare schedules so they don't meet too often and can lend their presence to several tournaments.

With Evert here, tennis-types can sit in churchlike silence and watch her pound the latest serve-and-volley hot flash.

Tennis boom? Hush.
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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2015, 04:02 PM
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Re: 1985

THE RETURN OF ANDREA : Jaeger Gets Back Into Tennis, but That's Not All There Is to Her Life Anymore
April 25, 1985
Los Angeles Times

SAN DIEGO — Andrea Jaeger's life used to be dominated by tennis. That was during her youth. She's grown up now. She's 19.

"When I was young, I got up, practiced, played a match, and went to sleep," she said. "If I played eight hours a day, I figured I'd get better."

She got very good very fast. Jaeger was the third-ranked woman player in the world in 1982 and '83, but she suffered a rotator cuff injury in her right shoulder last August. It led her to believe that her career might be over.

It isn't, since she is playing this week, for the first time in eight months in a singles tournament, in the Virginia Slims of San Diego tournament. Jaeger beat Barbara Gerken in the first round, 6-2, 6-3, Tuesday, but lost to Melissa Gurney, 6-0, 6-1, in the second Wednesday.

Jaeger, who has a sweet smile, an infectious laugh and an "Annie" perm, also has been doing other things here this week. She has been seeing friends, going to the movies and planning a return visit to the San Diego Zoo.

"I'm a more well-rounded person than I was four years ago, three years ago, or even a year ago," she said.

What a year it has been off the court for Jaeger, a child star who finally had a chance to live the normal life of a teen-ager while she was sidelined with her injury.

In August, the injury made it difficult for her even to write. It forced her to default, after just one match, a berth on the United States Olympic tennis team.

"I didn't think I'd play for at least a year, and I felt that sitting around and going to doctors wouldn't be great," she said.

Jaeger had a reputation for being a spoiled child who had won too many matches during her early teen years and who questioned too many calls.

"When I was playing, I heard stories about me that I didn't even know were going on," she said.

When she knew she wouldn't play for a while, if ever, she didn't brood, though, or sit around feeling sorry for herself. She decided to enroll in college, something she had wanted to do since her 23-year-old sister, Susy, went to Stanford five years ago.

Being a lover of animals, Jaeger enrolled in Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla., to study zoology.

Her dream of working with dolphins and killer whales moved closer to reality. Jaeger, a straight-A student in high school, was able to attend class on a regular basis for the first time since her freshman year in high school.

It wasn't until late December that Jaeger hit a tennis ball again. Her life was dominated by school and her learning to socialize with people her own age. It was strange at first.

"I went through four years in high school, and I don't know any of the students I went to school with," she said. "However, I became good friends with the teachers, and still keep in touch with them."

That was the start of a pattern. Jaeger, who turned professional at 14 and was the youngest player ever to be seeded at Wimbledon, was more comfortable dealing with adults.

"I guess I've never really had an age," she said. "When I was 14 or 15, I started hanging around with people 15 years older. My friends on the tour were my teachers' age. I used to spend a lot of time with Wendy (Turnbull) and Chris (Evert Lloyd), and I traveled with my dad."

When she started college, the tour veteran of 19 was suddenly a rookie.

"At first, I would go back to my apartment right after class and study," Jaeger said. "Then I found out I was studying stuff I didn't even have to. Finally, I got into a system where I'd stay up all night and study."

It also took time for Jaeger to make friends.

"On the tour, people will like you if you do well," Jaeger said. "They won't if you don't do well."

It's understandable that Jaeger was wary of leaping into friendships.

"One girl went around and told people I was a bitch before she even met me," Jaeger said. "You can't win with those people."

There were also students who she considered immature. They were envious and jealous of her success, and their life styles did not mesh with hers.

"Maybe I'm square but I don't do drugs, don't drink or mess around," Jaeger said. "And I don't think I've grown up to be that bad a person.

"A lot of the guys at school just wanted to get drunk every night. You don't go out with a girl when you're drunk. I was used to traveling around and being in charge of my life, and here were guys who couldn't find their apartment."

But Jaeger was confident enough in herself, and slowly began to make friends, the type who wouldn't judge her harshly for driving a Mercedes.

Sue Crandall, another freshman, knew nothing about tennis when she and Jaeger met. They became best friends.

"When I first met her in our apartment complex, I asked her if she was just out of high school," Crandall said. "She said, 'No, I'm just taking time off from tennis.'

"Who she was didn't connect. I told her I played basketball in high school."

Crandall became such a good friend, though, that when Jaeger made her decision in March to take time off from school and try a comeback, Crandall was invited to accompany her.

"At first I thought I should stay in school," Crandall said. "That was also my parents' first reaction. But my aunt and grandmother kept saying what a great opportunity it would be."

They were right.

Crandall is tanned, relaxed and enjoying life on the tour. A couple of weeks ago, the two were in Tokyo, where Jaeger competed in the Bridgestone doubles tournament. Jaeger and Bettina Bunge lost to Turnbull and Sharon Walsh in the semifinals.

Having Crandall accompany her on the road has made Jaeger's transition to tennis easier.

"I just felt that I couldn't combine both, and if I stayed and finished school, my tennis would never be the same," Jaeger said.

Whether her game returns to its 1982-83 level remains to be seen. "I have a feeling that I won't start that brilliantly," she said. "It takes a lot longer for the shoulder to warm up. If I want to put pressure on myself, I can."

But she won't.

What she will do is have fun. And she will be social.

"I've discovered that it's more fun to be with other people," Jaeger said. "People I liked before, I still like, and people I was afraid to be around before, I now hang around with."

In other second-round action, top-seeded Wendy Turnbull struggled to a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Kris Kinney; Betsy Nagelsen advanced with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over fifth-seeded Ann Henricksson; sixth-seeded Roz Fairbank of South Africa ousted Linda Howell, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Mary Lou Piatek defeated No. 7 seeded Robin White, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, and Hu Na beat Eileen Tell, 6-2, 6-3.
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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2015, 04:35 PM
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Re: 1985

Wow, thanks for these articles. I guess Austin and Andrea were around more than I remember.
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post #21 of 51 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2015, 10:26 PM
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Re: 1985

Originally Posted by DennisFitz View Post
(Still hard for me to believe Manuela never made it to the semis of Paris in her career! In 1984 I thought she would win the title there at least once.)
I remember an Australian Tennis Mag interview with Manuela who had recently retired at the time, and she was talking about her love for the French Open and that she felt she could've won the 1990 tournament because she was playing so well. Unfortunately she dropped something like a 4-1 third set lead against Seles in the quarters, who she never was able to beat.

There's more to life than just being happy.
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post #22 of 51 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 04:41 PM
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Re: 1985

Getting way ahead of ourselves in the 1985 timeline, but is a great example of the vacuum left by Austin, at least in terms of competitive attitude compared with Burned-Out-and-Co-opted Shriver. And a great example of Jaeger's peculiarity. And a great example of how few experts saw Graf a-coming.


By Lesley Visser
Boston Globe
August 25, 1985

In northern New Jersey last week, Pam Shriver described the state of women's tennis.

"Martina (Navratilova) and Chris (Evert Lloyd) are miles ahead of the rest of us in experience," she said. "And they're pushing each other to get better while we don't even have any real rivalries. We're darn good players, but they're exceptional."

Three-thousand miles away in Los Angeles, Tracy Austin went out after breakfast to hit the ball.

"I'm up to an hour and a half now," she said, "which I alternate with swimming, biking and going to Dr. Robert Kerlan for rehabilitation. I can't say when I'll be back, but I hope it's in the next six or eight months."

What has happened to women's tennis? In 1978, Shriver was the 16-year-old breath of wit and whippet from Baltimore who advanced to the finals of the US Open. A year later, 16-year-old Austin became the youngest player to win the US Open. Since then, Austin won another Open title, Hana Mandlikova won the French in 1980 and the Australian in 1981 - and the rest of the Grand Slam trophies have gone to either Navratilova or Evert Lloyd.

"I was looking at the Virginia Slims computer the other day," said Shriver. "Chris and Martina have something like 188 points and I have 76. And I'm No. 3 in the world. That pretty much sums up the difference."

Shriver has since dropped to No. 4, a single computer point behind Mandlikova, but they are are still a long way, baby, from Navratilova and Evert Lloyd.

What is it that makes them so special? Navratilova, at 28, has won six Wimbledons, two US Opens, two French, two Australians and a gym bag full of doubles and mixed doubles - a total of 34 Grand Slam titles. Evert Lloyd, who usually plays only singles, has 17. At 30, she has beefed up her serve, taken chances at the net and is ranked No. 1 for the ninth time in her legendary career.

"After Chris and Martina, women's tennis is a melting pot," said historian Ted Tinling. "Helena Sukova, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, Manuela Maleeva and Shriver are in the pack; even Zina Garrison is better and Gabriela Sabatini and Steffi Graf will come along. But I don't see that extra dimension of personal pride in any of them, that ferociousness of dedication that sets Chris and Martina apart.

"In the 1930s, when Helen Wills Moody kept retiring - which she did on two or three occasions - others temporarily took her place. That's what will happen when Chris and Martina finally retire - a group of five or six women will be ranked No. 1, depending on what week it is. Martina and Chris are simply a class apart."

In the 1970s, Evonne Goolagong and Chris Evert provided one rivalry, with Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade and Navratilova deep in the hunt. Then Navratilova and Austin emerged as the rivalry of the '80s, when Austin was only 17.

In 1981, Austin beat Navratilova for her second US Open title and seemed headed for a place in the Tennis Hall of Fame. But two years later, she was off the tour with recurring sciatica in her back, a stress fracture in her shoulder and a serious case of depression.

"It was hell," she said. "My life had been almost perfect and then, at 20, I knew only adversity. Now I've lived through it and I think I'm better for it. I've made friends with some of the Lakers (who also work out at Dr. Kerlan's facility), I have a boyfriend and I do normal things. Mitch Kupchak gave me a book on motivation and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave me a set of jump ropes. But I don't think my tennis career is over. I'll be back."

Shriver thinks it will be more difficult than Austin imagines.

"At this point, Tracy's mind is so fried from wondering if she's ever going to do anything in tennis again," said Shriver, "yet it's still fresh enough in her mind to remember what she was - a tremendous, gutty player."

In 1980, Austin was ranked No. 1 in the world, with regular wins over Navratilova and Evert Lloyd. She had an obsession, a fire to succeed that is common to the top players.

"Tracy had a vitriolic attitude toward the ball," said Tinling. "She hit it as though she had a bitterness toward it. I don't want to dampen her hopes, but it's unlikely she could have that very high degree of concentration again."

While marking time until her comeback, Austin has done commentary for NBC, ABC, ESPN and USA. "Commentary is nice," she said, "but I'd rather have someone commenting about me."

Shriver, too, found it necessary to take time off. After the Australian Open last winter, she spent three months working as honorary chairwoman for the Maryland Coalition to Re-elect President Ronald Reagan, restoring a 171- year-old tenant-farmer's house in Baltimore and dating a young man in Dallas.

"I went to the Inaugural Ball, hung around with my friends and never felt bored," said Shriver. "When I look at my life, I see that it's balanced. That may prevent me from doing something tremendous in tennis, but if I had to make a choice, I'm glad I am the way I am."

And part of the way she is, is outspoken, blunt and surprisingly careless.

"Can you believe some of the things that come out of my mouth?" she said.

A number of her outbursts have come after stinging defeats. Four years ago in Toronto, a triumphant Austin danced up to the net to shake the loser's hand. Shriver thought the celebration was amateurish and immature and directed a few expletives toward Austin at the net. Last year at the US Open, when Shriver lost to Wendy Turnbull in the quarterfinals, Shriver claimed that she would have made a better opponent against Navratilova in the semis. Turnbull shrugged it off as a typical Shriver remark.

In July, Shriver said she missed being in Evert Lloyd's half of the draw (she had not played the world's best baseliner in 2 1/2 years). Evert Lloyd responded smartly that she would love to meet Shriver - whom she had beaten in all 15 of their matches. Six weeks later, they met in a final at Newport, R.I., and Evert Lloyd won, 6-4, 6-2.

"That's a perfect example of how I'm sometimes misunderstood," said Shriver. "I was muttering in frustration that I hadn't played Chris in so long, that I hadn't had the chance to test myself against her. I need those opportunities to know where I stand. As for the Turnbull thing, those were ungracious remarks, to say the least. I definitely have to get better at what I say immediately after a match."

The reverse side of Shriver is what makes her one of the most popular players in the game. In Australia last year, she was challenged by Evert Lloyd to go in the men's locker room, which she did - for $200. Another time in Australia, when someone accused her of not knowing anything about their native game of cricket, Shriver stood up at dinner and recited the entire Australian team and the position each man played.

A passionate baseball fan, Shriver has been known to agonize over the Baltimore Orioles, and two years ago she publicly lambasted Robert Irsay for moving the Colts to Indianapolis. A distant cousin of 1972 presidential candidate Sargent Shriver, she has played tennis at Camp David and had dinner at the White House. This week and next, Sports Illustrated will publish a diary of her life on the tour.

After a first-round win at the United Jersey Bank Classic last week, 50th- ranked Jo Durie talked about the elite crossfire between Navratilova and Evert Lloyd and the mad scramble for a place behind them.

"Chris never gives you a point," said Durie, "and she does her homework on you. Martina is simply the best athlete."

Shriver agreed.

"You go out on the court thinking, 'If I do X, Y and Z perfectly, then I have a chance to win.' If you're up, 2-0, 30-0, and miss a first serve, though, that can be the difference. Both of them, especially Chris, will jump on any opening you give them."

Sylvia Hanika said confidence is what distinguishes Navratilova and Evert Lloyd from the other 260 women on the tour.

"They've won so many close matches, so many close points," said Hanika, who is ranked 20th. "They know what to do every time. It is stupid for the rest of us to start a tournament thinking we'll get to the final, but maybe they can."

One player in the Jersey Bank Classic has known the confidence, the shot- making ability and the glamour of being one of the best players in the world. Twenty-year-old Andrea Jaeger, once ranked No. 2 and now out of the rankings after leaving the tour with shoulder, neck and feet ailments, said she was happy just to be back.

"I'm not putting pressure on myself to do anything great," she said after beating qualifier Marie-Christine Calleja of France. "I've got a long way to go."

In the second round against Durie, Jaeger impulsively demanded the microphone during a delay and asked the fans if they were glad to see her back. The startled crowd paused, then responded with hearty applause.

"I said to myself, 'I'm going to find out just how people feel,' " said Jaeger. "It's nice to know they care."

Whether Jaeger or Austin returns to top form or whether the middle of the Top 10 can crack the top two remains to be seen. Still, Shriver has a magical vision of the upcoming US Open, which begins Tuesday at Flushing Meadow, N.Y.

"I'm going out on a limb and predict that two women other than Martina and Chris will be in the final," she said. "I think it's time."

If it isn't time, Shriver has another idea.

"Maybe I'll retire until they retire," she said with a laugh, "and then I'll come back. I know that if I leave this game without winning a US Open or a Wimbledon, I'll feel a void. I came along, unfortunately, with two of the greatest players in the history of the game."

Shriver's hitting coach, 28-year-old Hank Harris, acknowledges the physical and historical accomplishments of Navratilova and Evert Lloyd, but he thinks 23-year-old Shriver can win a major title.

"Pam has the physical strengths to overpower her opponents," said Harris, a former player at the University of Virginia. "What makes Chris and Martina different is psychological. Let's face it - no one can practice being mentally tough."
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post #23 of 51 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2015, 11:08 PM
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Re: 1985

Putting the "fun" in dysfunctional, tennis' own Holden Caulfield. Even (especially?) if Jaeger's side of the story is entirely a paranoid delusion without a grain of truth, it's obvious a lot of people failed her along the line.

The Wichita Eagle
Sunday, February 24, 1985
Joan Ryan, Knight-Ridder News Service

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Andrea Jaeger was talking about killing her first rat. "You're supposed to pick it up by the tail and hit its head on the cement. I hit it, and it was still quivering. I had to hit it seven times before it died."

The rats are to feed the snakes. The snakes are part of the Santa Fe Community College teaching zoo here. The zoo, where Jaeger works as a freshman zoology major, is part of her new life, in which she has traded luxury hotels for a three-room apartment, and international fame for the obscurity of junior college.

Jaeger is 19 years old. She was ranked third in the world on the women's tennis circuit from age 16 until last year, overshadowed only by Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd. Between 1980 and 1984, she earned almost $1.4 million in prize money and hundreds of thousands of dollars more in product endorsements.

NOW SHE works for $3.35 an hour at a doctors' answering service five nights a week. Her best friend, the first best friend she's ever had besides her sister, is Sue Crandall, a zoology major on financial aid. Jaeger picks up her racket these days only when Crandall talks her into an informal lesson.

Her new life began in August. After defaulting in the second round of the '84 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles when tennis was instituted as an exhibition sport, she flew home to Largo, Fla., and, two days later, drove her Mercedes 500 SEC down Interstate 75 to Gainesville.

The steel-blue Mercedes parked outside her one-story, cement-block apartment is the only sign of Jaeger's wealth. She walks around campus every day in a baggy sweat suit and tennis shoes. She carries a backpack. She keeps a 10-speed bicycle parked in her living room next to a brown beanbag chair. A Blondie album stands propped on the floor against a wall unit, which she bought, along with a couch and a desk, on her first day in Gainesville.

WHEN THE furniture was delivered, she awoke her next-door neighbor at 8 a.m. to ask how she should arrange the three pieces. "I've lived in hotels all my life. You walk in and the stuff is there," she says. Shower curtains cover the room's only window. A jigsaw puzzle lies half-finished on the kitchen table amid letters and bills and other odds and ends on their way to being put away.

On her bedroom door hangs an "Enter at Your Own Risk" sign and a pennant from Stanford, her sister's alma mater. The room is a caldron of clothes, pictures, books, newspapers, a Nerf football, a soccer ball and few stray tennis balls. It doesn't always look like this, she explains, but she's packing for a visit home. From his place on the bathroom door, Prince glowers.

Jaeger offered something to drink, opened the refrigerator door and giggled. "Well, I've got blue cheese dressing and Aunt Jemima's maple," she said and giggled again. She has never laughed so much as in the past five months. She says she has never enjoyed herself more. She likes studying. She likes baking chocolate chip cookies with Sue and shopping at the mall. She likes her part-time job.

COLLEGE LIFE suits Jaeger. Still, something doesn't quite fit. All her life, she has regarded her peers with equal parts of wonder, confusion and disdain. As a child in Lincolnshire, Ill., Jaeger played soccer and Little League baseball, shunning girls without being fully accepted by the boys.

At 14, she burst onto the international sports scene as the youngest player ever to win a professional tournament. At 15, she reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. Suddenly, she was a star. Suddenly, an already shy young girl distrusted anybody outside her family. Her only close friend was her sister, Susy, four years her senior.

''I've never really had a friend I talked with and bummed around with. I never went to dances or parties, and I never really wanted to, because people were just different. Back in high school, all my best friends were teachers. I don't keep in touch with one person from high school, but I keep in touch with my teachers.

''Same thing in junior high. I'd have People and Sports Illustrated and all these reporters coming to school and taking pictures and stuff, and the other kids would all come running and saying they were great friends with me just to get in the picture. So I just said forget it, you know? I just sort of went through school like that. I spent a lot of time by myself.

''Then, on the tour, no one was my age. The closest one was Kathleen (Horvath), and we got to be pretty good friends and traveled a little bit together, but it's just not the same in an individual sport. I'd go to zoos by myself. I always went to movies by myself. I wasn't dependent on friends like that."

IT ISN'T that Jaeger doesn't care about people. She loves to make gifts for her family and for colleagues on the tour. The jigsaw puzzle on her kitchen table is for her agent at International Management Group, which handles her endorsement contracts and makes sure there's always $1,500 in her bank account. Jaeger said she's using the money she earns at her part-time job to buy Susy a gift, "because it will mean more that way." She's known on the circuit for remembering players' anniversaries and birthdays. Yet there's always the distance, the wariness.

Andrea Jaeger and Sue Crandall met the first day of school, when Crandall and another woman were walking behind Jaeger from the apartment complex to class. Jaeger turned around. "Oh, you guys have 8 o'clock classes, too?" Crandall said yes, but the other woman said she was going to a job interview. It turned out Jaeger and Crandall were going to the same math class.

''We couldn't find it. We walked so far we hit the highway," Jaeger said. "We finally find the class, and we're sitting there, and our math teacher was talking, and she tripped, like fell across the room. And we were just laughing so hard. Ever since then we just went to all our classes together."

Crandall, who had never played tennis, didn't realize who Jaeger was until two weeks into the semester.

''Some person came up to me," said Jaeger, "a real smart alec, and says, 'When are you going to play tennis again?' Snapping at me, you know? And Sue was with me and goes, 'Oh, you play tennis? You're the one who plays tennis?' I go, 'Yeah, that's me.' It was so cool. I know Sue's not using me for some ridiculous reason. It's the first time I don't have to put my guard up against a person."

NOW THEY'RE inseparable. Crandall is the only person outside of tennis who Jaeger has ever brought to her parents' home in Largo. They work together at the zoo, where they kill rats, feed snakes, build wooden walkways and give tours for visiting kindergarten classes. Jaeger loves that part, because she always has related well to children. Children never want anything from her. Jaeger's classmates say they treat her just like anybody else. Jaeger says she knows better. She says she knows how to "read" people so she's not fooled by their motives, and she's trying to teach Crandall to be more wary of people. Crandall, though, says she's trying to get Jaeger "to open up and trust more."

''I don't hang out with many people," Jaeger said. "There are just a lot of people who have motives for wanting to get to know me. Like, one girl was walking around saying, 'Yeah, that tennis player is a real ass.' I mean, she didn't even know me. I was here for like a week, and I heard this. And two weeks later I hear she's telling everybody that she's my best friend. I'm just going, well, 'Make up your mind.' "

Jaeger began thinking about leaving the circuit more than a year ago. She was losing. She was unhappy. She was hurting. She says the injuries finally became too much, and she rattles them off like answers to an anatomy exam: torn rotator cuff, bursitis in her right shoulder, pinched nerves in her neck and arms and right foot, a stress fracture in her pelvis. She sees Gainesville chiropractor Michael Faas once a week.

SOME PLAYERS and tour officials say it was more than injuries that pushed Jaeger out of tennis.

They say she was burned out, that her behavior on and off the court bordered on paranoia, that her demanding father - who is also her coach - finally drove her too far. Last February, during a loss to Horvath, Jaeger looked around Madison Square Garden and muttered, "Why is everyone always looking at me?" Last August, the Women's Tennis Association fined her for "unprofessional conduct" after she allegedly shoved a doubles opponent against a locker-room wall. Whenever Jaeger talked about quitting, her father always dissuaded her.

Jaeger hasn't won a tournament since January 1983, when she beat Hana Mandlikova in the final of the Avon Tennis Cup at Marco Island. Her ranking slipped to No.7 last spring. She missed Wimbledon in July because the pinched nerve in her neck and the rotator-cuff injury in her shoulder limited her arm movement. When Jaeger arrived in Los Angeles for the Olympics, she says, her arm was so sore it hurt just to put on a shirt.

THAT'S WHEN she knew it was time to get out. Andrea's father, Roland, a hard-working German immigrant, didn't approve and still doesn't.

''I don't think it was a very smart thing to do at the time she did it," he told a Gainesville reporter. "She can still go to school several years from now and get an education, and she wouldn't lose all the money she's losing. But whatever I think is immaterial. All I know is that in two years of tennis, you can earn about $2 million at the level Andrea was at. A college-educated person working at a normal job wouldn't earn that in a lifetime."

''My dad wants a better life for me than what he had," said Andrea. "He came from Germany and went through hard times and worked really hard, and all of a sudden Andrea's making all this money, and then she throws half of it away to go to school, to get a job that's not going to pay that much.

''I'm sure my dad will never really accept the whole thing, which I can see, because that's his life, too."

Roland teaches tennis at harry Hopman's academy, near Largo, a respected institution for promising young players. One of his students has moved into Andrea's old bedroom in Largo, even though there are two other empty bedrooms in the Jaeger home. "I can see they're trying to have the kid take my place," Andrea says.

She called home one day a few weeks after she started school and told her mother, "Guess what? I'm going to have a surprise for you next week." Jaeger knew what her parents were thinking.

"They're thinking, 'Oh, good, she's going to go back and play.' I call home the next week and my mom asks, 'What's the surprise?' I go, 'I got a job!' There's, like, no answer on the other end. Then my mom goes, 'You what? Andrea, what are you doing?' Nothing now surprises my parents." Jaeger's first paycheck was for $67.

SHE REMAINS angry that players are saying she was burned out . She says nobody, her father included, ever knew how serious her injuries were. She remembers the times when she tried to tell her father, and he wouldn't listen. She'd say, "Dad, I can't walk." He'd tell her she was just out of shape. So she kept playing. Three years ago, when the pain became too much, she had X-rays taken. There was a crack in her pelvis. She couldn't walk for two weeks. She saw doctor after doctor. They found 2- and 3-year-old injuries to her legs and arms.

''People don't believe me that I had all those injuries," Jaeger said. "They were saying I was burned out. They don't understand. Some of the players were saying I was crazy to give up all the endorsement contracts. You know, I could have gone and lost in the first round of every tournament and still collected my contract money. They don't understand that maybe money isn't the first motive in my mind for anything. Tennis is all their lives, which is fine, but it wasn't for me, even when I was on the tour."

JAEGER SURROUNDS herself with photographs of the players she knows best. Collages of Wendy Turnbull and Mary Carillo and Lisa Bonder line her shelves and decorate her walls, but she rarely corresponds with them. She never announced she was leaving the tour, choosing instead to explain her decision in individual letters to five or six players. She says she doesn't want any of her tennis friends to visit her. "I'm proud of the zoo and the school and everything, and I don't want anybody coming here who doesn't want to be here," she said.

It's as if Jaeger couldn't step into her new life without first pulling a door shut behind her. The tennis tour is rife with envy and cliques, gossip and rumors. That, maybe more than the injuries and pressure, was what became too much. For one so young to bear the scrutiny of the international press on one hand and the sometimes harsh judgment of her tennis colleagues on the other, calls perhaps for a thicker skin than Jaeger's. It bothered her that every time her nose itched, it made the news. She couldn't be herself - tomboyish, shy, a loner, a child - without somebody telling her what her problem was, as in, "Your problem is that you just don't trust anybody"; or, "Your problem is you did too much too soon."

A story in "Sports Illustrated" in April 1984 asked, "What's wrong with Andrea Jaeger?" It recounted stories of her barging into Chris and John Lloyd's hotel room and smashing her racket against the wall after hearing that John Lloyd had accused her of intimidating Wendy Turnbull during a mixed-doubles match, and of Jaeger following Turnbull to the airport the next day so she could tell Turnbull she wasn't trying to intimidate her and that the Lloyds were just trying to make her look bad.

Jaeger said some people told lies to the press about her. She said one Women's Tennis Association official told people that Jaeger was like a daughter to her, then told a reporter that Jaeger was lonely and depressed and needed friends and that Jaeger called her at all hours of the night.

Jaeger said the same tour official told the press that she had staged the burglary of her own condominium during a tournament at Marco Island last year to get attention.

"That sort of garbage went on all the time. A lot of people had a big part in what was going on, but I was the one who got the bad press. There are a lot of startling things that go on. People just don't want to know. Now all these stories are going around about me. It was just a bunch of garbage.

"It's really hard for me not to enjoy school when I'm away from these people."

Jaeger knows that people were surprised she chose Sante Fe Community College over more prestigious colleges. It is another judgment with which she must contend. Her sister went to Stanford, so she also was expected to go to a name university. "I didn't want the publicity," she explained. "This is a good school for zoology."

She wanted to blend in, and she couldn't do that with a spotlight tracking her every step. But even with the spotlight turned down to a soft glow, Jaeger doesn't blend in. She shies from parties. She doesn't drink, except for an occasional daiquiri, and she doesn't take drugs. "If somebody passed me something, I wouldn't even know what to do with it. So you're sort of looked at a little different."

On a living-room shelf sits a memento of Jaeger's first drink at her first college party: an empty bottle of Tab with a red ribbon around its neck. Jaeger left the party after 30 minutes. Crandall stayed until 2 a.m. At Halloween, Jaeger chose to go trick-or-treating with a group of children, some of whom play on the soccer team she helps coach, instead of going to a costume party with Crandall. "Getting drunk doesn't enthuse me. My dad used to own a bar, and I saw what happened to people who get drunk," Jaeger says. She'd rather go to movies or to the frozen-yogurt shop or to youth soccer games.

One aspect of the college social scene that jaeger is warming to is dating. Before August, she had never been on a date; she had neither the time nor the interest. Even now she'd rather play soccer or Nerf football than slip into high heels and a dress. She wears no makeup and little jewelry. She walks like a refined cowhand.

"Basically, I'm clueless," Jaeger said, laughing.

During the fall, she said, she accepted an invitation to go to a track meet in Daytona with one of the school's runners. When they arrived he discovered he'd forgotten his wallet, and Jaeger had to pay her own way. On the drive back to Gainesville, they talked about how people use other people. "Do you think I'm using you?" he asked. "You tell me," she replied. He sputtered, "No, I'm not. Really, I just forgot my wallet! I'll pay you back!"

Jaeger can't tell the story without giggling and turning a pale shade of red. She said she almost hit a street sign the first time she saw him. She couldn't remember her telephone number when he asked her for it after class one day. "He told me he was very fussy about women. I'm getting, like, really embarrassed. When a guy this gorgeous tells you he's picky..."

THE NERF footballs and sweat suits soon may go the way of Jaeger's tennis career, shut in the past behind another closed door. Jaeger won't say whether she'll play professionally again. It all depends on her injuries, she says, adding, "If I'm enjoying school, and there's a chance (the injuries) might reoccur, then I doubt I'm going back."

She would like to work with dolphins and has talked about going to Sea World in Orlando as a summer intern. She still has 1 1/2 years left in the zoology program, so there's plenty of time to decide. In the meantime, Andrea Jaeger works for minimum wage and cleans animal cages and writes term papers,

"But, see, I have fun all the time. I go to classes and have fun. Everything's fun for me. It's all so new that it's fun."
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post #24 of 51 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2015, 03:36 PM
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Re: 1985

1985 was a great year for womens tennis and was when womens tennis began coming to life again. 1982-1984 was really boring, and 1983 was probably the all time low for womens tennis, outside of Martina's amazing brilliance of course. Graf and Sabatini emerging on the scene, even though they werent ready yet at that point, made it even more exciting.

As for Martina, I think Chris and Hana raised their game much more than her dropping hers. It was dropped a tiny bit from 83, but 84 was also below 83 for Martina, but nobody was good enough to compete with her even then. In 85 they were.
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post #25 of 51 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2015, 11:19 PM
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Re: 1985

Thursday, January 31, 1985
Lowell Cohn

THEY TOLD me Chris Evert Lloyd was doing a promotion for the Virginia Slims of Oakland tennis tournament (Feb. 18-24), and if I wanted to interview her, she would call me on the phone at 11 a.m. Tuesday. They said I could have only 25 minutes of her time because she was conducting several interviews that day.

Ordinarily I would pass on something like that. I don't appreciate feeling like a beggar for time and words, and on the phone, I wouldn't be able to see what Evert did with her face after a tough question, or if she cracked her knuckles or slouched in her chair. But I said OK, because Evert had just beaten Martina Navratilova in a match, and she hadn't done that in more than two years.

Also, Evert is special. If there is an athlete in America with more dignity and grace, show me.

So I found myself answering the phone at 11 in the morning. A p.r. person for the tournament said Chris was right next to her, and she was happy to inform me I had a full 10 minutes with the star. I said 10 minutes was hardly enough time to clear my throat.

Evert got on the phone. Apologetic. Understanding. She would do the best she could.

SHE SAID she had decided to devote herself passionately to tennis for one more year and see what happens. At age 30, her motivation for continuing is not to dethrone Navratilova, but to reach her peak. ``Even when I was ranked number one, I hadn't peaked,'' she said.

At her peak, can she beat Navratilova?

''If I peak, that will fall into place.''

Evert said when she was 24, she discovered she no longer believed in the person she had been - the cute little teenage tennis machine. By necessity, she had been single-minded and had filtered out everything but her game. She especially had filtered out other people and their feelings. Her tennis game thrived, but her life was trivial. So she developed more interests, and became a happier person, and suddenly she wasn't the best woman tennis player in the world any more.

Now she wants to be the best - or at least challenge for the title. But here's the rub: How can she improve her game without becoming a tennis zombie?

''That's a tough question,'' Evert said with a shy giggle, and I wished I could have seen her at that moment. ''I must pull back (from people). I know that. I must come off a negative emotion to win. McEnroe and Connors do that. I have to feel hungry, and that doesn't come easily if I'm relaxed or content in my personal life. It's hard to turn that hunger on and off. I hope I won't become a selfish person. It's not like I'll start abusing people. I'll just be very quiet, lost in my thoughts. I'll want to be by myself. Luckily, I have an understanding husband.''

WE WERE now past the 10-minute mark, but Evert gave no sign of wanting to hang up, so I asked what it's like to play Navratilova. She answered the way she plays -- directly. Her voice was firm, pleasant, uncomplicated. ''I never look at Martina,'' she said. ''I must play the ball. Martina is intimidating because she is so aggressive. I just have to forget I'm playing her.''

Does she like Navratilova?

''I don't want to feel warm toward her in a match because I would lose. But for rivals, we get along well. We don't go out to dinner or talk on the phone, because we're together so much during tournaments. We'll be friends after tennis.''

Does she ever resent Navratilova?

''Not really. The only time I feel ambivalent toward her is when she hasn't given me credit. Like two days ago, when she said I beat her because she'd had a bad day at the office. Psychologically, she needs to say that.''

I ASKED Evert who she really is: Chris or Chrissy. sy. ''Chris is the person people read about,'' she replied. ''Chris is public, cold. Chrissy is a much more affectionate name. I'm more fond of it. Chrissy is me.''

We were at the 20-minute point, and I had several more questions - like does she ever feel the urge to throw a fit, like McEnroe? - when she said, ''They're putting a lot of pressure on me to get off the phone.'' Then the p.r. person took the receiver and told me Chris was late for another interview. I said I understood, but all the same, it was too bad. I like talking to Chris Evert Lloyd.
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post #26 of 51 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2015, 11:20 PM
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Re: 1985

The Record
New Jersey
Wednesday, January 30, 1985
By Mike Celizic, Staff Writer

By most measurements, two years really isn't such a long time. If, however, you are being hit repeatedly over the head with a club, two years can seem slightly longer than eternity.

That is how Chris Evert Lloyd had been passing her days since December 1982. That's when she embarked on a string of 13 consecutive losses to tennis's version of the Russian winter, Martina Navratilova. After a while, the remarkable thing was not that Lloyd continued to get her brains beat in, but that she kept going back for more.

When Lloyd made her annual trip to New York last year to do advance publicity for the Virginia Slims Championships, everyone felt sorry for the former queen of tennis. All she was asked by reporters was when was she going to retire:

"Chris, you're 29 years old and it's clear even to us that you can't beat Martina if they nailed her feet to the baseline. So why don't you save what face you have left and give up?"

Chris would listen patiently, clench her jaw, and say something like, "I feel like I'm playing better than ever. I'm still No. 2."

It was painful to hear, because she was remembered as No. 1. Get out, she was told, before you embarrass yourself. As if being the second greatest women's tennis player on the planet is an embarrassment.

So now it's two months to Virginia Slims time and Lloyd, as gracious and dignified as ever, returned to the Big Apple yesterday to give her spiel. Only this time, she had no occasion to clench her jaw. Indeed, she was smiling so frequently, one would have thought she was auditioning for the Miss America pageant. Some interviewers even forgot to ask her when she was going to pack it in.

As of Sunday everyone stopped feeling sorry for her. On that day in Key Biscayne, Fla., on cement Navratilova's favorite surface Lloyd started repaying favors. She annihilated Navratilova, 6-2, 6-4.

Hey, Chris, what happened?

Basically, Lloyd got mad. Not at Navratilova, but at herself. The turning point, she said, came in September's U.S. Open when she lost in three tough sets to Navratilova.

"She didn't beat me," said Lloyd. "I lost that match.

"I was devastated. When it came to the few big points, I lacked the nerve. My whole career my mental aspect has been the strongest part of my game Chris Evert never choked a match.

"But I was used to being up 13-0 against players, and I was down 0-12," she said, referring to her losing streak against Martina. "It inhibited me so badly that when it came to the big points, I was a nervous wreck."

Lloyd choking is like Jimmy Connors quitting, like John McEnroe kissing babies, like Billie Jean King refusing to take the net. For a decade, she had dominated because of her unshakeable concentration. Suddenly, she realized, she was playing Navratilova like everybody else always had played her scared.

For others, that realization could bring terminal depression. But for Lloyd it brought a new beginning.

Knowing that she had gagged meant that her skills were not at fault. That meant she still could win if she concentrated like the relentless Lloyd of old.

Sunday, she did that, and it was Navratilova who collapsed. Navratilova admitted Sunday that she did not play her best. In fact, since her U.S. Open victory, she has not been playing to win, but rather not to lose. The burden of six straight Grand Slam titles and a record 74-match victory streak became too great in the Australian Open in December. Navratilova lost, to Helena Sukova, for the first time since last January.

The pressure of a losing streak, as Lloyd can attest, is terrible, but the pressure of so many wins may be even greater. Navratilova now has lost two of her last three tournaments.

"For two years, she was brilliant," said Lloyd. "Now she's just great."

Sunday, Lloyd was brilliant, but she knows that her rivalry with Navratilova is not over. Four years ago, when she was dominant, Lloyd pushed her rival to new heights. Navratilova, in the past two years, returned the favor. Now Lloyd, at 30, is playing the best tennis of her illustrious career, and she has her sights set on regaining her throne.

"I'm No. 2 and I have to go after the No. 1 player," she said. "We'll play a lot this year, nine or 10 times."

One of those figures to be March 24 at Madison Square Garden in the Virginia Slims final.

"I really believe that I haven't reached my peak," said Lloyd. "This year, if I keep working, I feel I can reach it. I love to compete. I love perfection. I love to put myself on the line."
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post #27 of 51 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2015, 11:20 PM
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Re: 1985

Poor Pammy, waiting patiently for Chris & Martina to finish "making history" before starting her turn.

Who will dethrone Chris, Martina? Shriver, Mandlikova, host of young players waiting in wings
Saturday, July 20, 1985
MIKE SZOSTAK, Journal-Bulletin Sports Writer

They have been on the top rung of the women's tennis ladder for so long that it's difficult to remember who preceded them or to imagine who will follow.

Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova.

Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd.

Either way, you have No. 1.

From 1975, when the Women's Tennis Association began its computer rankings, through the Virginia Slims of Newport this week, one or the other has occupied the coveted title of No. 1.

Only Tracy Austin has interrupted the string. She reigned for two months in 1980.

But the Evert Lloyd-Navratilova stranglehold can't last forever. Evert Lloyd is 30. She says she doesn't know when she will stop playing, but she also says she wants to have children. Motherhood would effectively end her career.

Navratilova will be 29 in October. After years of chasing Evert Lloyd, she has dominated the game since 1982. But she, too, has mentioned retirement in the not-too-distant future.

THEIR RECORD against all comers proves that there isn't anybody swinging a racket today capable of dethroning them. So who will ascend to the crown when they abdicate in a few years?

"Pam Shriver and Hana Mandlikova are next in line," Evert Lloyd said this week. "They are mature, experienced and successful."

Shriver, the No. 2 seed in the Slims of Newport, is 23 and has won well over $1 million in her career. She has been ranked in the top 10 in the world since 1980 and as high as No. 3, late last year. She is No. 6 now.

But she is 0-14 against Evert Lloyd and 3-22 against Navratilova.

"Ahead of me in the rankings just happen to be two of the greatest women players of all time," Shriver said, the admiration in her tone unmistakable.

"You can't begrudge that because it's really been quite an experience to see them play and play each other in some of the most unbelievable matches in women's history. But there are the hard sides, like getting far in a Grand Slam tournament because they are so tough to beat. But I'll be patient. My time will come. If not, c'est la vie."

MANDLIKOVA, THE 23-year-old Czech, also has won more than $1 million and has stayed in the top 10 since 1980 with the exception of 1983, when she finished the year at No. 12. She is No. 3 now.

She is 3-16 against Evert Lloyd and 5-14 against Navratilova.

"Someone like Hana has the ability, but I don't know if she or anybody can beat Chris or Martina consistently," Shriver said. "I know when I play my one match, I feel I have a good shot at beating anybody. But day in and day out, year in and year out, I don't know."

Then there are recent arrivals to the top 10. Eighteen-year-old Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria is No. 4 in the world. She beat Evert Lloyd in the 1984 Italian Open final and Mandlikova in the Lion's Cup in Tokyo.

American Zina Garrison, 21, cracked the top 10 last year and is No. 5 now. She has beaten Shriver and Mandlikova.

Czech Helena Sukova, 20, upset Navratilova at the 1984 Australian Open. She is No. 7.

KATHY RINALDI, the 18-year-old Floridian who turned pro four years ago, has climbed to No. 8 in the world. She has defeated Mandlikova.

But the next superstars, the veterans agree, are lurking on the fringe of the top 10. Remember the names Steffi Graf of West Germany and Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina.

Graf is 15 years old and ranked No. 12 in the world. She has been playing the game since she was 4.

Last year she won the Olympic Tennis Demonstration at Los Angeles and was runnerup of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, West Germany.

This year she reached the semifinals of the inaugural Lipton International in Delray Beach, Fla., where she lost to Evert Lloyd. She also lost to Evert Lloyd in the semis at Hilton Head, the finals of the German Open and in the fourth round of the French Open.

Sabatini, also 15, is ranked No. 15. She was the top-ranked junior in the world in 1984. The second-youngest player to play in the U.S. Open and the youngest to win a round, she reached the third round. She has been playing for eight years.

"SABATINI ON clay will be a force as long as her career is around," Shriver said. "We have yet to see how she will adjust to hard courts or grass courts, but she certainly is a brilliant player."

Evert Lloyd isn't worried about Sabatini's ability to adjust. She predicted the next wave of stars will be versatile.

"The era that Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and I came along in was the baseline era," she said. "Then Martina and John McEnroe started the serve-and-volley era. The next group will be well-rounded. They can do everything now. They're just not polished yet."

Evert Lloyd is concerned about the pressure ahead for the Grafs and Sabatinis.

"At 15, there are no pressures. You don't feel anything when you play a superstar," she said. "When I won my first Wimbledon, I was 19 and didn't know what was happening."

She is convinced that those pressures will foster burnout and end the days of players staying atop the game for as long as she and Jimmy Connors have.

"THE STARS will shine brighter, but for a shorter time," she said. "There are so many more opportunities now. When Sabatini is 15, 16 and 17, she'll be making a couple of million, and they (coaches, sponsors, promoters) will work her."

Shriver agreed.

"After five or six years on tour, the financial incentives aren't there," she said.

"The tour is a lot different now," Evert Lloyd said. "We have 35 tournaments. The money is there. The pressure from parents and coaches is there. Sabatini can earn $500,000, and she's only 15. It takes strong, caring parents to say, 'You can play 10-12 tournaments. Pace yourself.' But nobody does that. They throw them out there and those kids play 25 weeks. Before they develop physically. That's how they get injured."

Austin and Andrea Jaeger, whom many experts believed would make room at the top, suffered injuries and burnout and walked away from tennis. Austin is 22, Jaeger 20.

"THAT'S WHAT'S so unbelievable about Chris," Shriver said. "She has not only ability, but also an unbelievable mind. The tougher I realize this is, the more natural it is that I hold people like Chris and Martina in high admiration. They've not only dominated, but handled the pressure. My respect for them grows every day. When they retire, maybe I can take over some of that attitude."

Then Shriver smiled.

"Of course, we may not stay at the top because of a slight difference in ability."
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post #28 of 51 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2015, 04:03 PM
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Re: 1985

1985 was the year I really began to follow tennis. I remember watching the FO final and rooting so hard for Chrissie. After that, I was hooked, I began to take tennis lessons immediately, began hitting the wall against the back of the house and got a subscription to Tennis Magazine. Chrissie was my Queen. Pam Shriver's book "Passing Shots" gives a fantastic account of 1985, from the rise of Sabatini and Graf, to the decline of the once promising Carling Bassett, to Hana's great U.S. Open.

Though, it was becoming quite clear that the Chrissie clones weren't going to have their day the way most had expected, there were a few bright spots for the young Americans: Stephanie Rehe turned pro at the U.S. Open and then won Utah and Tampa. Rinaldi had a career revival (she was only 18) and made the semis of Wimbledon and won Mahwah. And Mary Joe Fernandez made the R16 at the inaugural Lipton beating Candy Reynold (double bagel!) and Bonnie Gadusek (a top tenner) at 13 years old. Still, it was clear that those results were small potatoes compared to the Grand Slam semifinal showings of Graf and Sabatini.
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post #29 of 51 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2015, 12:35 PM
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Re: 1985

I think Pam is a very underrated player, and does not get her dues for her career from people that were not around at the time to see her play. I think that she won 25 or 26 singles titles, which is more than many multiple GS winners, and did more than her fair share in winning those doubles slams with Martina. She rarely lost to anyone that she was expected to beat, and scored at least one win against the greats she played.

However, I never thought that she was a potential singles GS winner. Her groundstrokes, particularly the forehand was just too much of a weakness that could be exploited, and her movement was poor. Her victory against Graf in her GS year was probably Pam's best singles win.

Her book is still my favourite tennis book of all time......
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post #30 of 51 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2015, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1985

Her book is still my favourite tennis book of all time......
Her book is a laugh riot one moment and then poignant at the turn of a dime.

We ought to think about revisiting her book.

And she was "into dudes!"

P. S. Your Pamtastic character is NOT forgotten JakeMan90-93.

Visit us at the Blast From The Past: Where Tennis History Lives!

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