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25,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2015 will be the 30 year anniversary of 1985, one of most thrilling years in women's tennis.

For the last 3 years Martina Navratilova had dominated her sport. Chris Evert was a distant second at best, having lost 13 consecutive times to Martina. Her last victory over Navratilova had been in 1982.

Tracy Austin and Andrea Jaeger were history at this point, Pam Shriver still showed no signs of breaking through, and no one else was on the horizon.

Hana Mandlikova had an above average 1984-but she was Hana after all, do who knew what to expect?

At the start of the year it was all status quo, Martina like a perennial Mount Everest over all the rest.

By the end of the wild ride of 1985 Mount Everest still stood, but the landscape of women's tennis had been altered for good.

Come on in and lets talk about one of my favorite years in women's tennis!

25,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The Top Ten Songs for 1985 (will put links to videos here-help please!)

1 Wham! Careless Whisper

2 Madonna Like a Virgin

3 Wham! Wake Me up Before You Go-Go

4 Foreigner I Want to Know What Love Is
5 Chaka Khan I Feel for You
6 Daryl Hall and John Oates Out of Touch
7 Tears For Fears Everybody Wants to Rule the World
8 Dire Straits Money for Nothing
9 Madonna Crazy for You
10 A-ha Take on Me

Watch these videos and it gives you some idea about why teased hair and bad clothes ruled the 80s!

25,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
One of the up and comers was Susan Sloane, featured in the article below.
The article also providea glimpse into the tennis academy system that Nick Bolletieri pioneered.

`Life` Giving Sloane A Star Treatment

December 11, 1985|By Jim Sarni, Staff Writer

POMPANO BEACH — A day in the life of junior tennis player Susan Sloane.

Or rather, Life in the day of Susan Sloane.

The Lexington, Ky., 15-year-old, the top player on the United States` Continental Players Cup team, is the subject of a feature story for the March issue of Life magazine devoted to today`s teen-agers.

And for the past week, Sloane has been getting the star treatment.

Wednesday a Life photographer showed up in Bradenton to begin shooting Sloane at Nick Bollettieri`s Tennis Academy, where she lives and trains.

Monday the photographer was still on Sloane`s trail as she walked along the beach and relaxed in her motel room. Tuesday the scene shifted to the Pompano Beach Tennis Center, where Sloane helped the top-seeded Americans survive a 2-1 opening-round victory over Yugoslavia in the Continental Players Cup.

After Yugoslavia`s Karmen Skulj defeated Cammy McGregor 6-3, 6-2, Sloane stopped Aila Winkler 6-3, 6-2 to even the singles. McGregor and Stephanie London then beat Skulj and Winkler 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the deciding doubles.

One can`t blame Life for focusing on Sloane. She is bright, talented and attractive. Agents have been whispering in her ear since she was 11.

Sloane could be one of America`s elite by the end of the decade. Right now, Sloane is tentatively ranked No. 3 in the country in Girls` 18s behind Stephanie Rehe and Mary Joe Fernandez. Rehe turned pro at the U.S. Open and has won two tournaments. Fernandez began to be a headliner when she became the youngest player to win a match in a pro tournament, at Bonaventure in 1984.

Sloane, who turned 15 last week, has been making slower, but steady, strides. After winning the Girls` 18 hardcourts, her fifth national title, she won the USTA pro tournament in Birmingham, Ala., then qualified for the U.S. Open.

``Pro tennis is my goal, and I`m working on it,`` said Sloane, a ninth- grader. ``I`ve done well at the nationals and in some pro tournaments. But I still have a long way to go.``

Sloane will get her first pro ranking Jan. 1, but she is not going to rush into a full-time professional career.

``I`ll turn pro when I`m ready,`` she said. ``Rehe turned pro at the right time. She played pro tournaments for about two years first.``

Sloane is grooming her game at Bollettieri`s, the finishing school of many pros.

``In Lexington, there are not many people to play with,`` said Sloane, who does not ride a horse or shoot an 18-foot jump shot from the top of the key.

``My coach has been working with Nick, and I decided to move there at the end of September. It`s a lot easier at the academy. Everything is right there, the tennis, Nautilus. In Kentucky, I`d have to go to all these different places.``

Sloane, the daughter of a dry-cleaner, started playing at 6; she is a typical teen-ager off the court. She listens to Duran Duran, reads Danielle Steele and watches Family Ties.

She does not seem to be in too much of a hurry to turn pro and make a million dollars.

But this week she has gotten a taste of the glamorous Life.

``I guess all the attention goes along with being a tennis player,`` Sloane said. ``It`s something you have to deal with. I can handle it.``

At the Sunshine Cup in Plantation, the defending champion United States beat Denmark 2-1 in its first match. John Boytim and Juan Farrow won their singles matches but lost the doubles.

Top-seeded Sweden, No. 2 Argentina and No. 3 Yugoslavia also advanced.

1,971 Posts
As a Chris fan, 85 was both very exciting and a huge disappointment. Obviously the French final was a huge highlight, but the US Open SF was a damp squib, and I think Chris was really really nervous at the AO final. Martina was still a strong favourite, but I think the Kooyong grass suits Chris's game better than the Wimbledon grass, as the ball sits up higher.

The match of the year for me was Hana's victory over Martina in the US Open final. What a match!

25,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
As a Chris fan, 85 was both very exciting and a huge disappointment. Obviously the French final was a huge highlight, but the US Open SF was a damp squib, and I think Chris was really really nervous at the AO final. Martina was still a strong favourite, but I think the Kooyong grass suits Chris's game better than the Wimbledon grass, as the ball sits up higher.

The match of the year for me was Hana's victory over Martina in the US Open final. What a match!
I wonder if the nerves at the Aussie were due to # being in the balance. Had Evert won it she would have more or less regained #1.

Hana's victory in the US final was clutch. Those two tiebreaks were heart stoppers!

Hana flies


25,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
USTA Video highlights of the 1985 US Open:

Women's action from 4 minutes 22 seconds.

Another candidate for match of the year was Graf over Shriver in 3 tiebreaks-the first time it ever happened at the US Open and Steffi's first slam semifinal. THAT match on video would be a keeper!

The Graf-Navratilova semi starts at 5:17--Evert and Mandlikova at 6:30.

Hana-Martina at 9:04 (There has never been a better volley at match point IMO)

It ends with women's doubles at 14:10.

199,011 Posts
I wonder if the nerved at the Aussie were due to # being in the balance. Had Evert won it she would have more or less regained #1.

Hana's victory in the US final was clutch. Those two tiebreaks were heart stoppers!

Hana flies

My all time women's tennis favourite match. By far more winners than UE's errors. On this day Navratilova needed exceptional volley's what didn't happen. But she didn't volley badly.

1,074 Posts
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).

9,514 Posts
Kathy Horvath's official tennis career earnings were $220,905. Likely she was not pulling in much endorsement money or appearance fees. Currently, the median yearly salary for a neurosurgeon in the U.S. is about $350,000. Horvath will be 50 years old this year, so she would still have had a few more good years left in her career if she had taken the surgeon route. You do the math.

Peter Alfano
The New York Times
February 17, 1985

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- JOHN BASSETT stood in the rear of the interview room clutching a single long-stemmed rose, a proud father watching his daughter speak to the news media about tennis in the same matter-of-fact way she might discuss her favorite music video with a friend.

Carling Bassett was dressed in a pink-and-salmon colored tennis warm-up suit. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, revealing two glittering silver earrings. She is 17 years old, but wise now in the ways of professional tennis, and feeling older than her years.

When she discussed her trepidation about facing the newer players, she referred to her own two-year experience on the tour in terms of ''when I was young and coming up.'' In the rear of the interview room, her parents laughed.

''They're laughing,'' Miss Bassett said in a gently scolding tone, ''because they still think I'm in the womb.''

It is generally accepted that parents are protective of their children, perhaps overly protective at times - trying to shelter them from some of life's harsh realities. But in the world of junior and professional tennis, the issue has become a question of whether the sport is exploiting its youth, with parents contributing to the process.

Tennis prodigies are being groomed for the professional tour too soon, according to critics such as Tracy Austin, Tim Mayotte and a parent, Erika Horvath, at the expense of a more balanced life and their physical well-being. Many parents, it is said, are motivated by dollar signs, not the best interests of their children. They celebrate the achievements of their children as if they were their own.

''I think it was my father's decision when I turned pro,'' said Jonathan Canter, who is 19 years old and has been struggling for two years on the tour. ''It was always Jonathan do this or Jonathan do that. It looked great to me, but my dad pushed me and my mom said, 'Oh, that's great.' ''

Agents are portrayed as striking bargains with the baby-faced baseliners they meet at the myriad junior tournaments that serve as professional auditions.

''Parents have money on their minds,'' Tracy Austin said, ''and agents are going up to 12-year-olds. I heard that a 10-year-old was approached.''

''I don't see the attitude in parents that mine had,'' said Martina Navratilova, the No. 1 player in the world. ''If I did my best, then it didn't matter if I won or lost. But now, it's win, win, win, at all costs.''

Bob Kain, a player representative in the tennis division of International Management Group who has represented Bjorn Borg and Miss Austin among others, said: ''We try to talk to the mom and dads to keep it in perspective. What have I got to say to a 12 or 13 year old?

''I don't care if a player is 14 or 16 years old, it's not because of agents that they're having problems. Agents are just telling the parents what's out there.

''But everyone wanted to throw the blame on someone. Some agents may try to be buddy, buddy with kids a little too early.''

Tennis is a sport in which teen-agers are capable of excelling at the highest level, especially women, who reach physical maturity more quickly than men. Even among the men, there has been a recent influx of youth - including such players as Jimmy Arias, Boris Becker, Aaron Krickstein and Stefan Edberg - because this is a game that emphasizes technique over brute force. Thus, the importance of size is diminished.

Still, the physical stress placed on the developing body of a teen-ager who practices several hours every day may be taking its toll in injuries. There are no statistics or studies to document the stress but many people involved with tennis see an increase in injuries. Prominent female players such as Miss Austin, Andrea Jaeger and Pam Shriver have been chronically hurt. Erika Horvath, whose daughter, Kathy, has had a fair amount of success but also has had injury problems, laments that she allowed her daughter to play so much tennis.

''As a mother who has a frail 8- or 9-year-old daughter like we did, I should have discouraged Kathleen from playing four or five hours a day,'' Mrs. Horvath said. ''But once a child tastes success, she's trapped. To win, you have to work hard.''

At the inaugural Lipton International Players Championships held here for the past two weeks, several novices have advanced to the later rounds against seasoned players.

Among them, Steffi Graf, a 15-year- old from West Germany, lost in the semifinal to Chris Evert Lloyd. Mary Joe Fernandez, a 13-year-old from Miami, advanced to the fourth round before losing to Hana Mandlikova.

In her postmatch interviews, Miss Fernandez, who is in the eighth grade, said that her breakthough in this tournament would not change her thinking about the future. ''I am planning to go to college,'' she said. ''School is more important to me.''

But Gigi Fernandez, who is 20 years old and currently Miss Navratilova's doubles partner, envisions complications for Mary Joe Fernandez's plans.

''People are always looking for a fresh new face,'' she said. ''The promoters and sponsors of tournaments will give Mary Joe a wild card into events. She may never go to college. She'll be happy to finish high school.''

There is more concern voiced by the women than the men about the impact of competitive tennis on the young because women tend to turn professional at a younger age and - with the injuries suffered by Miss Shriver, Miss Austin and Miss Jaeger - appear to pose a greater problem.

The Eligibility Commission of the International Tennis Federation has heard comments from parents such as Mrs. Horvath and coaches and has recommended that several rules changes be considered. One would prohibit a player from turning professional before the age of 16. Another would limit the number of tournaments those under age 16 could enter.

The parents and coaches recommended that there be no international tournaments for players 12 years of age and under. They also asked that rankings for those players be eliminated.

The recommendations have only fueled the controversy. Miss Austin, for example, said she does not believe that any organization should place restrictions on players. ''It's up to the parents to make sure their kid's life is balanced and not one-dimensional,'' she said.

Kathy Horvath, who is 19 years old said that tennis provided her with an activity and purpose in life. ''After school, the kids would be hanging out at the mall with drugs,'' she said. ''I gave up going to a dance, but I came home with a trophy.''

Mrs. Lloyd favors limiting the number of tournaments for young players but questions the legality of such a rule. ''You can't prevent anyone from earning a living,'' she said. ''Still, it's important to stay in school.''

The Women's Tennis Association is offering college correspondence courses to help players further their education. Seminars are held to counsel players about their responsibilities to the sport and how to deal with agents, sponsors and the news media. Miss Austin said she would gladly be part of a player's committee that would counsel junior players about what lies ahead.

But some of the younger players on the tour are taking correspondence courses just to finish high school, and have no desire to continue their education. Even those with good intentions find it difficult to study when they are concentrating on tennis. Those traveling around the world with a coach or a parent still get homseick.

''Even the most seasoned pros do,'' said Shawn Foust, a 17-year-old amateur who is trying to decide whether to become a professional. ''But when you're young and good enough, you've got to turn pro. You can't put tennis on hold.''

Becker, a 17-year-old from West Germany, argued that while his classmates at home are reading about the United States, he has an opportunity to receive a first-hand education.

Yet after he was eliminated in an early round of the tournament here last week, Becker confined himself to the tennis grounds, waiting to move on to the next stop on the tour. Players find refuge in a hotel room and escape with the stereo headsets they wear like clothing.

''It's so lonely it's scary,'' Canter said. ''I know they say it's lonely at the top, but that's a good feeling because you think you're invincible. And there's only one John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.

''For the rest, there is a lot of bitterness, envy and jealousy on the tour. I like the guys but we all stand in one another's way. I can't go out drinking with them and talking about girls and tennis. You just lose and go back to the hotel room alone.''

''The first year, especially, is very difficult,'' said Mayotte, who went to Stanford University for three years before turning professional. ''I'm 24 years old and it hasn't been until the last year and a half that I've felt comfortable. You can go to museums and things but you're really in a city to play tennis. You become very focused.''

Mayotte kept a diary of his travels last year that was recently published in Tennis magazine. What was revealing was how much he wrote about tennis, rather his favorite diversions. ''It's frightening and sad,'' he said. ''You become so self-indulgent. I even have a hard time reading.

''Still, it blows my mind when we travel to an exciting city like Paris and the guys say 'TV stinks here. There's nothing to do.' I've had exposure to other things and frankly, it's hard for me to find a lot of peers on the tour, guys to share conversations with on the same level.''

Gigi Fernandez said that she recently enrolled in a creative writing course offered by the W.T.A. because she thought she was suffering from mental atrophy on the tour. ''It's kind of boring going a day not learning anything,'' she said. ''But it's hard to tell a 13-year-old to read a newspaper or watch the news. Younger kids don't understand. When we play Trivial Pursuit on the tour, you find out just who went to school.''

Instead of cautioning their children against unrealistic expectations, some parents are driven by the thoughts of money, glamour and fame. Tennis lessons and a coach can cost $10,000 a year, Mrs. Horvath said, and there are those who may push their child on the pro tour to justify the expense.

''But with us it was never a thought about the money,'' she said. ''You just become so involved. I'd be a liar if I said I did not enjoy Kathleen's wins and taking her everywhere. She was 15 when she became a professional. It was like having a bright child in school who you advanced a grade. But I realize now her life was too one- sided.''

On occasion, Mrs. Horvath said, she told her daughter: ''give me your racquets, I'll crack them in two.'' But her daughter always refused.

''I had put too much work into tennis,'' Kathy Horvath said. ''When I was growing up I wanted to be a neurosurgeon, and even though some people think I haven't done much since I turned pro, I'd have to be a damn good surgeon to make what I'm making.

''I know that I pushed myself too hard at times,'' Miss Horvath added. ''When I was 10 years old, I wanted to play every day. If it snowed, I'd be upset. Now, I take every Sunday off and feel refreshed. But my mother thinks I'm frail like all mothers think their kids are frail. Even Martina's mother must say, 'my poor little Martina.'''

Jonathan Canter said he wished his father were more sympathetic. When he was 14 years old, Jonathan was the youngest player to earn points in the Association of Tennis Professional rankings. The tennis computer ranks him 141st now. He played the piano, composed music and was intrigued by computers, but he did none of those things as well as he played tennis. He said he felt he never had a choice.

''My father, Stan, played at U.C.L.A. when he was in college,'' Canter said. He was a good player and still plays three hours a day. But he was living through me and when I would succeed, it was as if his child had nothing to do with it.

''It took a while for me to tell him how I felt,'' Canter said. ''I said, 'Dad, there is only one way you can help me. Don't say anything. I love you but the only way I can succeed is if I can relax.' So many kids win for their parents' love. And I was under pressure to please my parents.''

Dr. Herb Krickstein, whose son Aaron developed into a world-class player in 1983 when he was 16, said, that parents must often give their children a push in the right direction. If his son was unsure about playing tennis or had been gifted in school, said Dr. Krickstein, who is a pathologist, then he would not have allowed him to become a pro.

''A parent's opinion is mandatory,'' he said. ''If Aaron were having conflicts, it would have been wrong to push him, just like it would have been wrong to want him to become a physician. You know, a lot of kids go to college and don't do so well.

''But in this competitive world, if you go halfway on something, it won't work. The life of a pro is getting shorter and shorter on the high end. If you wait too long, you can miss out on the opportunity.''

Krickstein's tennis education was speeded up when his father enrolled him in Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Bollettieri is a controversial figure in the sport, a coach whose strict school is considered a farm system for the pros.

Bollettieri has become a wealthy man because many parents have sent their children to him in preparation for a professional career. Among his students are Krickstein, Jimmy Arias, Miss Horvath, Miss Bassett and Lisa Bonder. ''So many see the pot of gold,'' he said. ''But for every one I've turned pro, we get 37 or 38 kids college scholarships.''

The children live at the academy year round.They attend classes in the morning and have scheduled social functions such as dances, parties and outings. Still, Bollettieri makes no pretense that tennis is what they are here to learn.

''I talk to them every other week about education and how I feel it's the most important thing,'' he said. ''But it's not for me to judge what the parents are doing. It's easy to say what you would do until you have a 14- or15-year-old child who is offered a three-year contract for $1 million. Then you make a decision.''

What Bollettieri does in his private tennis academy, many countries are now doing through their national federations. In Europe, gifted players become full-time tennis students when they are 11 and 12 years of age.

The success of Sweden's program is an illustration. A country with a small population, it has produced seven world-class tennis players through a national program that has thrived off the popularity and success of Bjorn Borg.

''Tennis has become a tremendous business,'' Bollettieri said, ''and parents are realizing the rewards. It's tough to stop once the ball is rolling.''

But it appears that better guidelines for players and parents are needed in a sport that has grown so quickly. More studies might be commissioned, for instance, to determine the physical risk a youngster takes when he or she practices for several hours a day.

Ultimately, however, the decision rests with the tennis prodigy and the parents. Tennis is an international sport and one country's mores cannot be imposed on another. One parent's beliefs cannot be legislated for the majority.

''There is a time to be one-dimensional in your life, to be the best you can be at something,'' Mayotte said. ''If you do something well, it's an inspiration for others to do it well. But it should be a conscious choice.

''And when you're 16 or 17, you just don't know. You're believing everything that you're fed. And parents are believing it, too.''

1,971 Posts
I wonder if the nerves at the Aussie were due to # being in the balance. Had Evert won it she would have more or less regained #1.
Exactly why it was such a disappointment. The fact that no.1 was on the line- Chris is meant to be the mentally tougher, but let the occasion get to her.

Pam, I loved that VSC SF between hana and Martina. I'd say that was in my top 3 matches of the year, with the US and French finals.

Also, the co no.1 seeding at Wimbeldon? So weird. If I was Martina, I would have been really miffed........

4,863 Posts
From an Aussie perspective it was great that Dianne Balestrat really started to make some strides in 1985 from her comeback. She really should have beaten Mandlikova at Wimbledon leading in the 3rd set, who subsequently lost to Liz Smylie the next round.

Wendy Turnbull starting the AO with two double bagels, then losing to her nemesis Mandlikova.

The Hana and Martina match was amazing. Hana losing that 5-0 lead in the first set, basically losing 12 out of the next 15 games and still winning. Looking at the youtube footage, the one amazing point deep in the 3rd where Martina thought she hit a winner, celebrated and then had to stop the celebration when Hana somehow got the ball back, in which the unprepared Martina then closed out the point with a great winner herself.

Hopefully the US arrange for Hana to be there at the 30th anniversary.

1,551 Posts
Hana was the only player out there who could beat Martina at her game. I realize that there were major differences between the two, but I was glued to the set watching Hana at the USO relentlessly attack Martina and come out on top. Watching Hana at her best was some of the most entertaining tennis ever. That USO had breathtaking points.

576 Posts
Kathy Horvath's official tennis career earnings were $220,905. Likely she was not pulling in much endorsement money or appearance fees. Currently, the median yearly salary for a neurosurgeon in the U.S. is about $350,000. Horvath will be 50 years old this year, so she would still have had a few more good years left in her career if she had taken the surgeon route. You do the math.

I am not sure that Kathleen Horvath's CAREER earnings were only $220K. She won over $100,000 in 1983 and 1984. And she played into the late 1980s. So I would assume her career earnings probably came in close to if not more than $400K.

9,514 Posts

I am not sure that Kathleen Horvath's CAREER earnings were only $220K. She won over $100,000 in 1983 and 1984. And she played into the late 1980s. So I would assume her career earnings probably came in close to if not more than $400K.
All the official sites claim $220K, which doesn't mean much -- this is the WTA we're talking about here. But after 1984 she had lots of first or second round losses, even at the smaller tournaments. How much could she have been making losing in the first round of Oklahoma City in 1988? The WTA says $750. $26402 for singles and $14247 for doubles in 1988 is not taking advantage of the growth in prize money. And even if she earned $500K in her career, it still doesn't compare well with what she could have made as a neurosurgeon.

576 Posts
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!

9,514 Posts
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."

9,514 Posts
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.

9,514 Posts
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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