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WHat a good read. I think I've become more of a fan of Hana after reading through it. Thanks, HanaFanGA!
 
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Discussion Starter #42
Who says Hana wasn't attractive? :drool: :worship:

 

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Discussion Starter #43
Young Hana at Amelia Island.........

 

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Discussion Starter #44
Hana at play - Wimbledon 1984


 

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Backhand volley at Wimbledon 1981


 

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Hana and Liz - Wimbledon 2000


 

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Discussion Starter #47
Hana returns to tennis in Cincinnati in late summer 2001 after giving birth to Mark and Elizabeth.

 

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Discussion Starter #48
1981 French Open Champion:


 

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Discussion Starter #50
The Troika: Hana, Jana, and Betty Stove - Wimbledon 1998


 

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HanaFanGA said:
Who says Hana wasn't attractive? :drool: :worship:

Wow! What a looker! I never realized she polished up so well. I always thought she had a great body, with an impish little Irish boy's face attached to it. This photo is great. Thanks for sharing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
An "impish Irish boy's face?" :lol: I'm not sure I'll ever look at Hana quite the same way again! That photo was taken in the spring of 1985 before she cut her hair. A year later she would be on the Haas diet and have her hair cut super short. I call it her Peter Pan faze. So I guess impish Irish boy isn't too far off! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #54
From Sports Illustrated, 1985:


Hana is getting it all together. (Hana Mandlikova)

Sports Illustrated
Hana Mandlikova's greeting to a stranger is a quick nod and an expression that says, "Hi. I'm stern." Her handshake is so firm that one can feel the callus between her thumb and forefinger. But soon she is asking if wearing a mink coat to a Broadway play that night will be excessive. "It is too much, don't you think?" she asks, modeling the mink over her warmup suit. "It's not me."

Actually, this 5' 8", 130-pound native of Czechoslovakia looks good in almost anything. None other than Ginger Rogers took one look at her at Wimbledon in 1981 and said, "She has the most beautiful legs I have ever seen." Although Mandlikova ends up wearing the mink--"very heavy" was her comment later--she is highly suspicious of adornment and affectation. She wears dresses so infrequently that she still hasn't learned to sit with her legs crossed just so.

Mandlikova's tennis game, however, is all grace. It has earned her comparisons to the most fluid players of all time--Bueno and Goolagong, for example--the No. 3 ranking in the world and, at age 23, nearly $2 million in prize money. She may tramp around the court between points wearing her lank hair in a head-band an dher guileless features in a frown, but when she coils for the start of her topspin backhand, it is as pure a moment as the game has to offer.

"I am very simple," she says. "People sometimes make me a very complicated person. I see things always in black and white, true or false. Maybe too much. I am learning the gray."

It has become an expensive lession. Mandlikova's blunt nature and rigid demeanor have given her a reputation for arrogance and ungraciousness that has only recently begun to improve. According to one former player, "She has been spoiled from the word go. She's never had to do anything on her own. As a result, she has little respect for other people unless she really likes them. She has to grow up and learn that other girls are reasonable players, too."

After Pam Shriver beat Mandlikova last year, Hana allowed that Shriver didn't deserve her No. 3 world ranking. Says Shriver today, "We all say stupid things, but Hana has gotten personal in public a few times. She's a person who says exactly what she thinks, but it's not always appropriate."

At the 1983 French Open, after Chris Evert Lloyd beat her in the quarterfinals, Mandlikova told the press, "I think I am a much better player than Chris. If I'm in good shape, I beat her two-and-two." At the time, Evert Lloyd's clay-court record was a mere 316-7.

And consider last year's Wimbledon, where Mandlikova projected herself into the final against Martina Navratilova, without even mentioning that to get there she would have to beat Evert Lloyd. Never mind that she had lost 10 straight matches to Evert Lloyd. As for Navratilova, Mandlikova declared, "When I'm at my best form I'm better than she is." Mandlikova never got a chance to prove it, because a highly motivated Evert Lloyd routed her 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals. Convinced that Evert Lloyd was intentionally taking a long time at courtside to savor the victory, "to give me one more kick after she beat me," Mandlikova left Centre Court without waiting for her. Worse, Mandlikova performed only the slightest curtsy as she passed Princess Diana in the royal box. HORRIBLE HANA screamed one English tabloid.

Angered by Mandlikova's behavior, Navratilova chose the occasion to say she was glad Evert Lloyd had won. "There will be no love lost for Hana by the other players," said Navratilova. "Hana has no respect for anyone, and she needs to start showing some."

Eventually even Mandlikova could see that speaking in such black-and-white terms had been a mistake. It took her two months, but she apologized to Navratilova in the locker room at the U.S. Open. "It was very hard," she says. "I said it quietly, in Czech. I have the pride. But I started the war with Martina, and it was very dumb of me. I sometimes do things without thinking. It was just that I knew I could beat her."

Indeed, Mandlikova tends to give Navratilova more trouble than anyone else. Mandlikova has won five of their 19 matches. Her most recent victory came in March at the U.S. Indoors, where Mandlikova prevailed 7-6, 6-0 and won her mink coat. Navratilova had not lost a love set since 1982. In their next meeting, at the Virginia Slims Championships in New York two weeks later, a pumped-up Navratilova won 7-6, 7-5. For sheer shotmaking, that match surpassed any in recent memory in women's tennis.

Mandlikova says she has made amends to Evert Lloyd. Nonetheless, she still feels that Evert Lloyd denigrates her abilities. Three months ago, Mandlikova beat Evert Lloyd in Oakland, but the win didn't bring Mandlikova the praise she wanted. "We've seen this tennis from her before," said Evert Lloyd. "She's not consistent. We'll see, because, as I say, she hasn't really done anything."

Mandlikova's voice rises when she recalls those words. "What bothers me about Evert," she says, "is that she doesn't appreciate anybody, never, ever, unless she knows they cannot beat her. Then she says all nice things. She knows I was better that day, but she would not say it. I respect very much that Evert is a hard worker and the toughest mentally on the circuit. But I think there is something she is missing."

To Mandlikova's mind, candor is a quality generally missing in America. "Some people in this country, they talk to you nice and they are polite and they want you to say you like them," she says. "But I am not that way. If I am down, I am down. I just cannot cover. And that's what people want, especially in America. I think Martina learned that very well. Inside, she is the same personality that she was, but she can really cover herself now. But she loves America. She is American."

Even after five years of spending most of her time in this country, Mandlikova, a Czech citizen, is still very much the child of her father, Vilem Mandlik of Prague. Eleven times Mandlik was national sprint champion in Czechoslovakia (his best times were 10.2 in the 100 meters and 20.4 in the 200), and he represented his country in the '56 and '60 Olympics. Today he is a writer for a Czech automobile magazine. At 50, Mandlik has a pulse rate (53) that's only slightly higher than his age.

His resemblance to his daughter is marked: He has the same closely set features, a serious bearing and, Ginger Rogers may like to know, great legs. "When Hana does things that sometimes I don't like, I can't get angry," Mandlik says, "because I would do the same thing. It's very difficult. We are the same."

Mandlik saw very early that his daughter had "good legs, good movements" and set out to develop a "sports child." Wary of anabolic steroids, he decided against track. He chose tennis, a game he didn't play. By the time Hana was 8-1/2, Mandlik had made a paddle for her out of wood. He bears a scar on his thumb from the project. He also drew a circle for her on the living room wall of the family home. When her mother, also named Hana, was out of the house, young Hana would move the furniture and hit a tennis ball into the circle.

Mandlik's connections in the Czech sports world helped get Hana the best coaches. But, she says, "My father didn't push. Once he got me started, it was me that wanted success very badly."

Sports quickly became her passion. She was always the fastest girl in school. She used to join her older brother, Vilda, in games of soccer, hockey, or whatever was in season. "I was hard to get rid of," she says. Today, sports--particularly skiing, golf and swimming--are still her favorite activities when she isn't playing tennis. And she still likes hanging around the guys. "I enjoy more the tournaments with men and women," she says. "I enjoy talking to Tim Mayotte, John [McEnroe] and Jimmy [Connors]. The men know how to relax better. The girls take their feelings off the court too much."

Mandlikova says that she was never much for the strict Czech school system. Knowing her heart was not into school, her father would sometimes take her to work with him, although her mother didn't know it. She remembers defying teachers in class. "Ther other kids were always afraid of them, but I never was," she says. "When I thought the teachers were not fair, I just told them. The other kids thought I was crazy."

Mandlikova admits she was spoiled as a youngster. "I was very lucky to have my father and certain teachers who would let me practice," she says. "I was spoiled, but in a good way, I think. But I know in some ways it makes me young for my age."

Her tennis, however, showed an early maturity--an aggressive, serve-and-volley style with plenty of variety. "I've always like changes, and the beautiful shot," she says. "Sometimes too much." Navratilova recalls that when she was the best junior player in Prague, the talent of the 10-year-old Mandlikova was obvious. "I have never been surprised by any of Hana's success," says Martina. "If anything, she's probably been hindred by getting the 'unlimited potential' tag. I went through that, and it's a lot of extra pressure."

Eventually, Mandlikova played in matches outside Czechoslovakia. By the time she was 16, she was the best junior player in the world, and though she spoke almost no English, she was spending weeks at a time playing tournaments in the U.S. Many of her early off-court memories of America are not pleasant. She recalls paying a taxi driver in San Antonio $50 for a ride from the airport to a hotel. She didn't understand she had been taken until the ride back cost her only $8. "I was very lonely," she says. "My phone bill was hundreds of dollars a month, and we had little money then."

Mandlikova began to fulfill her promise in 1980 when, as an 18-year-old, she won the Australian Open and upset Navratilova at Wimbledon. The next year she defeated Evert Lloyd to win the French Open, knocked off Navratilova at Wimbledon and rose to No. 4 in the world. She injured her back at the end of 1981 and stayed off the tour for the first 2-1/2 months of 1982. When she came back, she exhibited a disturbing tendency to beat herself with erratic play. By late 1983, she was suffering from tennis ennui, losing in shocking capitulations to no-names like Catrin Jexell, Elizabeth Smylie and Sharon Walsh, and her ranking fell to 12th.

In January 1984, Mandlikova won her first tournament in 2-1/2 years, and a few weeks later she stopped Navratilova's 54-match winning streak. Mandlikova had won five tournaments by April, but failed to win another for the rest of the year. The Mandlikova of 1985, however, has won two tournaments, has beaten both Navratilova and Evert Lloyd, and seems to be maintaining her concentration better than ever as the Grand Slam events approach. Still, the unlimited potential tag continues to overshadow her accomplishments.

"Magnificent talents blown by capricious winds," says Ted Tinling. "Hana has quicker reflexes than anyone else, marvelous physical movements. There's no doubt that if she can manage to get some mental consistency, she can be the best player in the business. She is the heiress apparent, waiting. But only apparent, not more."

Since 1980, Mandlikova has been coached by Betty Stove, a Wimbledon finalist in 1977. Nicknamed "Duchess" for her regal bearing, Stove played the tour for nearly 20 years and knows the pitfalls of the circuit. She also speaks six languages, though Czech is not among them. Stove speaks German to Mandlik and English to Hana, which has accelerated Hana's grasp of the language.

When asked what her greatest contribution to Mandlikova has been, Stove says, "Peace." Says Mandlikova, "Betty is so calm. I need this because I am not." When she gets a bad call or misses an easy shot, more and more Mandlikova looks to Stove and smiles rather than show the anger that can cause her game to unravel.

Stove's biggest test came during Mandlikova's prolonged slump in 1982 and '83. The experience often strained their relationship, but with Stove's guidance, Mandlikova came to understand that her own intense drive and the expectations of others can be her biggest enemies. "Hana would get very nochalant against inferior players as a way of escaping the pressure," says Stove. "Then she would lose, and things would get worse."

To combat the psychic toll, Stove and Mandlikova have devised a schedule that allows long periods of rest. Last year Mandlikova played only three times after Carling Bassett upset her at the U.S. Open in September. She spent most of the rest of the year skiing in Europe and working on her game.

Mandlikova's resultant zest is obvious in her spirited practice sessions with Stove and hitting partner Fritz Don, a journeyman Dutch touring pro. "C'mon, Fritzie baby," she exhorted across the court during a recent workout. "You must play your best to beat me." The competition often extends to an improvised game combining soccer and tennis, in which Mandlikova's footwork usually outdoes Don's. "Hanki's real talent comes when she is having fun," says Don. "And she is learning how to have that attitude in tournaments." At a Chinese restaurant after another recent practice, Mandlikova's fortune cookie contained the message, "Keeping your irritability under control will be smart." She put the note in her pocket.

"I understand people see so much talent with me, but right now I don't care," Mandlikova says with the fervor of new discovery. "I understand that they want me to be No. 1. But they always put the pressure on me since I join the circuit. Whatever they say, I don't care. That is what Betty learned to me. To be myself.

"I have won 23 tournaments. I won the French, the Australian. I was Wimbledon finalist, twice finalist in the U.S. Open. So if I quit now I would be happly with my career. If I do not make the No. 1 spot, I will not. So what? I know I am doing my best. My father sees the pressures in America. He sees that it is not so easy to be a top player. So he tells me right now to just try your best. And don't worry, tennis is not everything."

Nonetheless, the circuit doesn't leave much room for anything else. Mandlikova has bittersweet memories of a wealthy Englishman she met in 1981 and saw on a regular basis for three years. "When he wanted to get me mad he called me Brezhie, after Brezhnev," she says with a laugh. "He wnated to get married. I didn't feel ready. So he married someone else. It was very hard, but I had to choose tennis."

By the time she is 30, Mandlikova expects to be married and have children, although she doubts her husband will be Czechoslovakian. "It would be very difficult to find a man in Czechoslovakia," she says, "because I would always feel that he married me for money." Despite the $1 million or so a year she pulls down in endorsements and prize money, her only real luxuries are a two-bedroom condo in Florida at Boca West, a gold Rolex watch and a villa in Prague in which her parents live.

Mandlikova avoids friendships on the tour, following Stove's tenet that "there is no love in tennis--only 40-love." Once every couple of months, Mandlikova will find a way to see her family, usually by flying to Prague or by bringing her relatives to Florida. She is particularly delighted when she can spend time with her two nephews, ages six and four.

In more private moments, Mandlikova makes entries in a journal. Slowly but surely she is learning to cook, although she joked about one of her recent efforts at goulash: "We'll see how many get sick." Her newfound good nature is being noticed.

"Hana is acting much friendlier," says Shriver. "A lot of it is just being more comfortable with English, but I also think she is a lot happier. Of course, I have mixed emotions about it. If she gets her act together, then we may as well worry about who's going to come in second, third and fourth."

Mandlikova hopes that perception is accurate. "I think Martina and Evert, they know anytime I play them, I can beat them," she says with typical bluntness. "I think they are always afraid of me . . . no, not afraid . . . maybe worried of me." She laughs. "As I said, I am learning the gray."

COPYRIGHT 1985 Time, Inc.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
And after the US Open title, Sports Illustrated, September 1985:

They hold the Open in Czech. (Ivan Lendl, Hana Mandlikova win at U.S. Open)



Sports Illustrated; 9/16/1985; Deford, Frank



In the often bitchy world of international tennis, Hana Mandlikova and Ivan Lendl have shared much. Both are Czechoslovaks--you'd be rich if yo had a nickel for each time a headline read CANCELED CZECH after either one lost--both were prodigies, and both possess magnificent lithe bodies with legs that only cowboys and showgirls are supposed to own. Both lead the league in calumny, too. You'd be richer still if you had a nickel for each time she was labeled erratic and he a choker.

This is not to say that Mandlikova hasn't been erratic. And Lendl indeed has a history of overpowering small fry in the early rounds and then losing finals to his peers. Nonetheless, the scales were balanced with irony and and justice alike at Flushing Meadow last weekend when both not only won their first U.S. Opens but also defeated the defenders-Mandlikova in a compelling tiebreaker drama over Martina Navratilova, Lendl in a masterful rout of John McEnroe.

It was the first time two Europeans had won the U.S. Open, the ultimate sign that however such American money the championship produces, it grinds out less palatable American tennis sausage all the time. The dominion of championship tennis has crossed to Europe. To paraphrase what W.H. Auden wrote in quite another context 45 years ago, "All the dogs of Europe are barking."

The Davis Cup is Continental property. So is the Federation Cup. Sweden, with a population 1/30 of ours, produces more top tour contenders than America does. Europe gave this Open four female and six male quarterfinalists, the first time ever that the Old World, or any world save our own, so dominated our national championship. Perhaps most significant of all for the future, this was the third successive Grand Slam tournament in which a genuine teenage star from outside these shores was unveiled. The French Open introduced us to Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, Wimbledon to Boris Becker and Flushing Meadow to another German, Steffi Graf, who made the semis before bowing to our best immigrant, Martina Navratilova.

Indeed, only the Statue of Liberty--green cards, anyway--might save American tennis from atrophying altogether. The best example of a foreign import, Lendl, resides in Greenwich, Conn. with his German shepherds and his sports cars, a suburban country-club squire who commuted to his tennis office between visits to the links and aerobics classes. Apart from a walking start, his defeat of McEnroe was awesome. Lendl, who has been studying under Tony Roche, the past master of the volley, won from the net as well as from the baseline. Curiously, McEnroe won his first 16 points on service, broke Lendl the first time he served, had a set point at 5--2 and served for the set at 5--3. But, suddenly, the match turned, and Lendl started thinking, "There's no ball I can't get to, and no shot I can't hit."

He won the tiebreaker with the loss of a single point and maintained control thereafter, winning the last two sets 6--3, 6--4. McEnroe never saw Lendl play better. Lendl's crosscourt forehand--this from a man who dined out down the line for many years--was simply devastating. But this weekend was one of metamorphosis, and fittingly the shot that won Lendl the title was a volley.

To be fair, McEnroe had the more trying trip to the final. In the fifth set of a first-round encounter with Shlomo Glickstein, a heavy-legged Israeli ranked in triple figures, McEnroe trailed 5--4, 15--30--two points from perhaps the greatest upset in tennis history. The fans roared for Glickstein, who was also only two points from an upset at 6-all in the tiebreaker, but McEnroe grubbed out the victory. Afterward, Mac stood like some noble Roman consul, his left hand extended high, palm out, his face drained by the grim demands of triumph.

Mac's travails were far from over. He would have to take on the usual injustices of an unfair, imperfect world. Once he dispatched a ball boy to the stands to tell the Mets' Gary Carter not to sign autographs. When playing one Martin Wostenholme, a Yale grad from Toronto, McEnroe heard a fan be so audacious as to say "Come on, Marty." So McEnroe barked at him, "Why don't you go back to Canada?" The fan hails from Long Island. Mac also treated Open fans to the predictable imprecations at the CBS courtside microphone, shouted accusations that the tournament referee was boozing on the job, delivered a tasteless Japanese imitation for a photographer from Tokyo and demanded that a gentleman in the seventh row put out his cigar.

But always The Quarterfinal loomed. There McEnroe would find Becker, the captain of the children's crusade, in their first meeting since Becker won Wimbledon. McEnroe quite enjoyed all the fuss Becker was attracting. Normally the Europeans dig emotional foxholes at the major venues, surfacing only to hit and run, leaving the aging American quartet of Jimbo, Chrissie, Martina and Mac to sell newspapers. Third-ranked Mats Wilander, the French Open champion who carried McEnroe to five well-played sets in the semis, is, in fact, regularly brought up on multiple charges of shrinking violetism. This time, McEnroe publicly accused Wilander of "trying to backdoor" into the No. 1 ranking. Baby Mats responded, mild-manneredly, of course. "I never expect to win," he allowed, flaunting his un-Americanism shamelessly. "[Bjorn] Borg probably had more of an American attitude." Trenchant pause. "But he also quite when he was 26, so it wasn't a very good attitude."

And there it was, right out there in the open again: the ugly issue of burnout. Burnout! It now joins teenage acne, herbal deficiency, heartburn, psoriasis and the fear of herpes in the pantheon of modern American afflictions. This Open had more carryings-on about Borg, Andrea Jaeger and Tracy Austin than it had about McEnroe and Navratilova. Some people actually claimed to have seen the ghost of Andrea come back from Burnout Retirement Village and play into the second round. Then the Women's Tennis Association announced a series of restrictions on younger players. It's doubtful, however, how many Yuppie tennis parents will be influenced by these modest strictures 'gainst burnout when they can see before them the clear and present advantage of burn in.

Exhibit A: Fraulein Graf. Just turned sweet 16, already a three-year veteran of the world rankings. The day she became a semifinalist in New York, her considerable earnings provided her younger brother back home with a computer for his birthday.

Exhibit B: Herr Becker. Wimbledon champion at 17, while still resembling a Cabbage Patch doll. Mr. J.P. McEnroe, speaking from the vantage of 26 years: "At his age I was staying in three-dollar hotels. He's already got watch contracts."

Alas, the Quarterfinal was not to be. A blond Swede named Joakim Nystrom, who nearly beat Becker at Wimbledon, dispatched him in the round of 16. So McEnroe was left to carve up two of the remaining four Swedes--the nighttime defeat of Nystrom was mostly an exquisite revival of physical prowess, the steaming midday bouncing of Wilander a glorious exhibition of mental tenacity. Then, inevitably, he encountered Lendl, who had faced precious few obstacles in the dreary bottom half of the draw. Lendl's semifinal opponent was Connors, whom he trounced. Jimbo is still a force against lesser lights, but no match for the top three. He now stands 1--12 against Lendl, McEnroe and Wilander for the last twelvemonth. He pleaded a turned left ankle in defeat. "Yes," said Lendl in his usual deadpan style, "it seemed to me he was favoring it after the points, but during them it didn't seem to be bothering him at all."

Overall, the tournament was a monument to form--the 11th-seeded Graf and Heinz Gunthardt, an unseeded Swiss, were the only non-Top 10ers to make the quarterfinals--and the defeats of Kevin Curren and Johan Kriek created the only passing stir of the early going. American tennis is so woeful that even our South African white hopes can't win.

Curren, the Wimbledon runner-up who has candidly admitted that he sought U.S. citizenship simply as a flag of convenience, won this year's dog-in-the-manger award by attacking his new country's Open with such fervor that he ended up asking that "they" unload an A-bomb on the premises. Of course, "they" might start in the press room, where eight years after the Open was deposited in Flushing Meadow, a large segment of the parochial press contingent continues to concentrate its most searching inquiries into how the boys and girlds of Racketdom, poor things, are coping with New York--as if New York were some exotic jungle site and playing the Open was on the order of being on the wrong side of an Ugandan coup.

Still worse was CBS, which paid Connors to interview players live while he was still in the tournament. Really, now: Has television no respect for the dignity of a competition? Must it trivialize everything into some tawdry form of talk show? Hardly better was CBS hiring Pam Shriver to interview her doubles partner, Navratilova. But at least Shriver was no longer in the singles draw, having been eliminated by the fledgling Graf in the tournament's best match.

Their quarterfinal meeting was the first women's match during the Open's tiebreak era to go the maximum 39 games. After two hours and 45 minutes on the airless Grandstand Court, the score stood at 7--6, 6--7, 6--6 and 4-all in the tiebreaker. Only then did Peter Graf, Steffi's father and coach--"I have two hearts for her," he said--swallow hard. Steffi won the next three points. Were you nervous, Steffi? "Well, not really." Were you tired? "Well, not really." Innocence can sometimes be a better weapon even than a stout forehand.

Graf's shirt clung to her pasty body, drenching her. In a fortnight that was stifling almost every day, only the estimable Mrs. Lloyd didn't seem to be saturated in sweat. After she rolled over Claudia Kohde-Kilsch to advance to the semis for the 15th straight year, the loser said the winner might be playing better than ever. That made it all the more curious two days later when Evert Lloyd came out so dispirited against Mandlokova, displaying an utter stranger's backhand, one that floated aimlessly and landed without punch. "I'm not a machine," she said with a shrug.

Still, Mandlikova needed three sets to win, while Navratilova's idle dismantling of Graf raised few doubts. Betty Stove, Mandlikova's coach, took her pupil in hand. "O.K., let's not make a big thing of this," she said. Be calm. So what if it meant beating Chris and Martina on successive days? The next day Mandlikova circled away from Navratilova in the locker room, cat and mouse, trying to avoid eye contact. Finally, a few minutes before they went on, Stove brought up tactics. "It's a battle of who gets to the net first," she said. Mandlikova began taking the net on the champion's serves instantly--and almost with disdain. Often, both players ended up there, firing reflex volleys at a few paces. Usually Mandlikova prevailed. The comet never flashed brighter; after 17 minutes she led 5--0, and a few moments later she had a point for the bagel.

But never go away when Mandlikova flares. She hadn't been in a tournament final in six months. Just last month she had led Kodhe-Kilsch 5--2 in successive sets and lost them both. And this was Navratilova across the net. Suddenly Martina was breathtaking, and it was 5-all. Navratilova then had eight break points for 6--5. Even when she botched that opportunity, she came back and purchased a tiebreaker. But Navratilova could only hold one of her five serves, and Mandlikova ran out of the breaker 7--3.

Navratilova was in complete command in the 6--1 second set. Erratic old Hana. Yes, yes. But she steadied for the bell lap, and after she poked a forehand return down the line, she was serving for the match at 5--3. Navratilova, however, wouldn't yield, and she broke back to earn another tiebreaker. Winner take all. Only once again the champion couldn't win any service points and the challenger could. Mandlilova burst on top 6--0 before finishing with a gorgeous reaching backhand volley.

navratilova was lovely as Linda Evans came on court to hadn out the winners' checks. "Gifts," she called them, as if the contestants might also get some Samsonite lugagge and an all-expense-paid trip to Vegas. Afterward, though, beyond the glare, Martina fled, crushed and crying. Notwithstanding the little homily she delivered to the press on the sisterhood of the tour--no political boundaries on court and all that--it's not secret that Navratilova hates most to lose to her onetime countrywoman.

Consider this, too: We have been writing off Mandlikova as some whimsical genius for so long that it may be hard to believe that she's only 23 and that she has made more Grnd Slam finals (six) and won more (three) than the great Navratilova had at the same age. Sure enough, before too long she will again squander her great gifts in some match, as surely as Lendl will lose another Big One. But their stigmas are gone. Last weekend did that. The one who was erratic and the one who was a choker will henceforth be judged champions.

COPYRIGHT 1985 Time, Inc.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
The Mail, London, 2001

On having twins with Liz.......

People may gossip, but I will never reveal the father of my twins. He just helped me have kids . . . Liz is my best friend in the world; WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Hana Mandlikova shocks the world of tennis by announcing she is expecting twins and will raise them with another woman.

The Mail on Sunday (London, England)
Byline: MALCOLM FOLLEY

A HOT, still morning at the exclusive Boca Raton resort in Florida.

And the palm-fringed tennis courts are deserted, apart from a teenage girl practising her shots under the watchful eye of her coach sitting on the sideline.

It could be a scene from a local tennis club anywhere in the world.

Except that Hana Mandlikova is no run-of-the-mill coach - she's a former star of the game, once ranked No 3 in the world, winner of four Grand Slam titles and twice a Wimbledon runner-up.

The once earnest-looking Czech - who was almost as famous for her on-court flare-ups as the power and grace of her playing - is now an attractive 39-year-old. The severe hair cut is softer, the face a little fuller and the eyes more relaxed.

But it is her advanced state of pregnancy - still obvious under her voluminous white shirt - that most catches the eye.

It is a nerve-racking time for any woman, even one used to the gruelling round of training and competitions that is the life of a professional tennis player. But Mandlikova is no ordinary first-time mother. She has no husband or boyfriend. Nor is her pregnancy just the result of a fling.

It's the product of an extraordinary arrangement between herself and a male friend, who agreed to father the twins - a boy and a girl - but have no further role in their upbringing.

Instead, Mandlikova will raise the children with another woman, attractive 35-year-old personal fitness trainer Liz Resseguie, her close friend and companion for the past two-and-a-half years.

Intensely private and fiercely protective of those close to her, Mandlikova has broken her silence for the first time to talk candidly about her extraordinarily unconventional approach to motherhood, her despair at not being able to conceive for five years and her relationship with the woman who has transformed her life.

'Liz has become my best friend in the world,' she says, 'and I've never been happier. People will always gossip and they can think what they like.

Surely, what matters is that the children are loved.

'I'll never reveal the name of my children's father because that was our agreement. It would not be fair for the kids. I just know we will be friends for life, even though he will never see his children. I made that plain to him at the beginning and he accepted that as a friend. He knew I wanted to have kids and he just helped me. I know I can trust him totally. I don't expect there to be any problems.

'I don't find our arrangement extraordinary.

I am sure that lots of others have done the same - you simply don't hear of it. After all, this is the 21st Century and women have the right to make choices.' Mandlikova's sexuality and private life have been dogged by controversy and rumour since she burst on to the professional tennis circuit at 15.

She won the US Open, French Open and Australian Open twice, accumulating 23 titles and nearly [pound]4 million dollars in prize money.

Indeed,Mandlikova appeared to be far more interested in her game than in romance. Although she stridently declares, 'I have had male lovers at various times in my life', few appeared to be very serious.

Looking at the happy, contented, mother-to-be she is now, it is difficult to believe this is the same woman who as a teenager was once dismissed as an awkward loner.

But she is not a woman who gives her trust easily, a legacy of her childhood and adolescence in Communist Czechoslovakia. Even now, she admits: 'The thing about me is that I don't have many friends. Yet when I make friends it's for life'.

She had always planned to have children but like many women in their late 20s and 30s, the demands of her career got in the way.

When she fell pregnant at the age of 25 - at the height of her success - she realised she had to choose between being a mother and her career. In the end, she made the difficult decision not to have the baby . . . something she almost came to regret later.

'I always wanted to have kids.

Always. But then was not the right time,' she says. 'I was at the height of my career and I was not intending to get married or have children.

'So many career women have to face that choice. Besides, I thought I would be able to get pregnant again whenever I wanted. Sadly, that did not turn out to be the case.' O THE rest of the world, however, Mandlikova presented a brave face. To them, she was the 'Czech wonder girl', the ultimate tennis professional. She lived it and breathed it. So no one was more surprised than her Czech team-mates when, in 1986 - in the middle of the Federation Cup competition in Prague - she gave the world's media the slip to marry Sydney restaurateur Jan Sedlak in a civic ceremony in Prague's Old Town Hall.

A little over two years later, the marriage ended in a quickie-divorce - prompting many to suspect that it was an arrangement of convenience to secure her Australian citizenship Mandlikova denies it was a sham.

'It was a real marriage,' she says. 'I have no intention of going into the gory detail about what went wrong.

We just weren't suited to spend the rest of our lives together.' Sedlak does not know of his former wife's impending motherhood.

'We haven't spoken in a while,' says Mandlikova.

After the marriage, her tennis career began to falter, the victim of recurring injury and a loss of motivation. She retired in 1990 at the age of 28 to coach Jana Novotna, who went on to become a Wimbledon champion.

Mandlikova was feeling the pressure of a lifetime spent on the tennis courts. Desperate to have the children she had always longed for and determined that her single status should not be an obstacle, she hatched a plan to enlist the help of a male friend . . .

but with little success.

'I was trying for five years,' she says, 'but nothing happened because I had some problems of a woman's nature. Also, I was coaching Jana at this time and my life was stressful and I was travelling for so much of the year. I wanted to become pregnant so much and when you want something that much it has a habit of not happening.

I was starting to feel I was running out of time. You feel the train is leaving.' At the same time her spirits were low and she felt physically burnt out. It was to be a turning point in her life.

Mandlikova recalls: 'Before Wimbledon in 1998 and throughout the tournament, I'd wake up each morning with a headache. I had a constantly upset tummy. I was taking sleeping pills. I was in a mess.

My father warned me that if I carried on I would have a nervous breakdown.

I was done for . . . my body was screaming for rest.

'All the years of playing, then coaching, had taken a heavy toll. I had tests on every organ but there was nothing physically wrong.' Something had been building over time, she says. 'I had no resistance left. I was living unhealthily, not taking care of myself, not keeping myself in shape because I had too much else to worry about to keep Jana properly prepared.

'I was an orange with all the juice sucked out. It was such a difficult time - Jana knew what was happening to me and so did my parents, but there was little they could do.' HE ADDS: 'It was fantastic when Jana won Wimbledon.

I'd lost in the final twice and so had Jana, so here was victory at last.

Inside, I knew how much I'd put into this championship. Jana also let everyone know in her interviews how much she had to thank me - and that was nice. It is something we will share into old age together.

'But when I came back to my home here in Florida I knew I had to do something about my health.

'I was at the lowest point in my life. I understood that the only way for me to start on the road to recovery was to start where I always had . . . and that was by determining to get into shape again.' Mandlikova scaled down her coaching and determined to spend more time at home.

It was then that she met Liz Resseguie, a strong New York brunette, when she enrolled for the body-sculpting class Resseguie ran at a nearby exclusive club. They hit it off immediately and Mandlikova took her on as her personal trainer.

'I needed strength from someone else,' explains Mandlikova. 'I had always been the one who had to be strong. First to my own tennis, then to Jana for nine years. I needed someone to provide me with motivation, not the other way round. Liz is good at those things. In her profession she motivates so many people.

I got into shape, we got to know one and another more and more and now I consider her my best friend.' Although Mandlikova never says as much, it is clear that the happiness that has come from her close friendship with Resseguie has been an important catalyst in her transformation into the happy, fulfilled woman she appears today.

'When I stopped coaching Jana full-time, when I stayed at home more, I became settled for the first time since I can remember,' she says. 'I had some minor surgery - then seven months ago I heard I was pregnant.' Resseguie is not deaf to the whispers that accompany her in Mand-likova's presence on the rare occasions they visit a tennis tournament together. She says, simply: 'I knew Hana wanted to get pregnant and I was happy for her when she did. And we decided we're going to raise these children together.' She will continue to maintain her own apartment, not far from Mand-likova's two-bedroomed home here on an exclusive estate where other retired tennis stars - such as Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Novotna - also live. 'We both think that's important,' says Mandlikova.

But it is clear she will be relying heavily on her friend's support. 'Liz works extremely hard and has long hours but she wants to rearrange her diary to enable her to give me help. I respect her independence and strength of character.' At home in Prague, Mandlikova's parents, Hana and Vilem - who twice represented Czechoslovakia as a sprinter in the Olympic Games - are 'thrilled' that their daughter is providing them with two new grandchildren.

Her mother has recently suffered two strokes. 'Mum was recovering from the first stroke and they were about to come over here two months ago when she had another,' Mand-likova says. 'Waiting for my babies is keeping her going, I think, and I'll take her grandchildren to see her in the summer.' ANDLIKOVA - who will give birth by caesarean section in 18 days time - admits it was a tremendous surprise when she first found out she was having twins. She recalls: 'My gynaecologist looked at the ultrasound and said, "Ah, I can see a baby". Then he went silent and I thought, "My God, what's wrong?"

After a moment or two, he looked back at me and said, "And over there is another one . . ."

'Amazing! And I thought I might never have any children.' Mandlikova has found pregnancy more difficult than any tennis championship. 'Any woman who tells you they enjoy being pregnant is a liar!' she laughs. 'I was sick for the first three months and dreadfully tired. I had no energy whatsoever.

'At the beginning I craved chocolate and ate endless Oriole cookies for three months. But I have been cautious about everything I have done because I didn't want to risk losing the babies. I haven't had any alcohol since I learned I was pregnant and I haven't picked up a tennis racket.' But she has continued to coach Czech teenage prodigy Nicola Frankova on the courts here, although she works from a courtside chair buried in the shade away from the stifling heat.

'I just couldn't sit around doing nothing,' she says.

Yet as she proudly shows me the latest scans - 'Perhaps one will get the athletic genes of my father and me,' - it is clear that for all her achievements in tennis, it is her struggle to be a mother, against all the odds, that means most to Mand-likova.

'I just can't wait to see my babies.' M

COPYRIGHT 2001 Solo Syndication Limited
 

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1994 International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction:



Mandlikova, Collins go into tennis hall. (Originated from Boston Globe)



Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service; 7/9/1994; Greenidge, Jim



NEWPORT, R.I. _ She never won a Wimbledon title, but former Czech star Hana Mandlikova, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday along with Boston Globe columnist and NBC sportscaster Bud Collins, accomplished what she figures was the most difficult feat in the game.
She adapted to her surroundings, no matter how difficult they seemed, and outlasted Martina Navratilova to capture the 1985 U.S. Open. Ranked as high as No. 3 from 1984 to 1987, Mandlikova won four Grand Slam events _ the 1981 French Open, the 1980 and 1987 Australian Opens and the 1985 U.S. Open _ among her 27 singles titles. She also captured the 1989 U.S. Open doubles with Navratilova.
``Everyone says that Wimbledon is the toughest to win, but for me it was the U.S. Open,'' said Mandlikova, 32, who now coaches Jana Novotna. ``At the Open, you have all that mental stress, what with the flight of the planes (in New York), the huge crowds, that there's a Saturday semifinals and then the finals. Plus, it's very hot.''
Understand, Mandlikova, who retired after the 1990 Wimbledon, isn't complaining.
``I always loved playing in the States,'' she said. ``The crowds are so involved. They get excited, and they're so emotional. It's not like in England, where they clap for you the same in the finals as they do for you in the first round.''
Even as a youth, Mandlikova showed remarkable athletic potential, which her father described as ``special special.'' But it took a championship at Miami's Orange Bowl at age 16 to convince Mandlikova that tennis was her sport. ``If I hadn't won that, I didn't plan to stay with tennis,'' she said.
She talked of her only regret _ never winning Wimbledon, although she did get to two finals, in 1981 and '86.
Collins didn't disappoint _ in his attire or with his words.
``Hana went in under the Czech flag, and I've had a checkered career,'' said Collins, a journalist for more than four decades who has covered everything from Davis Cup to Olympic competition.
His enshrinement wardrobe? In a word, splendid. A white double-breasted sport jacket, a light blue shirt with contrasting tie, set off by ultra-bright orange pants, red slip-on cloth slippers ... and no socks. ``The rule is that no socks should be worn between May 1 and Oct. 1, except for the last two days of Wimbledon when I meet the Duchess of Kent,'' he said.
Collins, who called Rod Laver and Navratilova the best players ever, assailed the U.S. Tennis Association for spending nearly $200 million on a new home for the Open _ ``for just two weeks of tennis'' _ when a fraction spent on the grassroots level would do wonders.
``The USTA is not reaching out into the community,'' said Collins. ``All these programs are struggling. It's amazing what $20,000 would do for one of them. Zina (Garrison-Jackson) said it would be a godsend. The USTA has a charge to spread recreational tennis. They could spend $2 million and not miss it and make tennis at the grassroots communities bloom.''
 

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you've got such great stuff here, HanaFanGA, i have to say...

Mandlikova.Net is available. :D

if you let godaddy host you, i think it'll run you about $4 a month. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED experience. so i say, go for it! you never know what may happen! :kiss:

its fun and you may really connect to hana people all over the planet. even possibly THE hana. ;)
 

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...though this comment from Hana, "I just know we will be friends for life, even though he will never see his children." ...makes me laugh harder than her 1981 french open "these are the grips I use" documentary. :lol:
 

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daze11 said:
...though this comment from Hana, "I just know we will be friends for life, even though he will never see his children." ...makes me laugh harder than her 1981 french open "these are the grips I use" documentary. :lol:

:lol: What about Nigel Sears calling her, "Brezhie" after Soviet Premier Brezhnev to make her mad! :haha:

As for the site, thanks for the encouragement. :wavey: I'm finding more and more as I go. I might just do it!
 
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