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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to learn more about tennis history and I have a desire to expand my knowledge of the sport (maybe, I'll be as knowledgeable as eggy one day :angel::lol: ). Both of the aforementioned women played before I started watching tennis (though I'm sure Sukova played on 'till something like the mid-90's) but I always heard references and mentions to them by commentators during matches. I looked up some info on the net and they both seemingly had brief stints near the top of the game...so to make a long story short, I'd like to know more about them. I'm sure they're completely unrelated players, it's just that I was interested in these two out of curiosity. What kind of games did they play and especially for Sukova, was she considered a future great in her teen years?

any info would be much appreciated :hatoff:
 

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Hana Mandlikova

Born: February 19, 1962, Prague, Czechoslovakia

Citizenship: Czechoslovakia, Australia (1988)

Handed: Right


BIOGRAPHY
Just possibly there are more appealing to flop on your back than a grimy, steaming of asphalt in New York. But you won't convince Hana Mandlikova. It was her place in the furtive sun, and the bumpy landing she made,after whirling to bat a last spectacular volley, was a splendidly happy one. Hana gazed at the smoggy sky, and it seemed heaven as a deluge of and cheers from 21,169 captivated witnesses burst on her. The pavement of Flushing Meadow "didn't feel too bad. It felt nice," laughs Mandlikova, who arose from the floor as champion.

That was 1985. Seldom has the U.S. Open been illuminated by such a display of shotmaking fireworks. Hana's victim was Martina Navratilova at her zenith, 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 7-6 (7-2). Like Martina, whom she'd admired while growing up in Prague (where she was born February 19, 1962), Hana was a magnificent athlete who felt the only thing better than attacking was attacking more.

As the star of the 40th Hall of Fame class, 1994, Hana is the third Czech, following Jaroslav Drobny and Jan Kodes. Her relatively early retirement at 28 concluded a professional career that commenced in 1978 and closed in 1990 after she had accumulated 27 singles, 15 pro doubles titles and $3,340,959 in prize money. At singles Hana was 567-195 in matches (.783) at doubles 253-104. She left ranked No. 14, having graced the World Top Ten seven times, 1980-82, 1984-87, No. 3 in 1984 and 1985. Her time was emblazoned by the irresistible crescendos of winning four majors: two Australian (1980, 1987), a French (1981) and her crown jewel U.S. Open. She had four other shots, finals of Wimbledon, and the U.S., 1980, 1982.

Her speed and jock genes came from her papa. Willem Mandlik, an Olympic 100-meter finalist for Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1960, uttered a profound one-sentence summary of his nervous kid's one-sided defeat by Evert, 6-2, 6-2, in the 1981 Wimbledon final: "Boom-boom-boom. . . misss-miss-miss. . . quick-quick-quick!

Leggy and limber, a 5-foot-8 right-hander coltish in her movement, she was as high-strung living for flamboyant cavalry charges: "to impatient to stay on the baseline, on clay--even though I was raised on it--or anything," Hana smiles. "Jan Kodes was my first hero. I grew up watching him. I was a ballgirl for Martina [Navratilova] when I was 12, and she was a motivation for me. We played the same way--and I wanted to be good enough to beat her someday."

And she did, spoiling several big occasions for Martina. Even though she was 7-30 in their rivalry Hana won four of 10 major meetings, beating her elder at Wimbledon, twice at the U.S., once at the Australian. The last, the 1987 final, 7-5, 7-6, (7-2), ended Navratilova's 58-match winning streak. Three years earlier, winning Oakland, Hana snipped another of Martina's strings at 54. They got together to win the U.S. doubles in 1989.

Here's Helena's website:
http://www.helenasukova.com
 
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Caelestia- If you are interested in tennis past come visit us at the Blast From the Past! There we have lots of info on past champs-pics, and even grand slam results all the way from the start:)


http://www.wtaworld.com/forumdisplay.php?f=59

I bumped up a Hana thread-and REALLY suggest the "Ladies of the Court" thread. It's full of gossip and has tons of info.
 

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Sukova wasn't as talented as Mandlikova. She was tall with long arms and legs. She also served and volleyed mostly.

I liked her, and liked watching her play. The image of her that sticks in my mind is one at Wimbledon. In the bad old days, all the TV stations showed butt shots as a player waited for serve. There was Helena in her nice whites with black underpants... not bike shorts like these days but black underpants. It was sort of shocking then, but she wore them a lot. :)
 

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Helena Sukova was very talented. In 1993 at the US Open she was losing finalist to Steffi Graf, and won both the Womens, and Mixed Doubles. A very rare feat.

She played until 1998 and won a large number of singles and doubles titles. She parthered Jana Novotna in doubles for a long time.

Birthdate: 23.2.1965

Singles: Australian Open - Finalist : 1984, 1989
US Open - Finalist : 1986, 1993
French Open - Semifinalist : 1986
WTA Championship - Finalist : 1985

Doubles: Wimbledon - Winner : 1987, 1989, 1990, 1996
Australian Open - Winner : 1990, 1992
US Open - Winner : 1985, 1993
French Open - Winner : 1990
WTA Championship - Winner : 1992

Mixed Doubles: Wimbledon - Winner : 1994, 1996, 1997
US Open - Winner : 1993
French Open - Winner : 1991

Federation Cup: Member of the winning team : 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988

Olympic Games: Silver Medals- Doubles:1988 (Seoul), 1996 (Atlanta)


Birthplace: Praha, Czechoslovakia
Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Height: 188cm (6'2'')
Weight: 68 Kg (150lbs)
Professional Tennis Career: 1981 - 1998
Highest WTA Rankings:
Singles: No.4, Doubles: No.1
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sukova's singles success seems to have come mostly at the beginning of her career. Was there a reason for this or did she simply want to become more focused on doubles/mixed?
 

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Sukova later in her career would occasionally lose early... early on she always seemed to hold her seed or better.


My biggest memories of Mandlikova are the US Open... Of course when she won... and in route to that title she beat 5 top 20 players back to back to win the title. It was well deserved...

The other open I remember was late in her career when she showed up a bit out of shape and unprepared and got upset by Claudia Kohde Kilsch... Hana walked to the score board and proceed to bash it with her raquet.... SHE was fined of course! :) (there have been times in my tennis life... that I'd like to be right there with her ... bashing the crap out of the scoreboard)
 

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I think Helena suffered the curse of nerves - especially on the very big occasion. So she never took a GS singles title. In doubles, she always had a partner for support and to steady her in a crisis.

She had a good serve for the era, but liked to play a lot of "touch" shots - precise lobs and the like. Despite her height, she wasn't really a power player.
 
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