Tennis Forum banner

1061 - 1080 of 1080 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53,380 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
Amazing amazing AMAZING she was so incredibly successful at that age. One of the biggest stories ever in sports and I didn’t think she really got her due during that period, early 2000s to 2006.

Martina’s match with Horvath was shown on nbc in US during the first weekend of the French as the featured taped match. I’m not sure if it was shown in its entirety? Unfortunately the us open didn’t televise quarters until USA began covering it circa 1984? I always felt it was a shame that the women’s semis were not televised until 1981, which was several years too late in my opinion. NBCs coverage of Wimbledon lagged even further behind. I would have loved to have seen the 78-80 semis, which were all big match ups, but the Austin-Evert thriller/beat down was a true bummer not being shown. Of course we saw all the men’s semis since lawrd who knows how long?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53,380 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
That mullet was ATROCIOUS! Haha! Luckily Chris went back to normal hair by that point and dropped the hagFro’s!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53,380 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53,380 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
More a match report on the 87 final. What I remember about this final was Martina taking advantage of Steffi's slice backhand.

It was the most anticipated encounter of the 1987 tennis season. Thirty-year-old Martina Navratilova, the game's most dominating player the last six years, and Steffi Graf, the 18-year-old who had not lost a match this year, in the Wimbledon final. It began with a backhand winner from Graf, but ended with her forehand error.

Navratilova's 7-5, 6-3 win was thoroughly of her own doing, with the help of net cords that seemed to reinforce the notion that she still reigns as queen of Wimbledon.

Graf surely will win here one day. Saturday wasn't the day because she lacked a change of pace. She nearly always plays in fourth gear and if that is not working she seldom downshifts, preferring to maintain the tempo.

Navratilova's plan was clearly to work her way to the net with an approach to Graf's backhand. It worked, although Graf occasionally replied with blistering passing shots. Navratilova was more aggressive and kept Graf under constant pressure to execute spectacular winners.

Graf's record against Navratilova was 3-5 before this match, but she had won in their last two meetings. That might have planted the idea in her mind that Navratilova would be the one to wilt under pressure. After all, Navratilova was trying for a record six Wimbledons in a row and a record-tying eighth singles title overall at the All England.

Graf's method of attack was to serve wide on either side to open the court for her big weapon, a moderately topped but powerfully struck forehand. This worked extremely well in the semifinals against Pam Shriver, but there was an important difference in playing Navratilova: Shriver has only a right-handed sliced backhand and Navratilova is left-handed. Navratilova simply took those balls to her forehands early and hit them back so quickly that Graf seldom had time to measure her own forehand.

On the return of serve, Graf wanted to go for winners too often. Navratilova never hesitated in following her serve to the net, but Graf too often relied on a hit-or-miss reply. When Navratilova returned serve she was undoubtedly surprised that Graf did not come in as often as she had against Shriver.

Navratilova's foot speed also seemed to intimidate Graf. The champion is perceptibly faster around the court than any other woman, and Graf may have subconsciously felt an uncommon urgency on her ground strokes. The rush produced heart-stopping passing shots but also errors.

Perhaps the best indication that Graf was never in control was that she reached only one break point on Navratilova's serve all day. She held off six set points in the first set, but Graf never had the edge-in points or in her head.

The chances are very good they will meet again in the U.S. Open final in September. If Graf can replace her metronomic pace with a few more intentional lulls, she may turn the result around. To Navratilova goes well deserved applause for giving her best when it counted most; for her very first tournament victory in 1987 after eight finals appearances.
One thing I recall ( haven't seen this in years)was that Steffi forgot to lob offensively in the match. Not even sure how much of an offensive lob she had back then, but you are not going to beat Martina on a grass court staying on the baseline, without being able to hit offensive lobs off both wings. There were all those signs of greatness in Steffi, but outside of the direction of the forehand, she was pretty predictable back then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Well I am on page 15 with 39 pages left to go, and I just don't know what I can possibly add that might be new. We can admire her athleticism, or her courage or her intellect or her passion but we cannot fool ourselves into thinking another Martina will come along. She was a true force of nature on the tennis court. When she was in full majestic glory on court in the eighties, there was nothing more breathtaking. She was all 'shock and awe' before the American military stole the phrase. I literally never saw a dull Martina match.

I used to really enjoy her matches with Hana because that was the only woman who could, at least for awhile, turn Martina into a backseat driver on a tennis court. But more often than not, Martina, through sheer determination managed to grab that wheel right back. Fun tennis!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Has anyone here watched “The Politican” on Netflix? Martina had a role in the show and did a pretty good job :eek:
Yes. I was a fan of the series, but it was impossible for me to separate that face and voice from the roll I most identify. It was a clever use of her and amusing but I can't say she should have followed in Vince Van Patten's footsteps. Streep's 250 Oscars nods are safe from the threat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
I LOVED their encounters. I’m still trying to hang onto my memories of the greatest match I’ve ever seen in person...the Jan 1984 thriller in Oakland. Sadly, I most vividly recall the gasps and ahhs of the audience (mostly at Hana’s shots) throughout the match. It’s like good audio/bad video.
I wish there was video to backup my deteriorating internal hard drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I LOVED their encounters. I’m still trying to hang onto my memories of the greatest match I’ve ever seen in person...the Jan 1984 thriller in Oakland. Sadly, I most vividly recall the gasps and ahhs of the audience (mostly at Hana’s shots) throughout the match. It’s like good audio/bad video.
I wish there was video to backup my deteriorating internal hard drive.
It was an interesting dynamic. People forget that Hana was actually more of an 'all courter' a la Goolagong, than Martina. Hana tended to stay back more on return of second serve and on her own second serve so she ended up having to hit more passing shots than Martina. A pattern I recall was Martina tended to spray a lot of her passes early in a match like that. She really needed to get that backhand pass/lob grooved (its not like Martina had a lot of practice in prior rounds passing anyone) and Hana seemed to swing with great freedom early in a match. Most players had a lot of trouble reading or predicting Hana's shots. So often Martina ended up a break of serve down before she realized the match had begun and there she was, playing catch up with a confident Mandlikova. It made for enthralling shot-making regardless. So often Martina's physical strength and agility up at net, made the difference in crucial points. She ended up hitting these incredible defensive volleys that no one else could have reached, let alone returned.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
25,232 Posts
A long (but insighful) early NYT Bud Collins article about Martina:

SHE CAN BEAT EVERT BUT DOES SHE REALLY WANT TO?
By Bud Collins
  • June 19, 1977
In a recent episode of “Martina Navratilova, Martina Navratilova — Poor Little Rich Defector,” the sturdy heroine lolls barefoot on a Texas prairie, wondering what she will feed her dog, since she's out of dog food and there are no bones. But that's O.K. Only the day before, she has won $25,000 (“as much as my father makes in 20 years”) for losing, so Navratilova stands contentedly on the thick rug (covering the kitchen floor of the $85,000 house on that portion of the prairie at the northern edge of Dallas), dropping morsels into the mouth of Racket, her black‐andwhite “mostly poodle.” Racket, foundling scooped from bewilderment and traffic din beside the L.B.J. Expressway, looks contented, too. Its mistress, a self‐imposed foundling herself, pulls at a strawberry shake and says, “Here we are having the dinner of the rich, capitalized American.” Then she adds quickly, “I don't eat like this much anymore” — because she is seri ous about keeping her weight down to 144 pounds (from a recent, desultory 172) and shedding her reputation as the Queen of the Junk Food.

The only difference between parodied soap opera and Martina Navratilova Is that she really happened. She has, indeed, looked down the barrels of Russian tank guns; tangled with the secret police of Czechoslovakia; given up family, friends and country (not to mention junk food) for her art; cultivated the wrath of Great Britain by blaspheming in the cathedral—accusing Wimbledon line judges of cheating; and suffered a “psychological breakdown” in full public view at Forest Hills Stadium.
Nor is it fiction that Martina Navratilova is now, at 20, the No. 2 woman tennis player in the world and is a real and rising threat to Chris Evert — though there is, somehow, a soap‐opera quality about that, too. Her astute coach in World Team Tennis, Australian Roy Emerson of the Boston Lobsters, says, “If she'll really work harder on her game, she could leave Evert behind.” She needs The Guiding Light. And there are those who believe she may knock Evert off at Wimbledon, whose 100th annual championship begins Tuesday. Sir John Smyth, the 83‐year‐old Wimbledon historian who has viewed them all since 1910, considers Martina — he pronounces the surname “Natro‐volina” — one of “only two great women” who will appear at Wimbledon. “One is on the way out, Billie Jean King, and one on the way in, Martina. I was very impressed with her. It's entirely up to her whether she gets some sort of mental discipline for herself and her game. If she does, I think she will be a great champion.”

Her impetuous style has made her tremendously exciting to watch. No European woman since the lithe, leaping, Gallic Suzanne Lenglen of the 1920's has played with such gusto, though Lenglen (five times Wimbledon champion) seemed a ballerina, a distinct contrast to bulldozer Navratilova. Martina's father, an economist in a Czechoslovak factory, encouraged her net‐rushing style, so Inimical to slow European clay — suicidal unless one is as bold, determined and agile as Navratilova. “I kept getting passed, but I kept coming in,” she recalls, “ever though everybody said I was crazy was losing, losing, but still I was at tacking. Slowly, as I grew, I began cut Ling off passing shots with my volleys My serve got stronger, I. began to win don't have the patience to stay back or the base line for long points in the Euro pean way.”

As a youngster, thousands of miles away and playing on the souped‐down red clay courts of the Continent, she acted as though She had a touch of Southern California anything‐goes in her soul, playing West Coast serve‐andvolley of quick, green cement courts, oblivious to the consequences. Her innate style was the direct opposite of Evert's innate style, the stern, rational, pounding‐from‐the‐base‐line, distinctly non‐Californian approach. Martina overflowed with confidence, felt she could do anything, and still does.



Her flair was evident early, and she was sent by the Czechoslovakia Tennis Federation to the United States to try the winter tour in 1973. She was 16, and hungry in all respects. America and Martina: It was love at first bite. “I traveled with Maria Neumannova. another Czechoslovak. We didn't have much money, and didn't win much, so we filled up at pancake houses. That's how that began, and nobody will let me forget it.”

Martina did well enough on that first visit, despite 20 pounds she picked up, and rose from the ranks of the qualifiers to a regular place in tournament draws, giving the U.S. national indoor champion, Evonne Goolagong, a respectable, though losing, game that first winter during the National Indoor at Boston.
My first strong memory of her is later that year in Paris at the French Open, where she darted about like the downhill ski racer she once also aspired to be (after learning to ski at 2). Chestnut trees were blossoming behind Court at Roland Garros Stadium. Martina was up against Texan Nancy Richey, America's deadliest clay court operator in the years before Evert.“I was thrilled just to see Nancy in person,” Martina says. “I'd seen her on TV from Wimbledon, and at home I would pretend to be her by wearing a funny little white cap like she did. Only it wasn't a tennis cap. It was the cap my mother wore for her wedding, and my sister and I would kid her that she got married in Nancy Richey's hat.” To everyone's surprise Martina strongarmed Nancy Richey with serve‐andvol ley, 6‐3, 6‐3, something never done to revelation.
Two years later, Navratilova stunned the tennis world by returning to Boston and defeating Evonne Goolagong in the finals of the U.S. Nationals. Since then, she has won eight tourneys on the Virginia Slims tournament circuit — four this year —and has already risen to No. 6 in the all‐time prize money standings, exceeding $500,000 in on‐court earnings during only three and a half years as a pro.

By her own estimate, her most important championship was in the doubles at Wimbledon last year. Now, she says, “The singles is what I really want.” Wimbledon is Olympus where she comes from. (“I will always be Czechoslovakian in my heart even if I am an American citizen. No Czechoslovakian woman has ever won Wimbledon. Vera Sukova was in the final in 1962, and people at home still talk about that.”)

Her accomplice in that doubles conquest was none other than her leading rival and temperamental opposite, Evert. Chris Evert, as you may have noticed, is the party chairperson of female tennis. And she is upstaged about as frequently as Brezhnev at the Kremlin. The wail of promoters and other beneficiaries of well‐hyped and highly profitable female pro tennis has been: “Can anyone give Chrissie a decent game?” So when this hefty kid came along and beat her a few times, people made an effort at learning to the name: MAR‐teen‐a Nah‐ VRA‐TEE‐lo‐vuh. Moreover, the new contender was bursting with verve in everything she did, dressing, playing, talking— and eating.
Martina began to cut a gaudy swath through America. She baubled‐andbangled herself head to toe during and outside of working hours, made friends everywhere, picked up English fast, complete with American slang and nuances. On occasion, she overtalked, rebuking officials, fans and reporters. In the United States, the response was immediate: “She's wonderful.”

At home, meanwhile, the response was not so wonderful: She was a bad little girl being Americanized. Public scoldings took place in newspapers (the same papers that no longer mention the feats and failings of the prodigal daughter, who is now a nonperson). “I think was making friends for Czechoslovakia everywhere I went, but. . . .,” she shrugs. But she was not making many friends where they counted in Czechoslovakia, and the country's Tennis Federation began to limit her travel. “When 1 learned in 1975 that the secret police reported to the sports federation that I was planning to defect, I knew then I must defect the first time I would get an opportunity. It wasn't true that was planning it, but when they get an idea fixed in their minds nothing will change it. I realized the control over me would become stricter, and I will not be
It was then, in late summer two years ago, that Martina Navratilova, 18, sensed she'd have to sever the cord for good. “My parents had told me if I ever felt I had to defect that I should do without their knowledge. It would be better that way. Just go—but make up my mind I'd never be coming back, maybe never see them or my sister, Jana, again. They said if this moment ever came, they would understand.”

The moment came when she landed in New York for the U.S. Open of 1975 at Forest Hills. It became common knowledge on Sunday, Sept. 7.
“In the papers it said I was looking for political asylum. That wasn't right,” she says. “I'm not political just want freedom to play wherever and whenever I want, and I couldn't have that in Czechoslovakia. Believe me, I didn't want to defect. I miss my family badly. There are times when wonder if I did the right thing. . . . But then I remember how depressed I was the last time I was home. The control was tightening. They were treating me like a little girl, insisting I should finish high school when I was already a professional athlete. They wouldn't let me play team tennis. I didn't think I'd get out again — I was like in jail. I remember looking around me and seeing the people aren't very happy. Friends who had visited Czechoslovakia had said to me the people seemed sad. I never noticed that before the last time I was home, but it's true. The reason is obvious: There is the feeling you have no control over your life; you have no hope

An international athlete, particularly a professional tennis player, has con‐ siderably more hope than most Czechoslovaks. Accordingly, Jan Kodes, the 1973 Wimbledon champion, feels “Martina made a big mistake. She's too young to make that decision. We don't have maybe as much freedom as in the States, but Martina would have been all right.” He implies she could have had her Guccis and worn them, too. “Her trouble was she did not cooperate. She did not keep in touch with the officials at home when she left the country. A simple phone call once in a while to let them know her plans would have been O.K. But she wouldn't call.” Cyril Suk, the chief administrator for Czechoslovak tennis, calls her departure “A tragedy for us and her.” Navratilova had unexpectedly brought her country the Federation Cup, which is the worldwide team competition comparable to the men's Davis Cup. Says Suk, “We would welcome Martina back, every‐
Navratilova smiles as these quotes are repeated to her. “I appreciate what Kodes says, and I owe him a lot. He helped convince the federation to allow me to go to Forest Hills after all in 1975, after they'd decided to keep me home. But Jan looks at it from a man's point of view, and there is more freedom for men. . . . As for going back,” she shook her head causing her collarlength brown hair to sway like a fringe, “I know that would be bad. A man from the embassy came to see me a few days after I announced the defection and tried to persuade me to return. He said I could do it then, but if I waited there would be a jail sentence. No thanks.”
Coincidentally, the other renowned Czechoslovak defector was also a peppery left‐hander with a weight problem: Jaroslav Drobny. He won Wimbledon in 1954, five years after skipping. “It is a hard thing to do,” says Drobny, 55, a London sporting‐goods dealer and British citizen who has never revisited his homeland. “Especially at her age, leaving your family and everything. But 1 understand and sympathize. . . . Martina will be homesick, but only for a while. After all, where is home for a tennis player?”

Nevertheless, there are two homes in Martina's name: a condominium in the selective Mission Hills neighborhood of Palm Springs; and the “refuge,” the three‐bedroom ranch‐style house (with swimming pool and Jacuzzi) in a new residential section of Dallas, where she has found “calm and roots.”
Much of that calm derives from her warm friendship with 34‐year‐old Sandra Haynie, the golfer whose splendid tournament career is just about over, who shares the home with Martina. Sandy is seen by Martina and others as a stabilizing influence. “For me,” says Martina, “everything — the money, the publicity— has been too fast, too soon.” The transition from Revnice, a small town where cityfolk from Prague sometimes go to rest and relax, to her first U.S. address in Beverly Hills was something of a culture shock even for the “Americanized” Martina. “This is much better.” Navratilova motions toward Spring Creek, the street she lives on where some neighborhood kids are playing tennis. “The people are down‐to‐earth. They brought cakes and food when we moved in. I play with the kids. There are three schools within five minutes.” Freshly planted trees are also taking root in her front yard.
Martina has been looking for calm for a long time — probably at least since Aug. 21. 1968, when she was II years old. The day stays in her memory: Russian tanks, huge, shuddering, belching, move into Pilsen, where Martina is visiting a friend and playing in a juvenile tennis tournament. The tanks, which have come to crush the spirit of the Prague Spring, terrify the two girls. They are told to stay inside. They hear of nervous Russian soldiers shooting people who make suspicious moves, such as opening an umbrella. After dark, Miroslav Navratilova —Martina's father — rescues her on his motorcycle, and whisks her home to Revnice, 60 miles away, keeping her warm beneath his coat. It is hard going on roads torn up by the tanks, but they make it,
“Those tanks . . . you can't imagine those tanks. It was something else, you can't imagine how depressing. Maybe,” she says now, “the idea for defection was planted then. I can't say for sure. But of course a certain unhappiness began.”

“Depression” frequents Navratilova's descriptions of her background. The depression she experienced during her first months in America, despite the freedom and all the money, she feels was symbolized by her “psychological breakdown” in the packed Forest Hills Stadium during the U.S. Open a year ago. She had been ranked right behind Goolagong among those hoping to depose Chris Evert. “I am ashamed of what happened,” Martina recalls. “That wasn't nice, the way I acted. And I took something away from Janet with my behavior.” Janet Newberry, a hefty California blonde, was supposed to be easy. The first set went that way, 6‐1. but then Janet began to resist. Martina proved resistible, and lost the match, 1‐6, 6‐4,6‐3. Navratilova fell apart. Moving to a chair beside the court, she began to cry uncontrollably. “I never saw anybody so miserable, so totally out of control,” says Newberry, who stood there, trying to comfort her victim. Navratilova eventually managed to walk to the dressing room, crying all the
In 12 months she had come full circle at Forest Hills. “It was a bad year that I just wanted over. Everything wrong seemed to come together that night,” her brownish‐green cat's eyes pained for a moment. “So much was expected of me then, and I had had too much success quickly. And I wasn't working hard enough.”

Though her tennis had failed to fulfill its earlier luster, the luster was showing in her life style. People began carping that she was spoiled — and was spoiling an obvious chance to become No. 1. Did a Mercedes‐Benz mean more to her than a murderous backhand? Was her defection a simple case of good old Americanized greed rather than a quest for artistic freedom?
Sandy Haynie walked in from the kitchen. A pro golfer since 1961, she has the kind of self‐assurance, poise and success that Martina admires: “Sandy can keep her disappointments inside.” Sandy's are the prominent trophies in their home: The rococo swirls and stacks of metal representing the U.S. Open and Ladies’ Professional Golf Association championships of 1974.
“Martina,” says Haynie, “had a bad year in ‘76, but what made it worse was she'd never had a bad year. Everybody has them — but she didn't understand that. She was so young. I just kept telling her it was normal, and that she could ride it out. I told her everybody gets down. Everybody.”
“Sandy,” says Navratilova, “is so easygoing. She's wonderful to travel with. She understands what it's like to compete. But she's not a tennis expert — she doesn't try to give me advice like every Tom, Dick and Harry when I was going badly. She urged me just to listen to Chris and Billie Jean [King] because they were good friends. Both of them encouraged me the way she did, saying it would be all right.” Haynie says, “One definite thing in tennis I've been able to help Martina with is timing. I understand that part of sports. When she lost so much weight last fall [The Great Wide Hope is no longer wide], pointed out that she had to adjust her timing. She was now getting to the ball much faster, before her racket was ready.”
Billie Jean King feels, “There's no doubt Sandy has helped Martina mentally to settle down, relax, handle herself and her temper better. It would help the women's game if she lived up to her potential, and started beating Chris regularly, but I don't know how hard she'll push herself. She likes to enjoy herself. She has a tendency to goof off, get distracted, you know, buying things, not practicing enough. Her backhand needs work; she's not the solid player she should be. I just don't know how bad she wants to be the best. We know about Chris.” King could have added that we

Martina agrees. “I'm a little lazy.” And she adds: “I went up too fast. One year I was playing in junior Wimbledon [1973] and two years later I was seeded No. 2 in the regular Wimbledon women's — No. 2! [She lost in the quarters to the great Australian star Margaret Court.] I just couldn't take everything that happened to me that fast. . . . People kept asking me why I wasn't No. 1. Their expectations put pressure on me. But I was only a teen‐ager. Now I know it will take longer; there's no rush. And I guess I was stuck‐up like they were saying about me in Czechoslovakia. Nafoukana nose in the air. Maybe because it was so fantastic, having all the money you want, cars, jewels, living in Beverly Hills. the candy it wants. There is something more you need.”

But she is too young and lively and positive to be penitent for long. “People forget I'm only 20. I still have the right to act like a 20‐year‐old sometimes, not so grown up. I'm like Jimmy Connors— but I don't give the finger. I'm going to be myself and say what I like, even if it gets me in trouble sometimes.” Her press relations aren't the best; she can be testy and impatient. At times her temper is costly, when bickering with officials during a match turns the crowd against her or breaks her concentration. On the other hand, she says the flap at Wimbledon last year “helped me. It got me mad, and I came back and won.” During that arduous afternoon she accused line judges of patriotism beyond the chalk lines of duty, of favoring a Briton, Sue Barker, in a quarter final that a flabby, flailing Martina narrowly won, 6‐3, 3‐
Being 20, wealthy and internationally recognizable can be hard to handle. Martina resents those who seem more disturbed by her “Americanization” than the Czechoslovak secret police. “There are people who say I defected just so could be a capitalist and spend a lot of money — that changed when I decided to become a citizen.” What became of that sweet 16‐year‐old of that first American tour? And now, after all, should a refugee consume so conspicuously? “I'm the same person. I always wanted nice things. And, anyway, it's a free country . . . .”
She blames the press for focusing on episodes — the pancake and Gucci orgies, for example. “They concentrate on certain things — Martina wears lots of jewelry all the time— and that stays with you forever, even if it is not always true. See, I have no jewelry on now.” Still, she accepts the fate of the celebrated, that certain installments of their existence are inevitably frozen forever in time. Perhaps Whistler's Mother tried the cheap thrills of a rocking chair but once, yet she must rock through eternity because her boy left us with that impres‐
Not much really seems to bother Martina today.

“Bit of a prima donna all right,” says her Australian coach Roy Emerson. “But she has the strength and ability to overpower all the other sheilas [women] including Chris think she's been insecure, leaving her family. Sandy's a good friend to her; she gets along in the team. That all helps loosen her up. She's a very nice woman, and I think she'll learn to love the hard work she needs — once she sees where it can put her. Right out front.”
That would be going against her grain, but it may be that Martina can rebel against Martina — her casual training habits — as she has against others. Anyway she is undoubtedly “headstrong,” as she herself puts it, and says she will attempt to turn that head in the direction of greater dedication.
I I
Though the Czechoslovak Martina Navratilova is already a certified Dallas Cowboys football fan — “You have to love the Cowboys to live in Dallas,” she says — the ultimate event in her Americanization will occur when she plays for the United States in Federation Cup. “I will be eligible in ‘78 because I should be a citizen by then.

“Right now I am looking forward to really concentrating on my tennis and a long career. I would like to see my family of course . . . maybe someday conditions will change. We talk weekly on the phone, and, obviously, it is small talk. I worried for a while that there would be retaliation against them. But there wasn't much. My father will never be promoted, that is clear, but he didn't lose his job. My sister was barred from playing at the leading club in Prague, but she doesn't mind; she plays in Revnice.
“A family of my own? Maybe in 10 years or so. Right now I am too selfish. I believe a family takes full devotion, and my devotion goes to my tennis. I have to get myself to be tougher‐minded when play Chris. That's a goal. It's hard because I like her so much. I'm working on it.”
Everybody who knows her—this bright, engaging person who seems barely beyond childhood, this girl who may perhaps have been running scared since the day of the tanks — wants to see her happy, wants her life to go well in the United States. Indeed, the melodrama of “Martina Novratilovna, Navratilovna” may have already come to an end, and the drama of adult life may have taken its place. The poor little rich defector seems to be learning to live with herself, her money and us. ■
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
That is really a fine article of Bud Collins, he had a soft spot for Martina. Bud went a couple of times to Czechoslovakia when Martina was there. I think she tipped him, he was the only journalist there, danced the polka with members of Martina's family.

Jan Kodes was wrong in his comments the communists took Martina's Czechoslovakian nationality away in less then three weeks so she was a stateless person and as such won her first two Wimbledons in 1978-1979. Also her doubles titles.
Jan Kodes has changed his mind about the defection and admitted he thought about it too. Now if there are sports awards Jan will always ask to include Martina like the gold and silver mints made of Czech Wimbledon champions. For a person once called a traitor Martina has done allright in the Czech Republic. Vaclav Havel read Martina's autobiography when he was in prison and in 1996 as president he gave her the medal of merit in the highest degree. A president who went to prison for his believes gave Martina the medal of merit.

About Mandlikova and Marttina, I read once that Hana and Martina did not make one unforced error in the 1985 US Open final. At that time we did not get the US Open on European television so I do not know if it is true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
Hana not make an unforced error in a three set match! Probably in the glorious first five games when she went up 5-0 in what seemed like a dreamy ten minutes, but it’s hard to believe neither made any UEs over the course of that amazing match. Does anyone have the stats?
 
1061 - 1080 of 1080 Posts
Top