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Austin on Hana

hey there bcp, I remember you from the other rememiscing threads. I've got Tracy Austin's book from the local library. It's rather dull reading, but she does have this to say about wacko Hana. "Of all the players I competed against, Hana Mandlikova had the most talent. When she got up to an easy forehand, she could do twenty things with it. I had three choices, so it wasn't as difficult. I just hit the ball and won the point. Hana, however, might have tried an underspin drop shot angle-----a very low percentage shot. All the options get confusing. Hana hits a lot of risky shots that make her fun to watch, though." I think my favourite memory of Hana is the 1987 Australian Open win over Martina on grass, that made up(almost) for losing the '86 Wimbledon final.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Roscoe:wavey: Sorry, I completely gave up on this thread. Is Tracy's book a good read. I'd appreciate any more excerpts, maybe in the Ladies thread in GM.

As for Hana, glad that you are a Hana fan as well. I love her because she is so unpredictable, but so talented, as you saty. My fav match was when she beat Martina in the USO final after beating Chris (my all time fav) in the semi. Wow, I screamed my lungs out in that final! (even though I also love Martina)

Wasn't Hana a looker in the early days! Have you read her autobiograhy? It is too funny. When she talks about her opinion on Pam, I was on the floor in stitches!

If you don't mind, I am going to copy your wonderful quote in the ladies thread.

Apologies for my late reply, but as I said, I had given up on this thread.:)
 

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Count me in as a huge Hana fan. Her 1980-81 seasons were amazing. she made 4 GS finals in a row, winning 2, and somehow she was still seeded 5th at the 1981 US Open where she lost to CEL in the quarters. I always felt Hana would break through and compete with Chris and Martina on a consistent basis. Her 1985 US Open win is one of my all time top faves. It was such a thrill. Completely artistic, athletic tennis at it's finest. I saw Hana play at Oakland in Jan 1984 in a thriller over Navrat. She was one of a kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey Mark:wavey: Always happy to meet another hana fan. As I said in the Ladies thread, I wish I had seen that Oakland match. The USO final is also one of my faves. Hana had some good battles with tracy Austin as well, and lost some very close matches against Tracy.

Have you read hana's autobiography?
 

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I have never seen Hana's bio. Was it printed in the states? i would love to read it. does she talk about her longtime companion, Novotna?

I wish Hana could have harnessed her talent and won a few more majors. She was so amazing. The first time I saw her play was the 1980 US 4th round when she beat Martina. Evonne had skipped the tourney due to injuries and I thought "here is her heir to the throne". I was just hoping she would be better in the concentration dept. Haha!
 

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Mark, hana's book is a great read. She is sooo frank it's comical. Unfortunately the book was written well before her relationship with Novotna, and she only glazes over her marriage. There are snippets and quotes from the book in the first couple of pages of the Ladies thread in GM.:)
 

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Thanks ball change, I will check that out! Too bad it was written before Jana came on the scene. I would have liked to hear what Hana really thought of the '93 W final with Graf.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Me too! There are a lot of juicy bits of Hana's lfe that I would like to have found out about. Oh weel, we await her unofficial biography, or Jana's autobiograhy with interest!
 

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I saw an interesting program on Wimbledon "nearly Champions" this evening on the classic sports channel. Footage of both the '81 and '86 finals were shown with Hana losing to Evert and Navratilova(although she beat Chrissie 7-6, 7-5 in the semis in '86} There was also a brief interview done in Prague in '95 or '96 I would guess. Novtna's loss to Graf was shown and Hana compared it to her own frustations at Wimbledon. She said that not winning there was the biggest disapointment of her career. Something I had forgotten about that '86 final was that Hana decided to change her shoes whilst leading the first set 5-2! She did have a habit of making strange decisions! She also said that she had hurt her back prior to the '81 final. Ilie Nastase was also shown losing to Borg and Stan Smith and it struck me that he and Hana were probably two of the most naturally gifted players in history.
 

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Hey Roscoe, thanks for that info on Hana. Do you know if they plan to repeat that program at all. I would love to see it. When Hana lost that '81 wimbledon final to Chris I was so bummed. She had just beaten Chris in straights on clay in teh semi's of the French a few weeks earlier. I was certain that she would beat her on grass. She lost like a dog as Chris had that squinty look in her eyes that day. I was 14 and my grandmother called later that day. I told her I was upset cause my fave had played horribly and blew it. Granny said, "don't worry, she will win it sometime!". damn.
 

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Here's a stroll down memory lane-an account of Hana's 85 US Open win:


A New, Old Story: Mandlikova Upsets Navratilova for Title
The Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, Calif.; Sep 8, 1985; MIKE PENNER;

In a week or two, once Martina Navratilova has recovered from the shock and the staggering disappointment Flushing Meadow
ultimately held for her, she will look back on Hana Mandlikova's victory in the U.S. Open women's final Saturday and recognize it as
a familiar tale of success.

Her own.

Roll back the calendar to September 1983. Same tournament, same setting:

A young serve-and-volleyer of Czechoslovakian extraction and undeniable physical skills comes to New York, basically, to find
herself. She has never won this tournament, is reminded constantly of it, and is hounded by references to her unpredictability and
inability to fulfill her immense potential.

She uses the next two weeks as the springboard for her breakthrough-finally holding the silver trophy aloft after silencing the
defending champion in the title match.

Martina, Class of '83, meet Hana, Class of '85.

Mandlikova, the latest great enigma of women's tennis, a splendid talent who won two Grand Slam championships before her 20th
birthday and not another since, may have at last earned her degree-a master's in pressure tennis-with her 7-6, 1-6, 7-6 victory over
Navratilova.

The prize student with the lousy attitude finally kept her nose in her books long enough to graduate. No more skipping classes once
the semifinals rolled around. No more doodling in the margins during the final exam.

Mandlikova, now 23, won this U.S. Open, and the $187,500 paycheck that goes with with it, by toppling, on successive days, Chris
Evert Lloyd, then Navratilova. How rare a feat is that?

This rare: It was last accomplished in a Grand Slam tournament in 1979 by Tracy Austin, en route to her first U.S. Open title.

"Beating Martina and Chris in the same Grand Slam tournament is a good effort. It's a treat," Mandlikova said.

A good effort? A treat?

This is history, Hana. Mission Impossible. The sweep they said couldn't be done.

Witness what Lloyd said during the early stages of the Open: "If Martina or I are entered in a tournament, there's a 95% chance that
one of us will win it."

The last two days, Mandlikova wrung the maximum out of the 5% chance.

Navratilova was seeded No. 2 here, but she fully expected to win the tournament. She wanted to win it-badly.

It is Navratilova's ambition to leave a lasting mark on the sport, to be regarded as the best female ever to swing a racket. Three
straight U.S. Open titles would have fattened those credentials.

When No. 3 got erased by Mandlikova, Navratilova called the defeat devastating-likening it to her crushing loss to Austin in the 1981
U.S. Open final.

"This is the second time I've won more games and lost the match in the final of the U.S. Open," said Navratilova, who was beaten by
Austin, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6.

She was asked which defeat held greater disappointment for her.

"That's like having two of your children die," Navratilova said, "and asking which is worse."

That might seem a a grossly overwrought comparison-this is, after all, only a game-but that's Navratilova. Winning Wimbledon,
winning the U.S. Open is her life.

That's why her breakthrough at Flushing Meadow in 1983, when she dethroned Lloyd in the final, was so sweet to Navratilova.

And that's why Mandlikova's victory Saturday carried so much significance.

Mandlikova overcame Navratilova's consuming, single-minded determination-and her own history as a shrinking violet in big
matches-to become the first non-American woman to win the U.S. Open since Australian Margaret Court in 1973. (Navratilova, a
native Czech, had earned American citizenship by the time of her 1983 victory.)

"I didn't know that," Mandlikova said when told she had ended 12 years of U.S. dominance. "That's a long time. It is special, for
sure."

For Mandlikova, it is special in many ways:

-She opened the match the way Navratilova had opened most of her preliminary matches here-revved into full-blitz mode. Mandlikova
assumed a 5-0 lead in just 17 minutes. "She was just swinging, hitting winners all over the place," Navratilova said. "It didn't matter
what I did. First serve, second serve, stay back, come in-she just kept hitting winners."

-Mandlikova then lost the next five games-here comes the old Hana again-but this time, shifted gears. Mandlikova ground out a
17-minute 11th game, which was at deuce nine times, and finally pulled out the set with a 7-3 tiebreaker.

-After drifting aimlessly through a 1-6 second set, Mandlikova resisted the urge to fade in the third as she extended Navratilova into
another tiebreaker and zipped to a 6-0 lead, en route to a 7-2 win.

At match point, a winning serve and a backhand volley, Mandlikova fell to her knees, then rolled on her back, bowled over by the
moment.

Later, as she clutched the championship trophy, Mandlikova offered condolence to Navratilova (`a great champion"), thanked her coach, Betty Stove ("It's very difficult to put up with me") and thanked the crowd.

Surprisingly-and to Navratilova, distressingly-the capacity crowd of 20,000 at Louis Armstrong Stadium was largely for Mandlikova.

There were boos when line calls went against Mandlikova, cheers when Navratilova double-faulted and a standing ovation when Mandlikova prepared to serve with a 6-0 lead in the final tiebreaker.

"It didn't get me down, but it's hard to fight it all the time," Navratilova said. "It is really difficult to try to figure out what to do to get
them on your side. Especially (when they support) somebody that's not American. I mean, I'm not saying I'm that much more American than Hana is, but only in America can that happen."

No offense, Martina, but the people were pulling for the underdog. And-will wonders never cease?-the underdog managed to pull
through.

Mandlikova attributed her victory to a matter of style, comparing her development to Navratilova's in another year.

"I think it took Martina longer to develop because she was a serve-and-volley player," Mandlikova said. "It took me a little longer,
too."

Maybe Mandlikova has at last arrived. Maybe there is hope for women's tennis after all.

"I think this gives women's tennis great credibility," Stove said. "We've seen Hana go up and we've seen Hana go down. Now she's
up again, and we want to keep that plateau pretty high.

"It's healthy for the sport. It's fun to have some competition."

They would probably be dancing in the streets of Prague today, if the match had been televised back to Czechoslovakia. But
because of Navratilova's defection to the United States, the Czech government doesn't like to publicize her successes. Even there, a
Navratilova victory seemed likely.

"It wasn't on TV," Navratilova said, "which is too bad."

Mandlikova: "I wish they could see this over there. It's a pity my folks are not here. But I believe I can show them the tape, and they'll
be very happy."

For the Mandlikova family, that videotape, as they say in America, is a keeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rollo!!!! Thank you so much for posting that article. It sure did bring back a lot of memories!!!:)

BTW LOL @ the $187,500 winner's cheque........
 

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Here is a snippet of a young Hana from a book Grand Slam Australia. It details her first slam win in 1980 at the Aust Opne, Kooyong, against Wendy Turnbull.:sad:

From the quarters onwards.....

Mandlikova cheered on by a large army of school girls chanting 'Hana, Hana' displayed all her multifarious talents in the 1st set of her quarterfinal against Virginia Ruzici. Ruzici clawed her way back into the match but eventually succumbed to the partison crowd, some doubtful line calls and the magic of Hana, 16 63 46. Afterwards she said:

It was terrible for me to be out there and hear them booing. This has never happened to me before. I have to say the Aust cowrd is noisy even more than in Italy.

Mandlikova had even more variety and subtlety, plus power and derring-do, and she swept Mima Jausovec (who had beaten Cawley and Candy Reynolds) from the court in the semis 64 61. Mima blamed her humiliation on the bias of the umpires. 'All the linesmen are on the side of Hana' she claimed!

Hana came out swinging agianst Turnbull, (who had beaten Martina in the semis 64 75) taking the first set 60 in only 16 mins, with the loss of only 10 points, mixing power and finesse with rare felicity. In a single rally she was capable of hitting a carcking drive, a delicitate drop shot, a pin point lob volley and a thunderous overhead. For all that, she had trouble closing out the match from 52 in the 2nd. Turnbull saved two match points at 45 before Hana took the title 60 75.
____________________________________________________

Unbeliveable to hear about the Aust crowds being biased. Even during Davis Cup the opponents are often cheered. Can only remember Hana and Evonne really capturing the imgination of the Aust public to this point. Would've been interesting to see which side the crowd took, Wendy or Hana??
 

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Thanks Louloubelle for posting that! I wish I had been into tennis then. It would have been great to see Hana win her first Grandslam..........
 

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Thanks Rollo, that was a really great read. It brings back many memories of one of my alll time favorite matches. It was pure joy watching it!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I thought I would bump poor Hana back on the radar. Any more Hana articles under your bed Rollo?;)
 

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I'll look ball change.

I loved louloubelle's 1980 Aussie account. I wonder how Hana won over the "school girl" crowd! Linesmen too according to Mima. She DID have a certain charm about her, especially in the early days when Martina looked to be fading(1980) and the public didn't want Chris and Tracy to dominate.

I remember the 1980 US Open final well. I missed the Hana's upset of Martina(her second in a row I think) in the 4th round.
The first set of the final was close, and when HM hit a winner on set point the crowd exploded and gave her a standing ovation. Chris was about as (un)popular as Martina was years later. Ah, at that one moment I thought, "we have another queen". Well, the queen fizzled 6-1 6-1.My first taste of unpredictable Hana.
Her fans waited along time to see her win a US Open!

BTW-the absolute most entertaining match I ever saw was Hana vs. Martina at Amelia Island in 1984. One day I have ot get a tape of it. It was so entertaining my father watched, and he hates tennis. Both women were covered in clay by match end, and the points were so varied between baseline play and acrobatic volleys form both women. Pure magic.
 

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I posted some articles about the 87 Slims of Washington in your "Ladies" thread ball change. Hana won there. Here's a brief bit on her 87 Aussie win.

Australian Open Tennis Mandlikova's Upset Win Ends Navratilova's Streak-and Grand-Slam Hopes
The Los Angeles Times Jan 24, 1987

Hana Mandlikova, playing inspired tennis, upset top-seeded Martina Navratilova, 7-5, 7-6, today to win the Australian Open women's singles championship.

When she closed out the match by winning the tiebreaker, 7-1, the 24-year-old Czech became the Australian Open champion for the second time. She previously won in 1980.

Navratilova, the defending champion, was seeking her fourth Australian Open singles title.

The victory, coming in the first Grand Slam event of the year, was worth $115,000 to Mandlikova, who snapped Navratilova's 58-match winning streak. Navratilova, 30, collected $55,000 as runner-up.

Mandlikova's victory was especially pleasing because it happened in Australia. She married Jan Sedlak, an Australian who was born in Czechoslovakia, last year and plans eventually to reside in Sydney.

Going into the final, Navratilova had not dropped a set in the tournament. On this day, she would not win a set.

It was the first victory for Mandlikova in her last 10 meetings with Navratilova and her seventh in 30 career meetings. The last time she defeated the world's No. 1 women's player was in the 1985 U.S. Open final.

Mandlikova, who has applied for Australian citizenship, shook off a poor start in which she lost her serve in the opening game of the match. There were seven service breaks in the first set, with Navratilova actually serving for the set at 5-4.

But Mandlikova took the next six games, coming back in the 12th game from 0-40 to break Navratilova's service and win the first set. Navratilova double-faulted at set point.

After taking a 3-0 lead in the second set, Mandlikova moved to 5-3 before Navratilova came back to force the tiebreaker. But Navratilova was let down by her serve and backhand and was swamped in the tiebreaker, the 10th time Mandlikova has defeated Navratilova in 13 tiebreakers.

Mandlikova was ecstatic after Navratilova hit the ball long on the final point. She fell to the ground on her back, holding her fists high in triumph.

She then ran to embrace Betty Stove, her coach for the last seven years.

"It is always nice to beat Martina. I respect her as a player and a person, and I've learned a lot from her," Mandlikova said.

Navratilova was playing her first tournament since splitting with her longtime coach, Mike Estep, and linking up with Randy Crawford, a Fort Worth, Tex., professional.

"Hana played really good tennis and deserved to win today," she said.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Rollo for posting that article. I remember that match and not giving Hana a chance considering her poor record against MArtina in the previous couple of years. It was probably hana's last hoorah I think.

Rollo, I think Mark35 said that he went to that Amelia Island match. I wish I had seen it. A classic Martina/Hana clash is a sight to behold!
 
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