Ivan Lendl and Hana Mandlikova got their acts together and won championships at the 1985 US Open. It was the first time two Europeans had won the US Open. Lendl's 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.
Mandlikova hadn't been in a tournament final in six months 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 the breaker 7-3. Navratilova was in complete command in the 6-1 second set. But Mandlikova 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. Mandlikova burst on top 6-0 before finishing with a gorgeous reaching backhand volley.
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