RANCHO BERNARDO — The prospect of winning a new car can do a lot to get a tennis player's motor running.
"After I won the second set, I said one more set and I'll have a car," Bonnie Gadusek said. "I was thinking about it the whole match. I think it's a real incentive for the players to play for a car. It was like playing on a game show."
And the winner is . . .
. . . Pam Shriver, who defeated Gadusek, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, to win the $100,000 Audi Challenge Sunday at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in front of 2,000. Shriver made it a two-for-two day when she teamed with Elizabeth Smylie to defeat Wendy Turnbull and Stephanie Rehe, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, for the doubles title.
The victories were nice. The $20,000 winner's share for singles and $1,750 for doubles were nicer.
But what was the first thing Shriver did after she won the singles' title?
She stood by the umpire's stand at midcourt pretending to steer her new car.
"It's fun to have such a competitive weekend," Shriver said. "And I'm telling you, it was the car. It was like dangling something in front of your face. As if saying, come and get me."
Earlier in the week, after Shriver defeated Kathy Horvath, 6-0, 6-1, she said: "I put so much pressure on somebody that if they don't have their timing I'm not going to give them a chance to find it. Anyway, if there's a car at stake, you show no mercy."
For Gadusek, who won $12,500, it's back to her '83 model. Shriver said she will probably give her old car to her mother.
Last year, Shriver won a sports car at a West German but she opted to sell it.
"I'm not ready for a Porsche," Shriver said. "It was a convertible and all. And I don't have a garage. I would have had to park it under a walnut tree."
All this excitement over a car comes from the world's fifth-ranked player who has earned more than $500,000 in purses this year.
"I think Chris (Evert Lloyd) has won 12 or 13 cars," Shriver said. "It (giving cars to winners) was big in the late '70s. Now, it's pretty special."
And what about Gadusek, who is ranked eighth and earned $170,000 last year?
"I like to invest all my money," Gadusek said. "I don't like to spend it. That's the way I've always been."
Despite the incentive to win the car, Shriver said she was more relaxed playing in this tournament than she would have been in a regular Virginia Slims final.
"When you know it counts against your record and there are computer points you get a little nervous," Shriver said. "This weekend, I was eager to play, to have fun. And I wasn't so up-tight."
Shriver was moody in her comeback victory over Zina Garrison Saturday night but she was more at ease on the court Sunday.
"I thought the standard of play today was better than it might have been if this was a regular tournament," Shriver said.
There were five service breaks in a lively first set won by Shriver, 6-4. Leading 5-4 in the second set, Gadusek broke Shriver to even the match.
"Even though I lost the second set," Shriver said, "I felt like I was in control."
The final set was tied at 2-all when Gadusek double-faulted twice in the fifth game to lose her serve.
"I knew she was going for her second serve a lot more than she ever does," said Shriver, who held serve twice and broke through again for a 6-2 victory.