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Fourth-Seeded Mandlikova to Miss Wimbledon : Foot Injury Causes 1986 Runner-up to Pull Out of Rain-Delayed Tournament

June 23, 1987|From Staff and Wire Reports

WIMBLEDON, England — Fourth-seeded Hana Mandlikova, the last player to beat Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon--in 1981--pulled out of this year's tournament Monday because of a foot injury.

The 25-year-old Czech, runner-up to Navratilova last year, had foot trouble before the French Open last month. Referee Alan Mills said it has not responded to treatment.

"She came to me 30 minutes ago and she was very sad to withdraw, of course," Mills said, moments after Monday's matches were rescheduled for today because of rain. "She will return to Czechoslovakia for more treatment. If it still doesn't respond, she will have to have surgery."

Mandlikova's withdrawal before play had begun forced the organizers to reset the women's draw.

Fifth-seeded Helena Sukova, who defeated Navratilova at Eastbourne on Saturday, was moved from seven-time champion Navratilova's side of the draw. She took countrywoman Mandlikova's place in the bottom half of the draw and is scheduled to meet second-seeded Steffi Graf of West Germany in the semifinals.

West German Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, seeded ninth, went the other way--filling the hole in the top half left by Sukova--and had her place taken by countrywoman Sylvia Hanika.

Anna-Maria Fernandez of Torrance, Calif., a lucky loser from last week's qualifying competition, was moved into the 128-player women's singles field.

Mandlikova beat Navratilova in the 1981 semifinals before the Czechoslovakian-born American ran off five straight Wimbledon victories.

The first day of Wimbledon was rained out, as 25,915 fans paid to stare at tarpaulins and show off their umbrellas. Wimbledon offers no rain checks.

It was only the 15th day of Wimbledon play this century to be rained out, the last having been in 1978.

And the weather outlook remains dismal. This is already the rainiest June in London history, and intermittent rain is forecast for the rest of the week.

Scrambling to stay on schedule, tournament officials will order matches played before the normal 2 p.m. daily start. If necessary, matches will also be made up next Saturday, when no play is scheduled, and next Sunday, traditionally a mid-point day of rest.

No night matches will be played because Wimbledon has no lights.

Bad weather has forced Wimbledon to go beyond its scheduled two weeks only nine times, the most recent in 1982.

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