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Some might find it offensive that Samuels seems to fancy himself as something of a coach. Maybe he thinks that being Wonder Woman's ex makes him an authority on how Evert Lloyd should play the Wonder Woman of tennis. In any case, during one of Evert Lloyd's workouts, he advised, "Hit it more out in front of you."
Evert Lloyd may be too old to alter her game significantly, but, as she said more than once, she's trying to make herself into "a better athlete." Before playing in New Jersey, Evert Lloyd spent six weeks in Los Angeles running the stadium steps at the UCLA track and working out with Smith on Nautilus machines. It was the first weight work of her career. "I wasn't strong, and that was all there was to it," she says. "I won't be in this game probably for more than two years, and I just kind of made another commitment to it. I want to end my career playing my best. Maybe win another Wimbledon." The physical regimen produced other benefits as well. "Without getting into my personal life, I had a lot on my mind last year," she says. "In the last three months, I've spent most of my time working out, instead of sitting in my room crying about my problems."
But the strain was evident after she struggled to a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 first-round victory over Kathy Jordan that left her tired and drawn. As she left the post-match press conference, Evert Lloyd was confronted by a British journalist bursting with questions about John and Adam. She sagged noticeably. "It's my personal life, O.K.?" she pleaded, retreating toward the locker room. Anyone who has seen the British tabs of late can understand why she's on guard. To wit: a headline in the Feb. 25 Daily Mirror—LONG DISTANCE LOVE: CHRISSIE AND ADAM TALK IT OVER.
Meanwhile, the rest of the field has already conceded that Navratilova is in another league. After beating Zina Garrison to earn a spot in the quarterfinals against Navratilova, 16-year-old Carling Bassett told her father, John, the owner of the USFL Tampa Bay Bandits, "Daddy, I'd rather play the Michigan Panthers." She got three games.
Pam Shriver, Navratilova's good friend and doubles partner, was next. Coming off her first win over the mercurial Hana Mandlikova, the only one to beat Navratilova since her loss to Horvath, Shriver played brilliantly in breaking serve twice to go ahead 3-0 in the opening set. However, when Navratilova dashed from the baseline to return a great drop shot with a better one, evening the score at 4-4, Shriver lost the magic and fell 7-6, 6-4.
Afterward, Shriver helped confirm the worst fears of those who believe the tour needs more competition at the top. "This is as high as I can go immediately," said Shriver of her newly acquired No. 3 ranking. "The next step is probably going to be a two-year program before I can reach No. 2. I'll just coast along for the next couple of years." In other words, she'll get by on her $400,000 a year until Evert Lloyd retires.
More troubling was the performance of erstwhile No. 3, Andrea Jaeger, who lately seems to have fallen into the habit of giving less than 100% on the court. Last week she sleepwalked through a 6-2, 7-6 loss to Horvath in the first round. Asked what happened, Jaeger said, "Did you miss part of it? I lost." Would she watch any of the remaining matches? Before a Virginia Slims official could gag her, she said, "I think there are other things to do in New York than watch women's tennis."
Which, of course, isn't to be confused with Navratilova tennis.