Switzerland’s adopted fourth seeds of Jakob Hlasek (born in Czechoslovakia) and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (born in Bulgaria) were back again and though they lost the men’s singles, a great doubles effort saw them pass CIS on the way to the semis. In another quarter final, the Czechs downed third-seeded United States with Sukova too good for Amy Frazier and though Derrick Rostagno balanced it up, the Americans went down in a one-sided mixed.
Germany’s great double act of Graf and Becker dropped just 11 games between them in the singles against France’s Halard and Leconte ?but the drama was only just starting.
Firstly, a 12-year-old ball boy named Nico Burmeister grabbed the world headlines when he copped a Becker backhand down the line on the ear and was KO’d out of his duties, causing great concern from the champion, who later presented him with a racquet.
The last quarter final saw Spain beat Holland 2-1, but that scoreline didn’t reveal the true contest after Arantxa beat Schultz, but Emilio lost to Krajicek. Then in the deciding mixed doubles, the Sanchezes came back from match point down in the third set to win 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 and advance to the semis. It was a certain backhand winner from Krajicek that agonisingly clipped the net and dropped back on his side at match point for the Dutch ?they don’t come much tighter than that!
The drama compounded when West Germany tackled the Czechs in the semi-finals, with Graf plagued by a stomach ailment ?later identified as german measles, retiring in the singles after winning the first set 6-2, but dropping the second 6-1 to Sukova. Becker balanced the ledger and then dramatically tried to carry Steffi through the mixed in order to snatch a finals berth. It was a superb exhibition of tennis by Becker, but he just failed, as they lost four and four to the Czechs.
The Swiss cow bells were ringing loudly as Manuela downed Arantxa in a thrilling three-setter and Hlasek beat Emilio in straight sets to earn their finals berth, featuring the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in yet another HC surprise finish.
Manuela, who by now was becoming a real Perth crowd favourite, beat Sukova in straight sets and when the classical stroke-making of Hlasek blunted the power of Novacek, four and four, the Swiss were the champs.
It was a great win for the Swiss, both born in other countries but happy to succeed for their adopted nation which seldom has the depth to succeed in Davis Cup or Fed Cup.