MATCH POINT: Mandlik finishes in style

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Back in the 1980s, Hana Mandlikova won four Grand Slam singles titles across three different surfaces. Now her daughter, Elizabeth "Elli" Mandlik, is playing on tour, and looking to build her own career in the sport.

So far in 2022, the 21-year-old has won three ITF titles in vaulting from No. 491 to No. 240 in the rankings. This week in San Jose, Mandlik is playing with the confidence that she belongs at the top level. After qualifying by defeating Jil Teichmann, she upset Alison Riske-Amritraj in the first round for her maiden WTA main-draw win.

“I don’t really ever step on the court thinking somebody’s better than me, I always know that can beat anybody,” she told “So I don’t look at it like I’m gonna lose because they’re really really good. If I lose the first set, then I will look at my coach and he might give me some tactics to change a little bit, but maybe [my opponent] is just playing really good that day and I can’t really do anything but just try my best.”


On Monday night, Mandlik knocked out Riske-Amritraj, 6-3, 6-3.

On Monday night, Mandlik knocked out Riske-Amritraj, 6-3, 6-3.

When younger, Mandlik wasn’t just playing tennis, but also played gymnastics and soccer. Then when she was 15 years old, she decided to pursue the WTA Tour and has been developing her game.

“I would say back then it was more about my backhand but now it’s for sure my forehand,” said Mandlik, who lives in Florida. “I try to take away time from the opponent to make them feel rushed and just try to step in as much as I can.”

Her mother, Mandlikova, played with a lot of spin. But Mandlik has a more modern game, and like many of the players, can crush the ball.

“I’m pretty flat on both sides. I like to hit through the ball and hit flat,” she said.

She added that her two of favorite male players are Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. “I love Nadal and his demeanor on the court,” she said.

Mandlik will play against world No. 4 Paula Badosa in the second round.