"I said I could play one great match. Now we'll see if I can play two," said Pam Shriver of Lutherville, Md., still fresh and exuberant from her Wimbledon quarterfinal victory over Tracy Austin on Monday.
It will take a great match, indeed, for the seventh-seeded Shriver to beat top-seeded Chris Evert Lloyd in their Centre Court semifinal meeting Wednesday. In seven previous meetings, Shriver has not won a set.
Evert tries to play down the past performances, but said, "I've never lost to Pam and I enjoy playing against a serve-and-volley player. It gives me a target."
Despite this, Shriver's current net-charging strategy is a good one against Evert. There could be no better preparation for facing Evert than beating Austin, who is her clone. However, Shriver's coach, Don Candy, admitted, "Evert has a first serve she can crack hard, so Pam can't sneak in on her like she did Tracy."
Austin said crisply: "Chris will beat her."
The other women's semifinal -- between Czech Hana Mandlikova and Czech defector Martina Navratilova -- figures to be as even as Evert-Shriver seems an overlay. In the last two years, the pair of aggressive attack players have split four matches, Navratilova winning on clay and Mandlikova winning twice on cement.
Navratilova said, "She's so streaky. She will hit floods of winners, then nothing. I'm steadier. I can outvolley her. She gambles more, really goes for broke, so she hits a lot of unreturnable shots.
"I have worked on my serve here, getting more pace and spin, less topspin, so the ball won't sit up for her to return. By Wednesday, I'll have it. Right now, I'm not overconfident, but I have no doubts, either. I'm there,"
Mandlikova, who stunned the crowds here with her love-love quarterfinal victory over Wendy Turnbull, is just as confident. Against Turnbull, who had beaten her the last two times they met, she flicked backhand topspins lobs, as though to say, "Oh, can't everybody do this?"
"Martina is a player like all the others," said Mandlikova. "The match will be special for me because it is the semifinal at Wimbledon, not because of who I am playing."
Without question, the great gainer in reaching the semis is Shriver, because it certifies her return to form, proves she is now a major threat on fast surfaces and ends a personal jinx of 11 matches agaist Austin, her rival since childhood.
"I've known Tracy since I was 11," said Shriver, who graduated from Baltimore County's McDonough High in 1979 at the age of 16. "At first, she just killed me. Then, things got closer. And, then, she started pulling away again. People said it was psychological." Shriver thinks the cause was a shoulder injury.
Now, Shriver has surmounted that Austin hurdle. Her next obstacle may be in her own mind. A week ago, her coach said, "With your draw, I don't see why you shouldn't get to the quarterfinals." Shriver quietly held up four fingers, indicating she would make it to the semis.