These championship of Wimbledon now have two dramatic finals that have been on every tennis fan's mind. No. 1-seeded Bjorn Borg will face No. 2-seeded John McEnroe, and top-ranked Chris Evert Lloyd will meet No. 2 seed Hana Mandlikova.
Such a parlay of 1-2s meeting in both men's and women's play has happened only three times in the last 46 years.
To add to the piquancy, both finals have the same central thread: a great veteran champion is trying to hold off a younger player who is very close to inheriting the throne. Borg and Evert have been king and queen of their time: McEnroe, 22, and Mandlikova, 19, both are intent on having reigns of their own.
The first affair to be settled will be the ladies championship at 2 p.m. on Friday.
Queues began forming for that show a week ago with some of the campers keeping their starched and pressed regalia hanging on the outside fences of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Mandlikova is blunt about her aims.
Asked what her tennis goal was, she said, "I will be No. 1 in the world."
Perhaps her syntax is not polished yet and she meant that she wanted to be No. 1.
It sounded, however, like she knew what she meant.
Mandlikova's motivational trump is a telephone call. She made it to Prague to ask her parents, Vilem and Hana, to "please, come. I want you to come."
If Mandlikova looks almost like a new breed of female tennis player -- more athletic, fluid and powerful than her predecessors -- than the reason may be heredity. Her father, now a sports journalist, was a dash man in two Olympics.
Despite Evert's record over the past 10 years, other women pros here feel that Mandlikova, at the top of her game, has reached the point that no one can beat her.
"It's all in Hana's hands," said Pam Shriver, who lost to Evert in the semifinals. "If she plays a very good match, she'll win, no matter how well Chris plays. She's that good.
"The thing is, you know Chris will play a top match. But you never know how Hana will play. She doesn't know."
"To beat Chris on grass should be easier than on clay," said Mandlikova, knowing that's bad news for Evert since the pair met in the semifinals of the French Open last month and Mandlikova gave Evert only her second loss in 191 matches on clay, 7-5, 6-4.
"But I know how much Chris wants to win Wimbledon," added Mandlikova. "She will play so hard. That means it will be tough."
Evert has had an unnerving string of luck in the Wimbledon finals, losing four times, including the last three in a row, to Martina Navratilova twice and to Evonne Goolagong Cawley last year.
"Something always seems to happen to me in the final here," said Evert, "Last year, I was so excited about beating Martina in the semis that I thought the tournament was over. I was flat against Evonne. If I get to the finals this year, it'll be a different story," she vowed this week.
Evert, who has not lost a set or been pressed by any of her six opponents, should have saved all her psychic energy for Mandlikova.
Evert, like McEnroe among men, has struck a fortuitous draw, avoiding tough opponents who were upset.Mandilikova has lost only one set and has looked unbeatable in at least two of her matches here.
"I'm really eager," said Evert. "I feel like I'm peaking at just the right time. I've played a little better each match, which is just what I hoped for.
"The last thing I need to improve is to get a few more first serves in play, because I know Hana will come in against my second serves. I know I'll have to win my serve every time, because you aren't going to break her serve and volley game often," added Evert, who has been working against her husband, John Lloyd, in practice to get ready for the authority of Mandlikova's marvelously unladylike blasts.
"I'm very pleased with my returns (of serve)," said Evert, "because against Hana you better be returning well.For once, I haven't looked too far ahead. That's hurt me too much in the past.
"So far, everything's going as planned."
That, however, sounds exactly like a description of Mandlikova. She came here against doctor's instructions, told that a sore back needed four weeks to heal, not the two weeks she was giving it. For the first week, she played tentatively. She's still taking pain pills, but only as a precaution. Her foes are still looking for the first trace of pain to cross her cheerful, expressive face.
The final piece in the Wimbledon puzzle is supposed to be experience and nerves. You never win your first final on Centre Court, it's said. "Don't tell Hana," said Navratilova. "Her nerves were great against me."
If royalty, fame and honors, a chance to win a grand slam and the presence of her parents do not rattle Mandlikova's game against Evert, the world's No. 1 player, then she will have passed every test her sport can offer.