Playing nearly flawless tennis from the back court, Kathy Jordan upset No. 2 seed Chris Evert Lloyd, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, tonight in the first round of the $500,000 Virginia Slims Championships.

Jordan had won only twice before in nine matches with the world's No. 2 player -- the first time at Wimbledon in 1983.

Jordan, ranked 12th, advanced to a second-round meeting against Kathy Rinaldi in this elite 16-player field. In the night's second singles match, third-seeded Hana Mandlikova defeated Andrea Temesvari, 7-5, 7-5, breaking serve in the last game of each set.

The seven-day tournament at Madison Square Garden, which culminates the year-long Virginia Slims Series, winds up Sunday with a best-of-five-sets final, unique in women's tennis.

Defending champion Martina Navratilova, the No. 1 seed, will play her first-round match Wednesday night against Lisa Bonder.

Known for her serve-and-volley tactics, Jordan, 25, surprisingly played a base line game against Evert, the ultimate base line player. "She wins most of the crucial points," Jordan said. "I was just a little more determined . . .

"This will be a good one to keep in my memory," Jordan said of the match, which lasted 2 hours 6 minutes. "Last week I was crushed, and I was determined I was going to play well tonight."

It was a rare second straight defeat for Evert, who lost in straight sets to Navratilova last Sunday in the final of a Virginia Slims tournament in Dallas.

"She has a good game to beat my style of play," Evert said of Jordan. "And she really hit her backhand really well. Usually she'll miss a few backhands.

"She sliced very well, served very well and didn't make any errors from the back of the court. She played a smart game and I give her a lot of credit for that."

Jordan broke Evert's service to open the match, then broke serve in the fifth set before holding serve to pull out to a 5-1 lead.

In the second set, Evert fought off five break points before holding serve in the first game. She won 13 consecutive points in taking a 3-0 lead, which she later increased to 4-0, breaking Jordan's serve in the fourth game. Although she lost serve in the fifth game, it was of no consequence as she took the next two games to level the match at one set apiece.