Knight had just enough time to grab a sandwich (he also had two lemonades and two iced teas, one right after the other), and then he rushed Karen Williams to the train. On the way he said a number of times that he couldn't believe it; she said the same. That was about the extent of their conversation, and then he was waving goodby to her from the station platform. He rushed back to the tennis club to get himself ready to play his second match of the day.
Tom Gorman, his friend and doubles partner, has an apt description of Knight during his second match. "A lot of us went out to the court just to take a look at him. He was a skeleton out there, and you had the feeling watching him run that he was going to go down in a small heap of bones."
Knight lost quickly and mercifully to Cliff Montgomery; the scores were 6-3, 6-4. Later that evening the quixotic thought occurred to him that he had doubtless played more games to get into the tournament than the ultimate winner at Southampton would play in the entire tournament.
Knight was not the center of attention at Southampton for long. The following day another event, this a doubles match, caused a considerable stir: Lenny Schloss and Tom Mozur, who are an excellent doubles partnership from the University of Tennessee, got tied up in a doubles match standoff against Butch Seewagen from Rice University and Chris Bovett, who comes from Sydney, Australia, a good pair that had won the Southeastern doubles championship earlier this year.
The first set was ordinary enough—7-5 for Schloss and Mozur. The next set, however, went on for more than ninety games, Schloss and Mozur finally winning it and the match 48-46.
Most tennis players can go through an entire career and never find themselves playing in a set in the 20s, much less the 30s, and as for playing a set in the 40s, no one at Southampton, talking about it, could even remember such a thing.
In discussing the match, the participating players offered what seemed at the time a plausible enough reason for the long set—namely, the execrable condition of the court they were playing on, one of those in the so-called Pasture. The service line on one side lay on an undulation the players referred to as the game progressed as "The Trench," which either caused a deeply hit service to skid violently and hug the grass or, if it hit the upslope, to leap in a jackrabbit hop. One example of the latter darted up over Butch Seewagen's upstretched racket and soared over the back fence into the Meadow Club garden.
It was just as difficult to receive service on the other side of the net. Here, in the forehand court, lay what the players began to refer to as "The Patch"—a pocked area that turned the ball in various trajectories, usually a low skid. "I've never seen a spitball behave," Seewagen said of serves hit to The Patch, "but they're dillies if they're anything like what we saw that day. There is no way you could return service out of The Patch—at least with any authority."
The second set went through the 20s without incident and into the 30s and then the 40s. It was so easy to win service, as long as one could set the ball in The Patch or The Trench, that it seemed the match would go on indefinitely. From time to time the partnerships would confer and try some new tactic—half-volleying the return of service off The Trench, lobbing or attempting the soft chip and rush to the net—but nothing worked. Occasionally a serve hopped off The Trench into the garden, and it was a pleasant interlude to wander back among the flowers to retrieve it before returning to the green lawn purgatory.
At 46-all, Mike Blanchard, the tournament director, wandered by to see what was happening. It was getting dark by then (the match had started at 5 and had gone on for more than three hours); a mist was drifting in from the sea, and the tennis balls were picking up so much moisture from the grass that, as Tom Mozur put it, hitting them was like lacing a racket into a "mud ball."