"Sure, thanks," I mumbled, not particularly appreciating his sense of humor.
"You don't understand," Goldman continued. "I was just in the doctor's office and Roche was there. He can't raise his arm higher than his waist."
"Wait a minute," I said. "Start all over again."
"It's true," Ronnie insisted. "Tony got a shot in the side of the arm while I was in the room."
As I entered the marquee adjoining the stadium, I still was not certain whether or not Goldman was kidding. Roche was nowhere to be seen, that was true, but on the other hand there was no murmuring from the press or officials' area, usually the foremost information centers on the ground. Even Mike Dunne, chairman of the umpires at Forest Hills, kidded me about my draw and asked me what I was going to do the rest of the week. Rankled, I asked: "If I win, will you buy my wife a new dress?"
Dunne grinned. "Sure, Gene, sure," he said.
And then suddenly there was Tony Roche entering the marquee and approaching me. He looked great—tan, strong, healthy. When we got out on the court, Tony spun his racket, won the toss and chose to receive rather than serve. That seemed suspicious. But when we started to rally Roche began hitting the ball better than I have ever seen him.
"Thanks a lot, Ronnie," I thought, and I resigned myself to my fate. Yet throughout the rally Roche did not ask me to hit him any lobs so that he could practice his overhead, and when the time came for him to practice his serve he could make only a feeble gesture. He shook his head and came up to the net.
"I have to default, mate," he said. "It's my bloody arm."
A win is one thing, but no one really enjoys a default. "Tony," I said, "I didn't hear a word. Let's see if we can't ask for a postponement."