Afterward, Smith dejectedly admitted he was unable to "hang in, like I usually do." But Ashe thought Smith to be tired and "mentally not out there."
"Since when does Arthur have a degree in psychology?" snapped Dennis Ralston, who has coached both men. "No secret reasons for this. You can't win every big tournament. Arthur just outplayed him."
In the semifinal he also outplayed Richey in straight sets. After saving two set points in the 12th game of the third, Arthur went on to win still another tie-break. Ashe used to lose tiebreaks in his sleep, but for the tournament he was 5-0 in the little monsters.
In taking the women's championship for the third time, Billie Jean King didn't win any tiebreaks. She didn't have to. Nobody got a set from her and, aside from a fairly stiff tussle with Margaret Court in the semifinals, Ms. King's biggest challenge was seeing how many sentences she could construct in her tacky trophy-acceptance speech using only the words "Virginia Slims."
The spokeswomen for the tour that is sponsored by the "You've Come a Long Way, Baby" cigarette firm have been claiming for a year now that the women outdrew the men and "saved" Forest Hills in 1971. That is, of course, stretching the point at least 100 millimeters. In reality, last year's tournament was missing many of the big-name male stars and subsequently it came under the spell of a little girl, Chris Evert, who is not on the women's tour and still isn't old enough to smoke outside her own bathroom.
Nevertheless, the women made much noise about "striking" Forest Hills this time because of the unequal distribution of prize money, which was weighted 3 to 1 in favor of the men. Reportedly, the Virginia Slims girls could not get Msss. Court, Evert and Evonne Goolagong to go along with them on such short notice and, finally, Publisher Gladys Heldman, the grand duchess of the tour, persuaded the girls (whom she refers to affectionately as "the little broads") to call off their strike for this time.
Pre-tournament hoopla surrounding the first appearance together of King, Court, Evert and Goolagong surely approached the atmosphere when that other girl quartet, the Lennons, did their first national number. Unfortunately, at Forest Hills, the prospectus generated far more excitement than what turned up on the court.
King and Court did meet, of course, but the girls of summer—Chris and Evonne—never got to each other or the other two. Ironically, it was two of "the little broads" that did them in. First Goolagong, not unlike a debutante getting cold feet in front of pushy New York society, was appalled at the interview room and labeled it an "animal cage." Then she went out and lost in the third round to Pam Teeguarden after blowing two set points at 5-4, 40-15 and letting her erratic forehand scattershot everything the rest of the way.
Pam Teeguarden turned out to be a kinky free spirit from Los Angeles who regularly receives acupuncture massages from her brother and claims to own "the world's largest Afghan." But no sooner did she get interesting than Kerry Melville, a shy 25-year-old from Australia, put the Afghan owner out with the loss of only two games.
Seventeen-year-old Chris Evert, in the meantime, was making her way back to the semifinal round she had attained at Forest Hills last year. The same ecstasy with which Open crowds greeted her every eyelash move in 1971 seemed absent this time—perhaps because she was winning much more easily—and early on she even seemed to be getting upstaged by her little sister Jeannie, 14.