Tennis star Tom Gorman had Stan Smith at match point in the fourth set of a semifinal match in a recent pro tournament in Barcelona when he suddenly walked to the sidelines, announced he was forfeiting the match, put on his jacket and left the court. Gorman's behavior, while startling, was neither capricious nor rude. He had injured his back earlier in the set and had continued only because he thought it would look better if he held off quitting until Smith had tied the match at two sets apiece. But now that he had Smith within a point of defeat, Gorman realized it was too late for a graceful departure. He knew his bad back would tighten up overnight, making it impossible for him to play in the finals the next day. If he defeated Smith and then withdrew from the tournament, Ilie Nastase, the other finalist, would win by default and the tournament would end on an empty note. So he defaulted, and the next day Smith and Nastase went five vigorous sets before Nastase won, which entertained the crowd and pleased the tournament committee.
Gorman, who has a history of sportsmanlike gestures, stood to lose $5,000 in second-place prize money for his action. Happily, the committee discovered why he had done it and, in appreciation, voted to give him $2,500 anyway.
THIS WAY TO THE 1-3 POCKET
That old bowling hassle over doctoring alleys has erupted again. Recently the American Bowling Congress refused to sanction the highest five-man-team score of the season, the highest four-man score, a number of individual scores of 300, 298 and 299 and more than 50 individual series of 700 or better.
"Call it a crackdown if you will," said Al Matzelle, executive secretary of the ABC. "The action reflects our concern that a few people, guilty of cutting corners, are making a mockery of the sport." What bothered Matzelle and the ABC was the widespread practice of dressing lanes in such a way that balls were more or less guided into the strike pocket.
"Unrealistic scoring takes the fun and challenge out of the game," Matzelle said. "It brings about averages that are impossible to maintain under neutral conditions. It creates bickering, animosity and disgust.
"All we are trying to do," he said, "is restore the neutral condition of all lanes, which has been a foundation of the game since the ABC came into existence in 1895."