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There were other diversions during the week besides watching Taylor tiptoe through the press room past the committee's publicity chairperson. WCT Road Manager Mike Costello fought another round in his weekly battle—keeping doubles partners in matching shirts. The episode featured doubles partners Arthur Ashe and Roscoe Tanner, who endorse Catalina and Wilson shirts respectively. Ashe's yellow was considerably lighter than Tanner's, and that would never do if they got to the final on national TV. And they couldn't revert to bare chests in the old schoolyard tradition of "shirts" and "skins" because they still wouldn't match. Costello had to get on the phone to lawyers and manufacturers to solve the problem.
Then there was the case of the plummeting light bulb. Egypt's Ismail El Shafei was playing in a doubles match late Friday afternoon. Marty Riessen of the opposing team lobbed and the ball hit one of the hanging light fixtures above El Shafei's handsome head. The fixture swung a little bit, like a chandelier in a mild earthquake, and the large, heavy light bulb was somehow dislodged. The umpire yelled, "Look out!" into his microphone, Shafei looked up and skipped forward just in time to avoid being maimed. The bulb crashed and exploded right behind him. An incident like that never would have happened on the varsity.
As for the tennis itself, it was mostly pretty good when the balls weren't taking bad hops off the surface laid over Public Hall's rough floorboards or debris wasn't spewing from the exhaust fan as it did in Sunday's finals. The rug, trade named Supreme Court, was a convenient item for the B's to complain about, and traveling tennis players enjoy having a good gripe almost as much as a frosty beer.
"The idea of the surface is to slow the ball down, which is O.K.," said Rosewall. "There will be more rallies, which the spectators enjoy, and most of the players like to play that way, too. More running. But there are lots of falls on it. The ball reacts differently on whatever surface it's laid on. It doesn't stick to the floor well. Balls skid off lines and joins. The strips are different.
"I don't really think it's a good surface. It's a court where bad shots sometimes become very good shots.... I don't think that's fair, not fair for anybody." Then he conceded a point. "Maybe I'm getting older and fussier."
By Saturday the last man to have a chance at being the ninth different winner in nine events was Ray Moore, a congenial, long-haired London resident who once recorded a song. Going to Carolina (In My Mind), for a British record company. He fits in beautifully with Group B's hippie contingent, which includes Haroon Rahim of Pakistan, Denmark's bearded jazzophile Torben Ulrich and Berkeley's Jeff Borowiak, a slender UCLA dropout who plays flute and piano in addition to tennis.
But Rosewall deprived Moore of his big chance—though with some difficulty—and put himself into the final for the second straight week. Nobody was much surprised, even though the little Aussie was seeded only fifth. He had brought himself along beautifully and seemed in good shape to make his annual run at WCT's $50,000 champion's pot, which he has won two years in a row.
"No man can keep his game completely sharp all the time," said the B's top-seeded Marty Riessen. "There are bound to be some letdowns. It's particularly difficult for the two who have gone into the singles finals the week before. More has been taken out of them physically.
"Still, I think there is one top man. He's Ken Rosewall."
After antagonizing the Junior Women's Committee, Taylor got to the finals wondering what else lay ahead. He has had some terrible luck in the States. An incorrect line call cost him first place and $5,000 in a nationally televised match in Chicago. In Virginia the following week a linesman yelled, "Out!" just as he was hitting the ball, which went into the net. Then the linesman changed his call. The rules clearly state that in such cases the point should be played over, but the referee ruled otherwise. Game, set and match to Taylor's opponent on that point.