They took the first set, lost the second, were leading 3-0 in the third and ahead 30-0 on Ashe's serve, when, said Arthur, "we slowly fell apart." Actually they fell apart quickly, before you could say Kamiwazumi. Newcombe and Roche broke twice, won five straight games and took the match 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. So it was the Aussies who had the 3-2 series lead.
And the next day Australia had the World Cup (tennis version) to put on the shelf alongside the Davis Cup for another year, not to mention the first prize of $25,000. That's enough to keep them all in beer for maybe two whole weeks.
"We'll be only too happy to come back next year and win the cup again," said Newcombe, with a grin under his wicked mustache.
"I ran into two good players," said a frustrated Smith of Laver and Newk. "Maybe it's a compliment to me that they played so well, but it's not much fun to be out there against guys hitting bullets."
But it was a frustrating week for the Aussies, too. Their victory celebration had to be postponed 24 hours.