How did such a scoring system come about? Didn't the first racket swingers know that 30 plus 15 equals 45, not 40? Well, the story goes that the early score-keepers used clocks and would move the hands around a quarter of the way—or 15 minutes—for each point. But after a while the clocks and the five from 45 got lost in the shuffle.
Now comes collegiate tennis with no-ad, a system wherein zero is still "love," a bad serve is still a "fault" and a blazing, merely-waved-at serve is still an "ace." But a point, by God, is a point. One, two, three, game. As simple as that. If the score is tied at 3-3, the next point wins it, making for a lot of little sudden deaths in each match. And, if a set goes to 6-6, the issue is settled by a nine-point tie breaker.
The fans at Stanford seemed to like the innovation. All three coaches—Gould, George Toley of USC and Glenn Bassett of UCLA—were against the idea at first but are in favor of it now. They say it adds excitement for the audience, speeds up the matches and requires more concentration from the players.
However, while you can take the advantage out of the scoring, you cannot remove the advantage of playing at home in front of friendly crowds, although the way the Cardinals performed they would have won playing on the Hollywood Freeway at rush hour.
USC was the victim Friday. Since the Trojans had beaten UCLA, which had beaten Stanford, the competition figured to be close, but in the afternoon sophomores Whitlinger, Pat DuPr� and Mark Mitchell and freshman Nick Saviano won their singles, and Stanford won the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles matches. Four of the six matches had gone to three sets, yet Stanford moved into Maples with an unbeatable lead, 6-0. About 5,500 fans enjoyed the circus anyway. The Stanford band was there with five gaily painted tubas, none of which oompahed during anybody's serve, and white-gloved pompon girls moved smartly and prettily through their routines, seeming not to care what Mayer had said about campus womanhood. Mayer polished off USC's No. 1, John Andrews, 6-4, 6-2, and the best show was put on by the husky son of a diplomat, junior Jim Delaney, who grew up in the Orient but came home every summer to tour with his racket. He saved three match points against Trojan No. 2, Sashi Menon of India, and won 3-6, 7-6, 7-5. Then he and Mayer won the doubles for a surprising clean sweep, 9-0.
UCLA fell almost as easily Saturday. Stanford won all the afternoon singles again and one of the doubles. Then an even bigger crowd, more than 7,000, watched in the arena as Delaney beat Steve Mott in three sets and Mayer easily took revenge on Brian Teacher, 7-5, 6-2. A loss in the final doubles match made the team score 7-2. The two-day attendance, outdoor and indoor, was more than 14,000.
Stanford must still meet the two L.A. schools twice more, at the Pacific Eight and NCAA tournaments, but win or lose, its tennis future seems bright. Gould has a eucalyptus grove full of talented underclassmen and proven ability to recruit still more ("If he wants you, your mailbox won't go empty your whole senior year of high school," says one of his players). Students and alumni stand ready to buy more tickets next year.
"These guys, without any question, spend more time at their sport than anybody," said a pleased alumnus sitting in Maples Pavilion Saturday night. "As a unit they're always over a 3.0 grade average. They're always bright kids. And they don't miss much social activity either. It's just amazing."