Tiriac having been summoned to Rumania to play Davis Cup, Taylor is acting coach. Since Reid has been doing well in singles, Taylor plays him, choosing only men's doubles for himself. The strategy looks good when he and Reid take a 5-1 lead in their set. They need only to hold Reid's serve to clinch the match.
But over the net the Gaters' Frew McMillan, perhaps the world's best doubles player, starts pulling out shots from under his Sluggo cap, and on the Boston bench Stephen (Junior) Warboys, a Cockney lad of 20 who is to play the mixed doubles, is a bundle of jangled nerves. He keeps muttering "nightmare," and he is right.
With the crowd of 1,500 in full bellow, the Lobster men lose six straight games and the set 5-7. During the mixed doubles the home partisans wail, "Weirdo, Beardo" at Warboys, and he double faults away his serve. McMillan runs out the set and the Gaters win the night 28-25. LOS ANGELES "You can call it romance," says Marita Redondo, the 18-year-old sensation of the Los Angeles Strings. Others call it asthma.
The beauteous Redondo used to be a potential champion, but in the last year she has experienced a series of ills which, combined with a flaming affair with the Frenchman, Jean Baptiste Chanfreau, have thrown her into an awful slump. In the first half of WTT she seemed to be recovering. Then the Strings signed Chanfreau, and Redondo slumped again.
"She ought to be O.K. now; she's got her guy," says Karen Hantze Susman, who won Wimbledon at 19, returned to wifehood and is making a self-described "noncomeback" with the Strings.
This night Redondo is more than O.K. The Lobsters throw Melville at her, then substitute Janet (Strawberry) Newberry. Nothing works. Redondo wins 6-0. "Now I have to sit around and hope the lead doesn't disappear," she says.
At least the view is nice. Only in L.A. do the women players sport bare midriffs and the linespeople sit in director's chairs. Johnny Carson has a financial interest in the team, but he is not here tonight. Dan Rowan has season tickets, but he hasn't shown up yet. Hardly anyone has. The announcer, in a blue batik suit and red patent leather shoes, says 930 are "on hand" in the Sports Arena, but that includes 700 season-ticket holders. About 300 people really are "on hand."
Susman admits, "People don't come to see us, they come to see who we play. We're the no names."
Also the no wins. The Strings have lost 11 straight matches. And tonight will be 12. In a switch, Taylor plays Warboys with himself in the men's doubles and Reid and Pat (Trish) Bostrom in the mixed. The Lobsters sweep everything and win 24-20 as Trish and Junior respond to the pressure.
Honolulu The Lobsters have landed in paradise, and it is raining. On Waikiki they are not exactly taken with their hotel. Newberry asks, "You mean we came first class all this way to a place which is next door to McDonald's and isn't even on the beach?" She starts the singles against the Hawaii Leis and absolutely romps.