The way it should work is this: suppose Australia is meeting the U.S. in Melbourne. First the home-team captain must declare his singles choices. Newcombe and Laver, he says. Now the visiting captain has an edge. Connors (this is all imaginary, remember) is one choice, but does he go with Ashe, who is beating Stockton in practice but is usually a patsy for Laver, in the second spot? The U.S. captain gambles: Ashe.
This has all' taken two days of rising speculation and second-guessing. Attention is way up. The drama is heightened.
Now the Aussie captain has the edge. He gets to pick the first matchup. Does he call for Laver-Ashe and figure to get a sure, quick lead or does he save Laver as a hole card for the last day? Finally he decides he would rather have the Laver-Ashe match (and by process of elimination Newcombe-Connors as well) on the deciding day. He calls for Newcombe-Ashe for the opening match, with Laver-Connors to follow.
After the doubles matches on the second day of play the visiting captain gets his final say, selecting the order of the matches on the final day.
It is nonsense and bad business to let fate play so large a role in any competition as it does in the Davis Cup.
?Celebrity tennis in public, be it staged by Alan King, CBS or the Kennedys, must be outlawed forever.
?No referee should ever chastise an audience for applauding, cheering or gasping during the playing of a point. If professional entertainers cannot perform in public with a little acclaim, well, then, they are not professional and do not deserve to be paid.
?The let should be abolished, in all its misguided forms.
1) The service ball that hits the net, bounds over and lands in court should be in play as are balls that tick the net in rallies. The beautiful thing about the let serve is that it is an aberration in a very symmetrical game. This is good. Games are not supposed to be absolutely perfect. They are supposed to be fun. If a serve hits the net and trickles over, and the receiver can't make a return, that's tough for him. If he does he's got almost a sure point, and that's tough for the server. But either way, a little something extra has been added to the game.
Also, that ridiculous person who sits at tournaments with a finger and an ear on the net would be abolished. Let him go out and listen on the tracks for the Metroliner, if that's his bag.