Sitting on the
far side of Segura was Sam Canter, who is Connors' business manager. He keeps a
chart on every point Connors plays, marking down what happens on a small
fold-back paper pad. He has been doing this since the Bretton Woods tournament
in New Hampshire and through the earliest rounds at Forest Hills. Afterward,
the brain trust of Segura and Canter (who according to Segura is a fine club
player) meets with Connors and they go over the chart to see what areas of his
play might need work, or if any discernible patterns turn up in an opponent's
In the Borg match
Canter thought he had spotted a pattern in Borg's defensive response to
Connors' rushing the net. He conferred with Segura, and then yelled out at
Connors, "Six times out of seven he hits your cross-courts down the line!
Hey, Jim, six times...."
over. Segura used the opportunity to yell out, "Concentrate, Jimmy." He
made a ferocious gesture with his arms. "Go in, Jimbo, go in."
was unexpected. He put a finger to his lips to suggest that Segura quiet down.
He turned to the baseline and set himself for a Borg serve. Segura's monologue
went on; his chair creaked under him; he peeked out from between his
When the match
was over, Connors having prevailed, the three men signaled amongst themselves
with V-for-victory signs, jumping high so they could spot each other over the
heads of the spectators rushing onto the court.
Richardson had just finished playing a mixed-doubles match. He had been paired
with Althea Gibson, who had won the National in 1957 and '58, and they had lost
to a team many years their junior, Linky Boshoff and Jasjit Singh, a young Sikh
player who kept the yard-long length of his hair wound up in a knot on the top
of his head. To unsettle him a bit, Richardson mentioned that he and Althea
were considered quite a pair in Singh's home country—they had twice won the
indeed," Singh had replied. "You beat my mother in the
me up a few steps," Richardson said. "There were only about 50 people
watching—we played out on one of the field courts—but it was fun. Althea
especially enjoys overheads. Whenever she sees a lob coming at her I can hear
her say, 'Hot dog, look at this, oh my, lemme at it!' "
He looked out at
the court. Nastase and Ramirez were warming up, the crowd buzzing in
anticipation. "I had my best match out there in 1954," Richardson said.
"I beat Lew Hoad in the quarterfinals when he was the best player in the
world. I especially remember the set point of the second set...he backhanded a
lob of mine at an incredible angle and I managed to get to the ball and hit a
winner down the line that went outside the net posts. Right there! Holy
Cow!" he said, thinking back on it. "The crowd got up off its feet and
cheered for two minutes."
what you miss. When my son Kevin was 12 years old we asked him, 'What would you
like more than anything else?'