- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR
I've always felt" said Vic Seixas after participating in three of five U.S. Davis Cup losses to Australia last weekend, "that if you can't do anything else in tennis, you can fight. But I've felt that I was fighting with a toothpick this week, and that the other fellows were fighting with clubs." It was an accurate explanation, not only of Australia's overwhelming victory, but of the emotional climate in which the 1955 matches were played. It was an exciting tennis tournament, for all the lopsided outcome; time and again Seixas, Tony Trabert and their teammate Ham Richardson seemed on the point of damming the torrent of speed and precision which the Australians brought to bear at Forest Hills, but the torrent was never quite contained. Instead, the dam burst.
Only eight months had elapsed since the same Trabert and the same Seixas wrested the Davis Cup from the same Australians and brought it back to the U.S. Pew would have believed, before play began, that a clean sweep by Australia was possible—or that it could come from anything but a series of flukes. Australia's triumph, however, was no fluke at all—in retrospect it was possible to conclude that the U.S. had been much more fortunate (although this does not mean lucky) in winning last year than was generally believed until the two teams faced each other for the Cup once more.
Though veterans, Australia's Lew Hoad (of the cannonball service) and Ken Rosewall (of the deadly backhand) are but 20 years old. They were not only closer to maturity than last year, but last week were brought to Forest Hills in supreme form. Seixas (who is 32) and Trabert (who is 25) were suddenly—only slightly—but tellingly outclassed. But it is probably wrong to predict that Australia's 20-year-olds are certain to reign for years. For one thing both are sure to be courted by professionalism. For another, U.S. tennis has a way of producing talented youth too. And the game's faint, fascinating margins of superiority will be as important in the future as they were last week.
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR
Dwight Eisenhower is on vacation in Colorado, but as usual one morning last week there was work to be done. He went over the top mail, spent a couple of conference hours on reclamation and western water-resources problems, signed an order making federal funds available for defense plants damaged in the New England floods, and heard a back-from-London report by Ambassador Winthrop Aid-rich. Then the President of the United States picked up his vacation again.
Waiting for him at Denver's Cherry Hills Country Club stood a group of other well-known Americans. Ike singled out a bulging, graying fellow named Dizzy Dean, once of the St. Louis Cardinals' Gas House Gang, now a TV grammarian.
"Diz," said the President, shaking his hand, "for a man that plays golf as well as you do, how can you permit yourself to get so overweight?" "Well, Mr. President," said Dean, "I'll tellya. I was on a diet for 25 years and now that I'm making some money I'm gonna eat good."
It was Bob Hope's turn. Ike Eisenhower watched critically as he shanked a practice drive far off to the right. "Let me have that club, Bob," he said. "I'll show you how to hit the ball. Play it off your left foot, see, and keep your weight steady." Ike wheeled into his backswing, unwound and socked the ball 225 yards down the fairway.
Thereafter, that day, the President of the United States had troubles of his own with golf, but before heading back to his desk at the Summer White House he took time for a serious, strictly non-kidding remark.