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But nothing should be allowed to detract from Hoad's fine victory. The thick-shouldered, blond Aussie was at his blockbusting best. I have never seen him play with such sustained power.
Our defeat in the doubles marathon was just one of those things. It was a magnificent match, perhaps one of the greatest in Davis Cup history, one which could have gone either way.
In substituting Hartwig for Rosewall, the Australians have strengthened their team immeasurably. Rosewall's half-paced service always was a weak link in doubles. Hartwig, an aggressive, slashing-type player, not only gives the team a "big" service but added sinew elsewhere. His service returns and over-all play against us were superior to the performance of Hoad.
A ROUND TRIP TO AUSTRALIA
Now America must face up to the fact that Australia not only has the Cup again but possesses the tennis youth and squad depth to defend it for years to come. Our outlook is far from hopeless. But we must start a rebuilding job now with an eye on the Challenge Round 16 months hence.
Seixas has indicated this is his last season of concentrated competitive tennis. Hamilton Richardson departs in a month to pursue his Rhodes Scholarship in England. That leaves Trabert, whose professional ambitions probably have been sidetracked temporarily by his Davis Cup reversals. To team with Trabert we need at least three young men of international caliber.
Behind Rosewall and Hoad, who should be improving for the next several years, Australia has Hartwig, who has beaten them both; 21-year-old Neale Fraser, a good-looking lefthander, and Ashley Cooper, a tall 18-year-old with classic style. The Australian assembly line is never idle.
Behind Trabert, with Seixas and Richardson now indefinite, we actually have no one. On this year's squad we had Eddie Moylan, 31; Gilbert Shea, 26; Herbie Flam, 26, and Sam Giammalva, 20. Moylan, Shea and Flam are veteran internationalists but they have not shown an ability to match strokes with the likes of Hoad and Rosewall. Giammalva, a hard-hitting Texan who has scored some big wins, is a definite "comer" but he may be a couple or three years away.
Perhaps our national championships coming up will produce a couple of new bright tennis hopes. The prize: a round trip to Australia, all expenses paid, and bring along a tux.