America's eight months of tennis glory are ended. The Davis Cup, proud symbol of international court supremacy, is being crated and prepared for a return trip to Australia, half a world away.
With the same lightning tactics employed by our own forces in Sydney last December, Australia's bold young team has pulled a racket blitzkrieg, clinching the Challenge Round on the first two days and going on to a 5-0 victory.
These developments, surprising in their decisiveness if not in the final result, left tennis followers pondering two questions:
1. With virtually the same lineups on both sides, how could such a complete reversal be effected in so short a space of time?
2. Now that America again has lost the Cup, what are her chances of recovering it? When and how?
As the keenly disappointed captain of the vanquished troops and one who as a result is fairly close to the picture, I shall attempt to answer these questions as best I can.
First of all, I must say that as captain I know of nothing which could have been done—nothing left undone—which might have saved the Cup. I have no excuses.
There were factors, of course, which I would have preferred to be otherwise. But under the conditions the team was brought to the best physical and mental shape possible for the big test. This was not enough.
Our team was the same which struck down the Aussies in three straight matches at White City last year—Tony Trabert, 25, who should have been better as the result of a brilliant winning season which included an impressive sweep at Wimbledon, and Vic Seixas, 32, the in-and-out but ever formidable United States titleholder.
The Australians again had their "tennis twins," Lewis Hoad and Ken Rosewall, each just now nearing voting age, and grim-jawed Rex Hartwig, who teamed with Hoad in doubles.