THE LURE OF READY GOLD
Since Big Bill Tilden first popularized one-night tennis stands around the country, America's best players have fallen easy prey to the lure of ready gold. As soon as a player established himself as the undisputed champion, the offers came, and into the pro ranks he went. This happened, after Tilden, with Ellsworth Vines, Donald Budge, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzales, in that order. The U.S. found itself constantly having to plug up these holes with fresh, untried material which, in turn, might go to the pros in the end. For as modern air travel with overnight hops to Europe and other places made professional tennis a world-wide rather than a strictly domestic show, more and more money poured into the coffers to attract desirable talent.
Thus Tony Trabert has broader issues above and beyond his own personal dilemma to consider. In his present situation, having gone into business, he has a business plus a sport. He cannot make as much money immediately, but he would stand to make up for that over a 10-year span. In turning pro, he would have a sports business; and his future career, after today's headlines are forgotten, would be a matter of speculation.
It is a real problem, and a tough decision. Those of us who have the welfare of tennis at heart, and a real respect for Tony Trabert, can only wish him the best of luck and hope his choice is a good one.