A Warwickshire hunter charged flatly that "myxomatosis has upset the balance of nature." That may be what it boils down to. Maybe nature didn't intend that there should be more Englishmen than rabbits.
There is a difference, Tony Trabert will tell you, between being the best amateur tennis player in the world and the second-best professional. The big difference? Well, for one thing, you're not even competing in the same sport.
After eight weeks on Jack Kramer's pro tour, bouncing across the country in a station wagon caravan to play one-night stands from Cincinnati to Salt Lake City, eating on the fly, sleeping when and where he gets around to it and, in between, facing the best tennis player in the world every night, Trabert has even evolved a theory: "Amateur tennis," says last year's Wimbledon and Forest Hills champion, "at least most of the time, was fun. It was a sport. Professional tennis is a job."
Trabert has no kicks about the paycheck and he's not sorry he turned pro; he has even become reconciled to the hectic schedule, "although anyone would be crazy to say he likes it." The one thing that bothers him is the result of the tour: Pancho Gonzales 23 matches, Tony Trabert 7 at week's end. "I can beat him," Tony says "I've just got to play a little better."
Some other impressions of Rookie Trabert:
About Gonzales: "Sure he's tough; a great competitor, the best I've ever played. He hits the ball hard, he's like a big cat and you never get anything past him unless it's perfect. And that serve—you just can't do anything with it."
About his own game: "I'm playing better than I ever have and I'm in the best condition of my life—even with all this crazy traveling. I have to be or I'd never last it out. You never run into anything like this as an amateur; there were always some matches that were easy and even in the tough ones there were times you could relax—even against guys like Hoad and Rosewall. But you don't ease up against Pancho or you get murdered. His serve is the big problem. It isn't enough just to get it back because then he'll put the next shot away. You have to get it back with something on it, and to do that you have to press; then you make mistakes. But if you don't press, you lose anyway. So...."
About the eventual outcome of the tour: "Well, I'm not giving up if that's what you mean. Most of the matches have been close, win or lose. I'm learning all the time and I think I can beat him. We've still got a long way to go."
About the feud: "There's nothing to it; the whole thing has been garbled in the papers. Heck no, we're not going around with our arms around each other—this is a highly competitive business and he thinks he's the best tennis player in the world and I think I am and we're both out to prove it. But no one is taking a punch at anyone else. It's just that you don't get buddy-buddy with a guy who's out there every night trying to beat your brains out on the court."