Three dramatic questions were posed by the Diamond Jubilee National Tennis Championships:
1) Could Lew Hoad repeat Don Budge's Grand Slam of 1938?
2) Could Althea Gibson become the first Negro to capture a major U.S. tennis title?
3) Could Dick Savitt, former Wimbledon champion who quit big-time tennis four years ago to go into the oil business, make a comeback?
Some may have hoped for a triple affirmative answer. But the reply, borne on the chilly, capricious wind which whistled around Forest Hills last weekend, was no in each case.
Ken Rosewall, who grew up with Hoad on the neighborhood courts of Sydney and who later became Lew's doubles partner and keenest adversary, punctured the Grand Slam balloon with one of the most remarkable tennis exhibitions ever seen on hallowed center court at West Side.
I would have thought that the bone-chilling winds which whipped around the court in 50� temperatures would have worked to the detriment of Rose-wall, the line-splitter, and to the benefit of Hoad, the net-rushing slammer who tries to make every shot a killing one.
But in a beautiful match of classic tennis, marked by shots that often defied belief, Rosewall's needle-threading accuracy and remarkable court acumen engulfed Hoad's awesome power.
The scores of the men's final match were 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. A lot of people rubbed their eyes and took another look—even Hoad. Rosewall completely took charge once he got into the driver's seat. Down 0-2 in the third set, he took 12 of the next 16 games. He was the master—a crafty tailor sewing a garment of defeat for his victim.
Rosewall at the finish was so overpowering that in the final set, Muscles, as he's called by his teammates, lost only three points on his own service.