We started well. In the first singles Vic Seixas, lean and tanned, a superb athlete for all his 32 years, turned back Llamas, the stocky, bow-legged Mexican with the Charlie Chaplin mustache, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. This is Seixas' sixth Davis Cup campaign, and I have never seen him play better.
In the second singles match Hamilton Richardson, a five-year Davis Cup veteran at 22, beat 22-year-old Francisco Contreras 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Richardson is a bridegroom of less than three weeks. Recently it appeared that he had reached his peak and would never get better. His play against the Mexicans—and against the Canadians the week before—contradicts this theory thoroughly. His service was strong and accurate and gave confidence to the rest of his game. He moved with a sure-ness he never had before, especially on the volley.
After the two opening singles victories, our complacency was rocked by Mexico's doubles victory. Llamas and Contreras, teaming well, beat our "kids," Sam Giammalva and Barry MacKay. It was a gamble playing the youngsters, but it's one we had to take to build for the future.
Richardson came back on the final day to clinch the series with an easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Llamas.
In the last singles Giammalva, substituted for Seixas, played splendidly in beating Estaban Reyes, the 19-year-old Mexican comer, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
The analysis of our weekend rendezvous with the Mexicans is this: we won't abandon our youth movement in tennis, but we'll have to stick with our experienced boys when the chips are down—and they will be when we meet the Italians at the interzone final at Forest Hills Sept. 28-30.