Well, what has modern tennis done for them? I think we are in an era of confused kids rapidly brought to their top form by eager promoters of the "amateur" game, who stay there for a year or two to win the necessary handful of titles to turn pro and make $100,000. That done, I suspect they will disappear quietly and be lost to tennis because, as Olmedo and others have testified, over the pressure-laden years they lost their love for the game.
If the organizers of tennis are serious in their constantly reiterated claim that they are out to make tennis a truly national game then they are setting about it the wrong way. Tennis needs participants, not spectators. The Junior Chamber of Commerce, with its local and regional tennis programs, does a far greater job, quietly and effectively, than all the Perry Joneses, big and little, will ever do.
The game itself is getting dull. The big serve with only a feeble return or none at all has emasculated the game. How many times do we read that so-and-so won the match because "he was able to break his opponent's serve"? That's tennis?
If we can't get the promoters out and make tennis fun again, then let's get professional managers in to run a professional sport. Perry Jones, who reminds me more and more of Cus D'Amato, can manage his tigers openly, pay them a decent wage and they will no longer have to wonder what in heaven's name made them take up a sport that consumes their lives, pays nothing and earns them as much abuse as praise. Personally, I have the greatest sympathy for Alex Olmedo, whose values are not nearly as "confused" as those of the people who run tennis.
JOHN EARL NIEDER
TENNIS: WICKED DICHOTOMY
Much has been made of Olmedo's performance at the River Forest Tennis Club. I think the tournament officials and the press should be reminded by someone that Olmedo is an amateur player, presumed to play for the love of the game. Certainly his actions on the court were bad manners. But to berate him and crucify him for the bad performance, to have a newspaper editorialize against him and officials claim that he is "bad" for tennis is quite out of keeping.
The trouble lies in tennis' wicked dichotomy: on the one hand, a huge organizational and promotional machine fighting for its share of public attention; on the other, a handful of youngsters with a relatively small vested interest in the game without whom the whole thing would collapse. To me tennis today is the most hypocritical sport in the world.
TENNIS: HE ASKED FOR IT
Alex Olmedo might have been again given to moods at Forest Hills, but remember, it was Barry MacKay who lost the decisive match.
MacKay's overconfidence ("I'll win tomorrow, you can count on it" and his statement to Perry Jones that he felt he could beat any amateur in the world) combined with Perry Jones's talk of five in a row, I think, were just as much to blame.
Talbert says that this was not a mere psychological thrust but that there appeared sound reasoning for such an optimistic outlook.
To me, that is about the dumbest psychology possible. It might be good promotional fare in professional boxing, but in amateur sports it is an excellent way to get your ears pinned back.