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January 27, 1964
FORECAST FOR THE ILTF
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January 27, 1964

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FORECAST FOR THE ILTF

Britain's Lawn Tennis Association voted overwhelmingly last week to seek permission to stage experimental championships open to both amateurs and professionals at Wimbledon in 1965 and 1966. The proposal will be put forward at the International Lawn Tennis Federation's annual meeting in Vienna next July. "We are anxious to banish the hypocrisy which is doing tennis so much harm," said J. Eaton Griffith, tough-minded president of the ILTF and vice-president of the LTA.

We are anxious, too, and hope the proposal succeeds. Similar motions in the past have had bad luck. In 1960 a proposal for open tennis failed because a committed delegate with decisive votes to cast was, at the time of the balloting, in the washroom. Since then, opposition to the idea has hardened. In 1961 Australia, with 12 votes, reversed its previous stand and decided against open tennis. In 1962 Australia was joined by the U.S. with another dozen votes.

Australia's 1964 position will not be known for a few weeks, but Griffith is hopeful that the British proposal will gain American support. He is firmly opposed to Britain's going it alone, but if France and the U.S. support the motion and it still fails, a quiet rebellion may occur. Many close to the heart of British tennis believe that in such a situation Britain will try to persuade her supporters to ignore the ILTF and go ahead without it in the organization of open tennis.

THE RING BEHIND THE CURTAIN

For the past several years Soviet physicians and boxing coaches have been studying the effects of boxing on health. Most of the doctors have concluded, according to the Medical Tribune, that "the harmful effects of boxing on health cannot be supported by convincing data, but, on the contrary, with proper training and medical control, the sport can promote the physical development and health of the athlete."

Trainers in the U.S. would agree unanimously with one Soviet conclusion: that the more skilled a boxer is, the less likely he is to be knocked out. Thus, the Boxing Federation's executive secretary reported that in the 1956 U.S.S.R. Championships one bout in 20 ended in a KO, whereas four years later, when skills had greatly increased, knockouts occurred only once in every 100 bouts.

Let the U.S. Olympic team take notice that there are now 214,000 boxers in the Soviet Union.

ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT

The Chapel-by-the-Lake of the First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. has a beautiful lawn sloping down toward Lake Worth and an ideal seawall from which to fish. Except during church services and on Sunday, everyone has been welcome to use the grounds for fishing.

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