Search

THE QUESTION: Will professional tennis eventually interest the public more than amateur tennis?

Sept. 02, 1957
Sept. 02, 1957

Table of Contents
Sept. 2, 1957

Baseball X-Ray
Acknowledgments
Veep Down
Events & Discoveries
Spectacle
Tennis Preview
Canoes
Tip From The Top
Blue Heaven
Reiser
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Will professional tennis eventually interest the public more than amateur tennis?

PANCHO GONZALES
World professional champion
I think so because professional tennis is better tennis, but the public will have to become educated to it. Although Jack Kramer is doing a good promotion job, what the pros need are international matches like the Wightman Cup in tennis, which pits the English against the American women.

This is an article from the Sept. 2, 1957 issue Original Layout

DORIS HART
Coral Gables, Fla.
Former U.S. and Wimbledon champion
Yes and no. Pro tennis will be more interesting to those who understand the fine points of the game. Amateur tennis will be more interesting to the general public because of the exciting matches at Forest Hills, Wimbledon and Newport, where championship tennis started.

TONY TRABERT
Former U.S. and Wimbledon champion
I think so. If you match the best five amateurs against any five pros, what chance would the amateurs have? That's your answer. If people want to see the best in tennis, they'll go to see the pros. I've played both types of tennis. Believe me, no one plays harder than the pros.

MERCER BEASLEY
Dean of tennis coaches
No, although I think pro tennis will prosper. If it were any other sport but tennis I would say that the pros would take over. However, tennis is the one sport in which amateurism is the basic appeal. We'll always have brilliant youngsters ready to take the places of those who turn pro.

JEANE HOFFMAN
Los Angeles Times
Sportswriter and cartoonist
Very definitely. Americans follow the star system. All the big tennis names will graduate to the pro ranks. If MGM put out a terrific movie, but with no stars in the cast, it wouldn't draw. Names make the news. The big tennis names will make pro tennis tops on the courts.

GIL SHEA
Los Angeles
Ninth ranking amateur
That depends. If the pros can get an open tournament, pro tennis will become more interesting than amateur, just as professional golf has taken the lead. Also, if Jack Kramer can corral the 10 or 15 best remaining amateurs, amateur tennis will be little more than intercollegiate tennis.

WALTER GEROULD
President of A. G.
Spalding and Bros.
There's room for both. Professional baseball didn't kill amateur baseball because Little League and American Legion baseball are national institutions. College baseball is booming. Pro tennis will become as interesting as other professional sports and will be an incentive for amateurs.

LEW HOAD
1957 Wimbledon champion
No. In no country in the world will the professionals become more popular than the amateurs. There are so many established amateur tournaments and so much tradition associated with the game that pro tennis cannot become the major attraction. But pro tennis will get bigger and better.

CLIFFORD SUTTER
Chairman of USLTA
Amateur Rules Committee
No, not unless we play into the hands of the pros and agree to meet them in an open tournament. That is the danger of the open. The only large tournament today is amateur. Put the open in competition, and the higher caliber of pro play will kill the interest in amateur tennis.

PANCHO SEGURA
Veteran tennis pro
Definitely. You frequently hear that there's no athletic competition as hard as amateur competition. I disagree. Every pro tennis match I have played in or seen is more fiercely contested than anything I saw or experienced during my many years as an amateur.

ELEVEN PHOTOS