TENNIS: BY LOVE POSSESSED
May I offer a word of commendation on James Van Alen's remarks on deemphasizing the service in tennis (Down with love, SI, May 26).
This interview fell on fertile soil as far as I am concerned, for I recently had the pleasure of seeing the two top men, Gonzales and Hoad, in action against each other here in Toronto.
After each took a set of good tennis—a little on the dull side because of the almost complete absence of rallies—the third set developed into a straight battle of the big serve.
For 24 games, each won his service by sheer power, frequently at love. In the 25th game, Hoad blew an easy smash, then double-faulted twice, and it was all over.
June 8, 1958
While I was very glad to see the two big shots in action, I must confess that if a return match were billed here in the near future I would pass it up.
H. B. GILBERT
Down with down with love.
Shortening the service court or moving the service line back would make the player's height a still greater factor in serving. If a player were tall enough he could still smash in a big serve. This change would limit tennis championship play to the tall men, the way basketball is now limited.
HORACE KEESEY III
I can see only one way to restore the breathtaking type of tennis as played by the greats of yesteryear, and that would be to make it illegal for the server in a singles game to follow his serve to the net.
In my opinion, the joy of tennis is cleverly conceived and well-developed strategy which results in winning a point.
I would therefore suggest that James Van Alen's recommendation concerning the de-emphasis of the serve be given serious consideration.
I for one hope tennis won't go back to "the days of the Dohertys, Bill Larned and Bill Tilden" as advocated by James Van Alen. To me, nothing is more boring than watching a pair of base-line players rally back and forth for several minutes on each point. The big game with its cannon-ball serve is the most important reason for the increasing popularity of tennis among youngsters and why players like Gonzales and Hoad have taken their place beside the Musials, Cousys and Bannisters.
Forest Hills, N.Y.
As the rules are now, one or two bad games lose only those games and still leave several opportunities to win. But after losing 8 straight points in the 31-point scoring system it would be difficult or even impossible to overcome the opponent's lead.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Van Alen has a point. Much of big-time tennis is becoming boring because of the power serve and weak return and smash routine. I agree that the serve should be made harder to bring back the rally and the thinking game.
I cannot agree with his new scoring system. The deuce and 'vantage seesaw is one of the most exciting parts of the game. I recall sets where a man had the vantage against him at set point, deuced the game, won the game and the set. Such heroics are a part of the game.
B. R. CUNNINGHAM-SMITH
MARKS OF DISTINCTION
In your EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, May 19, titled "Yellow Flag for Thirst," the word fellow is used no less than 5 times in the first 22 lines. The fellow who wrote this piece must either have a highly limited vocabulary, or else it was a satire on Bob Considine, and the editor was in on it.
Certain newspaper writers use this word in an apparent attempt to get quite English and elegant. The thing of course sounds silly and it falls flat on its face.
The word is used primarily to denote someone of some distinction, as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. It is sometimes used in a derogatory sense, such as a person being a mean, low fellow. These writers had better stick to the word guy and let it go at that.
But even the word guy has a dark and sinister history. It came down from Guy Fawkes who was tortured and executed for trying to blow up the English Parliament. In its original meaning it denoted a tattered-looking, queer-looking person. It has developed here into a favorite slang word.
You are reminded of Stephen Leacock in his treatise on the use of slang. Leacock said that 50 years from now you may pick up the morning paper and read an article which says: "The President of the United States, in receiving the British ambassador, saw that the guy had a skirt with him and courteously lifted his lid."
KENNETH R. PYATT
•Heaven forbid, fellow, no satire on the Considine fellow was intended. Our fellow just found those fellows at the Rolling Greens Country Club strong on fellowship.—ED.
Your article on planing boats (SI, April 28) was a lifesaver. Prior to that issue a lot of us here at St. Joseph's College were going to go in for small class hydros. But now that we know what kind of speeds you can get with windjammers, everybody (except for a few diehard grease monkeys) wants to get in on planing boats. The two boats we were most interested in were Fairey Marine's Firefly and Siddons & Sindle's Jet 14. We were also wondering whether the prices you quoted included the sails, mast and other rigging. So, if you could get us those addresses and the other information, we would be very grateful. Needless to say SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a big favorite around the college. Evidence of that is the rush (stampede would be a better word) to the rec halls to get a look at the new issue on Fridays.
Mountain View, Calif.
•The Fairey Firefly is available from George O'Day Associates, 9 Newbury Street, Boston. Mr. Mitchell should add $100 to the price quoted for duck main and jib sails. Siddons & Sindle, 31 Sindle Avenue, Little Falls, N.J. has the Jet 14, sails for which run from $100 for cotton to $165 for Dacron.—ED.
TRACK: HIGH SCHOOL RECORDS
I have a request to make about track. I would like to see the best high school times or national records listed.
ROBERT C. RANDALL
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
•Here are the official high school records—along with the holder, home town and year set—as recognized by the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations:
100-yard dash :9.4
Jesse Owens, Cleveland, 1933
James Jackson, Alameda, Calif., 1954
220-yard dash :20.7
Jesse Owens, 1933
Eddie Southern, Dallas, 1955
440-yard dash :46.7
Jerry White, Corcoran, Calif., 1956
880-yard run 1:52.3
Don Bowden, San Jose, Calif., 1956
One-mile run 4:16.1
James Bowers, De Kalb, Ill., 1956
120-yard high hurdles (39-inch) :13.9
George Hearn, Ardmore, Pa., 1957
180-yard low hurdles :18.5
Charles Tidwell, Independence, Kans., 1955
High jump 6 feet 9¾ inches
Walter Mangham Jr., New Castle, Pa., 1956
Broad jump 25 feet 4¼ inches
Monte Upshaw, Piedmont, Calif., 1954
Pole vault 15 feet‚⅛ inch
James Brewer, Phoenix, 1957
Shotput 64 feet¾ inch
Clark Branson, Pasadena, 1957
Discus throw 184 feet 2¾ inches
Al Oerter, Floral Park, N.Y., 1954
Javelin throw 222 feet 10¾ inches
Jan Sikorsky, Mount Pleasant, Pa., 1957
440-yard relay :42.0
Boys H.S., Brooklyn, 1948
880-yard relay 1:25.9
Jefferson H.S., Los Angeles, 1956
One-mile relay 3:17.9
Robert E. Lee H.S., Baytown, Texas, 1955
Two-mile relay 7:56.0
Bellflower H.S., Los Angeles, 1953
So far this season reports have come in that four schoolboy records have been broken and another one equaled, but the new marks have not yet been officially recognized. Dyrol Burleson, Cottage Grove, Ore., has broken the old mile record by striding the distance in 4:13.2. Dallas Long of Phoenix put the 12-pound shot 67 feet 2 inches to better the official mark by more than 3 feet. At the Penn Relays the St. Francis of Brooklyn mile relay team ticked off the four laps in 3:17.5, took the record away from Lee High School of Baytown, Texas, the holder since 1955. (But on the same day the Brooklyn boys were beating the Texans' records, the Texans were themselves busily occupied in San Antonio, racing to a new mark of 3:31.5 in the sprint medley relay, an unofficial event not carried on the record lists.) Dave Mills of Cleveland knocked one-tenth of a second off the quarter-mile record, sprinted around the circuit in :46.6. In the 100-yard dash Jim Bates of Los Angeles equaled the 9.4 record.—ED.