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Yours!05
01-16-2007, 08:04 PM
Fiery and Emmo maintained Australia's empire

Date: January 15 2007

IN THE days before the decline and fall of the Australian Empire, and the advent of serious cash for flogging tennis balls, there were empire-builders from this island who were content to play the game for room and board, occasional air tickets — and the accompanying laughs.
As we enter the 40th year of hefty prizemoney tennis and the usual suspects gather at formerly Flinders Park for another Open, it's hard to imagine a time when amateurism existed and was the prime concern of tennis devotees. Yes, a handful of pros, considered outlaws — perhaps a dozen of them — were barely alive in a shaky business of one-night-stands outside the game's big tent.
These two factions had one thing in common: their best were Aussies. Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall were among the pros; so-called amateurs Roy Emerson and Fred Stolle upheld the empire, hugging the Davis Cup and most major crowns during two years, 1965-66, that typified the long dynasty of the Down Undertakers.
Today, I feel a bit sad for Lleyton Hewitt, standing alone like the little boy at the ****, trying to hold back the flood of folks such as Roger Federer and Marat Safin, Andy Roddick and James Blake, who covet his homeland's championship.
But nobody was soloing in '65 and '66. Aussies were all over the place, and took particular delight in their scorched earth policy as they travelled the American summer circuit. The earth, as in Australia, was covered with grass, the only surface that mattered in that day, and the invaders mowed it and the Yanks with abandon.
Funny thing was, nobody but the American players seemed to mind. The rollicking Aussies — especially Emerson and Stolle — were tremendously popular, the leaders of empire. "Lock up your daughters, the beer and the trophies!" was the cry when the Aussies hit town. But they were locksmiths.
Doubles meant a lot, and the players had to swing for their suppers, singles and doubles, which the Aussies did, never complaining about the workload. They may have grizzled when the beer wasn't cold enough, but not loudly. A fiercely raucous "Come on!" was never heard on court.
"Fiery", as Fred was known, and Emmo were unbeaten in doubles for two summers, winning a pair of US titles. Their successful system was known as "snooze and booze". If one partied, the other dutifully stayed behind, getting a good night's sleep for the cause.
Success nearly eluded them at the Southampton, Long Island, tournament in the semi-finals against a good young American combo, Jerry Cromwell and Jim Osborne, when they broke this routine: they both stayed out all night.
Stolle recounted: "We got to the club just in time for the 11am match. Didn't feel too great, so we jumped in the club pool with our tennis gear on. That woke us up a little anyway, but the first two sets nearly killed us. No tie-breakers then." They won 22-24, 9-7, 6-4.
They took turns cooking steak and eggs for each other. Today's fitness trainers roll their eyes at that staple, but it worked in the days of empire. The tooth fairy (aka the US Tennis Association) slipped about $500 a week under their pillows because Emmo and Fiery sold tickets.
But there was no "real" money to speak of. Nevertheless, life was better than working part-time in a Sydney bank, as Stolle did, or milking cows on the Emerson family farm in beautiful downtown Blackbutt, Queensland. Emmo was thankful for the exercise, however, as it strengthened his wrists for magnificent volleying. Roger Federer might benefit from milking his cow, Juliette, based somewhere in the Swiss Alps.
By the end of the 1965-66 stretch, Aussies had won six of the eight major singles, seven of eight in doubles. Emmo had two of his six Aussie singles plus Wimbledon '65. Fred took the French in '65, as did Tony Roche in '66.
While this was going on, the legitimate pros struggled. But they had a taste of the future in '65 when in a pros-only tourney at Newport, Rhode Island, the innovative chairman, Jimmy Van Alen, introduced his brain child, the tie-breaker. Up the road in '66 at Boston's Longwood Cricket Club, those wizards Laver and Rosewall played one of the finest matches I've seen, the final of the US Pro, won by the Rocket, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 8-10, 6-3.
Winding up the American campaign of '66, Fred and Emmo stuck to their one-sleeps-the-other-sips strategy at the US doubles at Longwood.
Before the final, it was Fred's night on the town. At a houseparty, he was accosted by a local character who called himself the baron of Hungary, and was eager to place a big bet on the title match the next day. They had good position for their discussion, next to the fridge in the kitchen.
Next day, a Sunday, arrived and they settled on a price as the baron backed the top US team, Dennis Ralston and Clark Graebner, against the Aussies. "Too bad Emmo isn't here," the baron said, "but we should phone him, inform him of the importance of the match." It was about 3am.
Sportingly, Stolle made the call, and Emmo answered. "Thanks for letting me know. I wasn't doing anything but sleeping." Hours later, the Aussies won the championship, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
They were ready for the US singles at Forest Hills, New York, where Emerson had won titles in 1961 and 1964. He was in a good mood, but "Fiery" was indeed inflamed. Strangely, he had not been seeded, even though he'd been a US and Wimbledon finalist in 1964, and recently the German champion.
Computers weren't around to determine the seeds and members of the seeding committee may have had a few drinks themselves, but they were wrong on that one.
Fred was justifiably furious. "They must think I'm just a bloody old hacker," the 27-year-old grumbled.
Hacker? "What's that?" I said, never having heard the term. "Somebody who plays like you," he snorted.
Goaded, he played like a madman, beating his mate, Emerson, in the semis, and the rising John Newcombe for the title. "I guess the old hacker can still play," he crowed.
Two years later, longed-for open tennis became a fact. Emerson, Stolle, Newcombe, Roche joined the exiles Laver, Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Mal Anderson as pros. They were anointed for the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport.
Finally, the empire fell apart. They all do, but thanks for the memories.

Story Picture (http://www.theage.com.au/text/ffximage/2007/01/14/wbTENNISemmo_narrowweb__300x369.jpg): Roy Emerson & Fred Stolle after a Davis Cup-winning effort in 1966.


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Indy Tennis
01-16-2007, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the post.

Some of the old-timers around here told me about the pro tour coming to Indianapolis in the '50s and '60. Before the tennis boom of the '70s the sport really was considered country club, blue blood if you will.

Those pros toured together, drank together, chased women together and so on. The money was all under the table. They would give clinics, private lessons to rich businessmen and stuff like that, while on tour just to make a little extra.

So few pro players made it to some tournaments that a lot of local guys would get in the draw.Of course they would get blown out in the first round, but still, to play in a pro tournament and be maybe what today would be considered a 4.0-4.5 player had to be a thrill.

The good old days in some respect, but for the most part, since going pro tennis is much better today.

VikingSamurai
01-16-2007, 09:24 PM
Excellent article.. Now you can see why I get grumpy when the kids on these boards talk about the great's being players in the last 20years or so..

These old guys actually had it tough, but played because they loved it.. They also lived out of each others pockets..

Today... Well lets just say it would nice to be a tennis player!..

Enough said..

Yours!05
01-16-2007, 10:14 PM
...and a good time was had by all, lol. There was an article on Merve Rose, in reminiscent mood, the other day. Can't find it now.
Btw, the **** in the article represents d y k e.:)

Chris, I especially like how much fitter the players are said to be today, having sat through many marathon no tie-break five-setters, without hearing a single 'where's my banana' or 'I asked for Evian'. The survival of the, genetically, fittest maybe. Roger might have found his calling in snooker or billiards back then perhaps?;) And been the GOAT of course...

VikingSamurai
01-16-2007, 10:37 PM
Agreed!....

urban
01-17-2007, 01:19 AM
Nice article, Yours. I once heard Emerson telling a story about a doubles match with Laver against a pair of Bob Christ and Esteban de Jesus. When the empire called 15-0 to Jesus/ Christ, Emmo turned to Laver and said: Rocket, seems we are up against a tough opponent today.

Yours!05
01-17-2007, 01:32 AM
Hadn't heard that one urban.:D

chopps
01-19-2007, 05:46 PM
Bobby Kreis?

eunjam
01-19-2007, 05:54 PM
god bud collins is annoying.

can't stand him and his adjectives.

christo
01-31-2007, 09:17 PM
god bud collins is annoying.

can't stand him and his adjectives.

lighten up, harsh words for a guy who's given his left nut for tennis.

urban
02-01-2007, 01:03 AM
Maybe Robert Kreiss, i heard the story only on a video, told by Emerson, never saw a graphic transscription of the name. There was also another Mike Kreiss, maybe the brother, in the US top 50 in 1970.

bluegrasser
02-01-2007, 05:47 AM
Excellent article.. Now you can see why I get grumpy when the kids on these boards talk about the great's being players in the last 20years or so..

These old guys actually had it tough, but played because they loved it.. They also lived out of each others pockets..

Today... Well lets just say it would nice to be a tennis player!..

Enough said..

Ditto - If you love tennis, you should know a little about ' tennis history, but then again we're talking about many spoiled rich kids who don't care about last month, yet alone three decades ago.

Hey, Moe!
02-03-2007, 09:03 PM
The above story, as well as plenty others, can be found in Bud Collins' book, "My Life With the Pros." It's a 1989 copywright, but you might find a copy somewhere.

Yes, Bud can be a hair annoying, but, he comes from a day in the game of tennis when things were a lot more simple, and perhaps, more fun. I know that in the early '70s, I had more fun hanging around at the US Open then I ever could now. My, the places I snuck into.

If you are interested, another great read about that era is Gordon Forbes' "A Handful of Summers."

Just thought I would throw in my two cents, since I got to witness a handful of Aussie vs. Yank encounters at Forest Hills. I also got to see two "new kids" named Connors and Evert play.

Yours!05
02-03-2007, 09:35 PM
The above story, as well as plenty others, can be found in Bud Collins' book, "My Life With the Pros." It's a 1989 copywright, but you might find a copy somewhere.

Yes, Bud can be a hair annoying, but, he comes from a day in the game of tennis when things were a lot more simple, and perhaps, more fun. I know that in the early '70s, I had more fun hanging around at the US Open then I ever could now. My, the places I snuck into.

If you are interested, another great read about that era is Gordon Forbes' "A Handful of Summers."

Just thought I would throw in my two cents, since I got to witness a handful of Aussie vs. Yank encounters at Forest Hills. I also got to see two "new kids" named Connors and Evert play.Hey Moe! Throw in some more please, esp about Forest Hills.:)
Got 'handful of summers' from online used book site years ago.
Often re-read it when there's been a particularly uninspiring Slam with a fizzle for a final.:D

AndrewD
02-03-2007, 11:08 PM
Yours!05,

Don't know if you're aware but Gordon Forbes wrote a follow-up to 'A handful of Summers' called, 'Too Soon To Panic'. Published in 1997 so out of print now although it should be available on-line somewhere (Amazon definitely have it). I haven't read it myself but, given how enjoyable the first one was, it is worth a look.

Hmm, perhaps it would be interesting (to me at least) if people were to list the tennis books they own. I have a suspicion that Urban would have enough to start his own library LOL.

Yours!05
02-03-2007, 11:54 PM
Yours!05,

Don't know if you're aware but Gordon Forbes wrote a follow-up to 'A handful of Summers' called, 'Too Soon To Panic'. Published in 1997 so out of print now although it should be available on-line somewhere (Amazon definitely have it). I haven't read it myself but, given how enjoyable the first one was, it is worth a look.

Hmm, perhaps it would be interesting (to me at least) if people were to list the tennis books they own. I have a suspicion that Urban would have enough to start his own library LOL.Great idea. C'monn Urban!

Thanks Andrew. When I tried to buy, was led up blind alleys - no book, at that time. Eventually got at Library, via ILL.
Just received an Amazon order, but time for another.:D

urban
02-04-2007, 02:58 AM
Ha, Ha. maybe i have sampled around 60 -70 tennis-books over the years (most written in English). In the internet nowadays its much easier to get them. If you will see a real bibliothek of tennis literature, go to
www.tennisbookshop.com

Yours!05
02-04-2007, 03:35 AM
Ha, Ha. maybe i have sampled around 60 -70 tennis-books over the years (most written in English). In the internet nowadays its much easier to get them. If you will see a real bibliothek of tennis literature, go to
www.tennisbookshop.com (http://www.tennisbookshop.com)
Thanks very much urban. If you have recommended this site before I didn't see it. Cheers.:)

Trinity TC
02-04-2007, 10:33 AM
This video has some rare footage of the greats. Unfortunately the sample clips no longer work.

http://www.silasdesign.com/site/web/kotc/videos/video_clips.htm

Hey, Moe!
02-04-2007, 12:04 PM
Yours!05--here's two quickies before I head out to a Super Bowl party.

I went the US Open starting in 1971, and made it almost every year through the decade.

There was a package deal at one of the hotels in Manhattan that my friend and I took advantage of. Often, the players stayed there, too. We would run into then frequently. By far, the Aussies were the most willing to talk.

Once, we ran into John Alexander as we were all leaving a corner grocery store, heading back to the hotel at the end of the day. Since we all had a sack of groceries, I asked Alexander with a grin if he had purchased his beer supply. He invited me to look in the sack, but all I saw was yogurt.

He laughed, and said, "Bloody Hop (Harry Hopman) wants us to eat right. He'll look in the bag when I get to the hotel. The beer's underneath the yogurt, mate."

Once, Tony Roche almost fell into my lap while chasing a ball during a doubles match on an outside court. I managed to hang onto my beer, and as I handed him his racquet back, I asked him with a grin if he wanted a sip.

He replied, "I'd love to, but once I start, the tennis is over, mate!"

Cheers!

urban
02-06-2007, 10:27 AM
Some further remarks on tennisbookshop.com above, which is by the way recommended by Peter Bodo today. They sell some novels by Tilden himself, would be interesting to read some critics on them. Mostly its said, that they should be pretty lousy. And did someone know or read some crime novels by Ilie Nastase and Martina Navratilova? Are they the new Ian Fleming or Raymond Chandler? Speaking of Ian Fleming: In a book about Alice Marble it is stated, that she worked as a spy in Switzerland during WWII. And that she was shot and almost killed by a **** spy. Almost a Casablanca-story.

Yours!05
02-06-2007, 12:48 PM
Good stuff urban & Moe.

Who says women's tennis is boring?
http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-World-Class-Golden-Age-Hollywood-High-Stakes/dp/031205839X

Might pass on these two:
http://www.amazon.com/Killer-Instinct-Martina-Navratilova/dp/0345472683/sr=1-2/qid=1170794376/ref=pd_bbs_2/105-8653920-4906056?ie=UTF8&s=books

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE2D81E38F934A3575AC0A9609482 60

AndrewD
02-07-2007, 06:06 PM
Yours!05 (07),

Here's a list of those books I have sitting in front of me. A few more in another room but am too lazy to go through them at present LOL (also a few more in storage - I hope)

1. Ashe, Arthur 1993 Days of Grace: A memoir
2. Barrett, John & Tingay, Lance 1971 World of Tennis `71
3. Bodo, Peter & Harrison, June 1979 Inside Tennis: A Season on the Pro Tour
4. Budge, Donald nd, Budge on tennis
5. Burwarsh, Peter & Tullius, John 1989, Total Tennis
6. Collins, Bud 1981, Bud Collins Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis
7. Davison-Lungley, Robin 1979 Let’s Play Tennis (a perfect illustration of what went wrong with tennis in the UK)
8. Doyle, A.V 1935 How To Improve Your Tennis
9. Evans, Richard 1989, The illustrated encyclopedia of World Tennis
10. Folley, Malcolm 2005 Borg versus McEnroe
11. Forbes, Gordon 1978, A Handful of Summers
12. Hopman, Harry 1957 (1st) Aces and Places
13. Jones, Clarence 1979, How to play tennis
14. King, Billie Jean & Brace, Reginald 1981 Play Better Tennis with Billie Jean King
15. Lendl, Ivan & Mendoza, George 1986 Hitting Hot
16. Matthews, Bruce 1985 Game, Set and Glory: A History of the Australian Tennis Championships
17. Newcombe, John 1983 Bedside Tennis
18. Newcombe, John & Angie 1975 The Family Tennis Book
19. Patterson, Norman. H 1950 The Complete Lawn Tennis Player
20. Pollard, Jack 1963 (1st) Lawn Tennis the Australian Way
21. Rosewall, Ken 1975 Play Tennis With Rosewall
22. Sadzeck, Tom 2001 Tennis Skills
23. Schickel, Richard 1975, The world of tennis, 1975
24. Scott, Eugene. L 1979 The Tennis Experience
25. Smith, Margaret 1965 (1st), The Margaret Smith Story
26. Tennis Magazine1978 Tennis: How to Play, How to Win
27. Tennis Magazine 1975 Tennis Strokes and Strategies
28. Tilden, W.T 1920 (1st), The Art of Lawn Tennis
29. Van Der Meer, Dennis 1986 Dennis Van Der Meer’s Complete Book of Tennis
30. Yallop, Richard1992 A Serve to Authority: Kooyong
31. Tennis for Women, 1973 (signed by the authors of each chapter; Nancy Richey, Val Ziegenfuss, Lesley Hunt, Karen Krantzcke, Betty Stove, Rosie Casals, Kerry Melville, Kerry Harris and Francois Durr)

Hopefully, I'll be heading down to Melbourne in the next month or so and can hit the second hand book stores. I've got a list of books I'd like to get my hands on but opportunities are limited up here.

urban
02-08-2007, 05:28 AM
Nice list and work, Andrew. At the moment i am busy with some other things, but i will add a few books i have collected, soon. On Tennis magazine webside they are doing some reviews on tennis books recently, i think they reviewed Newcombe's Bedside tennis recently. I have Newk's 2002 autobiography,On and off the court', where he tells the story of his drunken partnership with the great George W.

AndrewD
02-08-2007, 07:36 AM
Urban,

The one thing I kick myself over is losing a collection (2 suitcases full) of tennis magazines - Tennis, Australian Tennis and Tennis World- that date back to the mid 70's. They were in storage with a family member but it appears they threw them out at some stage.

stormholloway
02-08-2007, 10:11 AM
god bud collins is annoying.

can't stand him and his adjectives.

Is it his love for the game and its history, his great rhetorical skills, or his clever wit that annoys you so much?

I just watched the 1990 Wimbledon final and Bud Collins is commentating along with Connors and Dick Enberg. Great commentary with constant historical references. It puts the game in perspective and is fascinating to hear.

Moose Malloy
02-20-2007, 11:37 AM
Ha, Ha. maybe i have sampled around 60 -70 tennis-books over the years (most written in English). In the internet nowadays its much easier to get them. If you will see a real bibliothek of tennis literature, go to
www.tennisbookshop.com


thanks for the recomendation, just got some books from there, fast service!

Edberg&Becker
02-22-2009, 09:40 AM
Bump, really good reading!

Urban,

The one thing I kick myself over is losing a collection (2 suitcases full) of tennis magazines - Tennis, Australian Tennis and Tennis World- that date back to the mid 70's. They were in storage with a family member but it appears they threw them out at some stage.

So, what happen at the end? Do you find it? :(

BTURNER
02-22-2009, 06:52 PM
Bud Collins is a mixed blessing on a telecast but definitely an unblemished blessing to tennis. His writings for the Globe and early telecasts for public broadcasting alone warrant respect, for those were the formative days, when mighty few writers or personalities wanted to attach themselves to our sport. With Ted gone and so few who have any memory of the amateur days left, he is one whose arduous attentions to Tennis have preserved so much. OUrs is a sport that has so little personality left, since the big bucks roled in, I hate to see him put out to pasture or given a one minute spot at wimbledon just for contractual purposes. There must be something between him in a booth for 2 hours and that kind of treatment. It wouldn't take too much imagination to figure it out. NBC did him, and the sport wrong. End of rant.