Originally Posted by krosero
Hi Carlo. The USO did not have night matches under lights until '75. The '73 semi ended in near-darkness, with everyone almost unable to see: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4806%2C2337908
For what it's worth Kodes said after the final that he had never seen Newk play better. I've seen the last half of the match, and it's high quality, very entertaining. All the reports I've read from the time also praise the quality on both sides. The New York Times said it was "considered by many who saw it to be one of the most brilliant ever played on the grass at the West Side Tennis Club." They noted how well Kodes was running and returning serve. Newk said that for the first three sets Kodes had an answer for everything he did.
Kodes was asked if he was tired and he said, "Not tired, but it is hard to play semis and finals on successive days."
yes you are right about the matches under light. I think that the first ever official match played under lights at the USO was the meeting between Smith and Onny Parun in 1975 (but my memory can be wrong).
I don't say that, in fair circumstances, Kodes would have necessarily won the '73 USO final.
But at a given page (of which the exact number I don't remember) in Kodes's biography,
the Czech claims that he was robbed of the '73 USO victory.
However further in this same book he sort of backs off
by only stating that every winner of the second semi-final in the USO Champs
is at a disadvantage when playing the final the very next day :
as many I think this is a very true statement.
This is why, in a selfish way, I enjoyed that the last two or three USO finals were played only on Mondays (for different reasons)
and allowed the second semifinal winner not to be at a disadvantage in the final match.