Originally Posted by slice bh compliment
Great ones in this thread. Indeed, the golden era of tennis....with all its idiosyncrasies and conflicts of interest (not that things are any more professional nowadays, haha).
If I may add... a few scattered thoughts/memories growing up as a tennis player during the 'tennis boom' in NY:
85 open, first rd, Mac over Shlomo Glickstein, 7-6 in the 3rd. I've never screamed so loud in my life. I realize this was a year after the OP's definition of the golden era, but these things have gray areas.
So on the early side of the golden era....the 72 Forest Hills final. Wow. Nasty over Ashe in 5 sets. What a match. Lead changes, drama, high quality tennis from all parts of the court. Contrasting styles, and that's just from the guy in the blue shirt. The Bucharest Backfire (history's hippest lob retrieval, later sampled/digitally remastered/covered by Dr. Dre in a might match vs Corretja in the 95 US Open).
Bobby Riggs vs Margaret Court. Riggs vs BJKing. Cheesy but effective way to kick off the golden era.
I saw some World Team Tennis matches in Madison Square Garden. The GARDEN. Weird-color-blocked court. NY Apples vs Boston Lobsters. Bud Collins on channel 13 (PBS affil)
My uncle (a tennis coach) told me about a teenage boy at Port Washington who was routinely winning practice sets off international circuit players.
Mac vs Nastase at the 79 US Open. Frank Hammond in the chair. Chaos. Default. Reinstatement. Vulgarity. Some intense, some sweet tennis. Hammond is relieved of his duties. Mac ends up prevailing.
Must read Rage for Perfection, the Richard Evans book on Mac.
Vitas was a story in and of himself -- just an incredible guy. Hours after ridiculous partying, he leads a kid's clinic the next morning. I was there, once as a kid, once as a feeder a few years later.
Orantes somehow beating Vilas in the 75 Forest Hills semi after being dead to rights, like 5-0 in the 4th. Having enough left in the tank to rout Connors in the final.
Ashe over Connors, 75 Wimbledon final. Rope a dope. Basically the Ali-Foreman fight in Kinshasa, only on grass at a nice club in suburban London.
I saw Rod Laver hit a one-handed topspin backhand swingvolley from no man's land. Tennis changed forever (for me). Not a sissy sport AT ALL.
Vilas over Connors, 77 Forest Hills Final. Mayhem.
Borg getting death threats in NY.
Connors going onto Barrazzutti's side of the court to wipe a mark that was his (out, but the linesman called it good, Connors wanted to keep it that way).
Nastase with an umbrella on the court.
Nastase vs Hans Jorgen Pohmann. Forest Hills. Look it up. Never again in sports will you see this kind of behavior.
Evonne Goolagong has a baby. Then wins Wimbledon. I think that was 1980.
Breakfast at Wimbledon.
Pat Cash went to an Iron Maiden concert during a tournament and smelled pretty bad the next day. Won his match and hit the hot tub at the hotel with random hotel guests.
Yannick Noah, smoking right before a match. Among other things in the locker room.
Noah, basically starting the whole 'find your dad in the stands' thing after winning a slam. 83 Roland. Served and volleyed on clay and won it. Against the defending champion, widely regarded as the greatest passing shot machine of his time. This was pure emotion. Love this game.
Mac playing dubs with Arthur Ashe. So cool. Such opposites.
An aging and undersized Ken Rosewall beats the crap out of most of the tour in 1974.
Newk. Legendary with the ladies.
Billie Jean King. Legendary for the ladies.
Borg. Never been a cooler tennis shirt than the pinstriped FILA.
The Wilson t2000. The single *****tiest piece of tennis equipment ever made. (paraphrased from an article by David Foster Wallace)
Vilas with the backwards tweener, later perfected by Sabatini and Noah. And now anyone and everyone.
Laver over Rosewall in 5, WCT finals in Texas. The finest men playing the finest tennis the world had ever seen.
Borg vs Mac. The battle of 18-16. The finest tennis with wood.
Lendl winning the biggest jr tournament in the world at Port Washington. Slazenger Challenge No. 1. Slice Bh for the most part.
Lendl wearing kangaroo leather shoes and switching from wood to a graphite Kneissl white star twin. Winning a million bucks in a year, long before he ever won a slam title. Money ball.
'You Cannot Be Serious! That ball was ON the LoINE. Chalk flew up!'
'You guys are the absolute pits of the world.'
'Answer the question. THE QUESTION, jerk!'
Lendl reads Eat To Win and follows The Haas diet. Mac retorts with a name for his own regimen - 'The Haagen Dazs diet'.
Navratilova getting super fit. The mother of the modern game gives birth to the end of the golden era.