Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks Named Pfoho Faculty Deans
Harvard SEAS Faculty Reflect on Outgoing Dean, Say Successor Should Be Top Scholar
South Korean President Yoon Talks Nuclear Threats From North Korea at Harvard IOP Forum
Harvard University Police Advisory Board Appoints Undergrad Rep After Yearlong Vacancy
After Meeting with Harvard Admin on ‘Swatting’ Attack, Black Student Leaders Say Demands Remain Unanswered
The fact that Australian tennis player Fred Stolle prefixes every sentence with "Shift," helps provide an insight into his personality.
Life for Stolle, is seems, consists of an uninterrupted series of minor aggravations, which even when he is winning never abate. His unblemished cynicism, however, is often quite humorous, and countryman John Newcombe, who defeated him in the semifinals at Longwood last night, misses no opportunity to bring it to the surface.
Newcombe was lying on the treatment table in the locker room at Longwood, Friday afternoon undergoing one of trainer Jock Semple's "greased-pig" massages, when Stolle stumbled in after dumping Ron Holmberg in the quarterfinals.
"Did you make any adjustments in your game after you dropped the first set?", Stolle was asked.
"Shi', 'ad to make soom. 'ad to get the boll on the coort," Stolle replied, then slumped, almost dejectedly, into a lounge chair and sipped from a cupful of beer.
"Stolle had just won his second three-set singles match at the U.S. Pro champion ships. He had won it beautifully, rebounding from a crushing 6-3 loss in the first set to shut off Holmberg's excellent placement game with 6-4 and 6-2 triumphs in the following two. Several Boston writers, eager for copy, were tentatively urging questions, trying to make the usually silent Stolle open up.
"Do you like the surface any better now?", one offered.
"Would you like it any better if you won the finals on it?"
"Even if you won $8,000 on it?"
"No, oy still wood'n like i'"
Newcombe shot him a sidewise glance and grinned. It was time.
"Bool," Newcombe cracked, "'e'd get doon ohn 'is knaighs and kiss the bludy coort if he woon own like tha'." The locker room exploded, and Stolle shrugged.
The writers were going to get their copy.
"Where are you going next, Fred?"
"Frahnce, shi'. Aix-en-Provenche, oy think."
"Is that tournament worth much?"
"Ay, a bludy nickel," Newcombe grinned.
"Shi, i's no' thet bad," Stolle muttered. "Be'uh than a kick i' the arse.''
Newcombe had to agree that it was.
Saturday, however, was a "kick i' the arse." By 2:30 p.m. a thunderstorm had washed out the entire semifinal singles round, forcing the finals to Monday night. Stolle, who was scheduled to play in France Monday afternoon, was stuck.
"'E can always lose the match on Sunday, can'ht 'e?," said Semple, attempting to find a solution.
"E could, that," replied Rod Laver. "Ahfter oll, Fred's the ownly woon who'll be affected by the postponement."
By then Stolle, who was sunk into a chair in the members' lounge, had all but decided to forego the French tournament to stay at Longwood, where his match with Newcombe would be one part of the first All-American semifinal in the tournament's history.
The Australian domination was not entirely surprising. American entries had been expected to have a rough time at Longwood, but the beating they received was quick, calculated and thorough.
Dennis Ralston, Butch Buchholz and Marty Riessen all fell on the tournament's first day. Ron Holmberg, after beating South African Cliff Drysdale, blew his match with Stolle. And Pancho Gonzalez, the Old Wolf, fell apart, leading Australian Ken Rosewall 2-0 in the third set, then losing 6-2.
By Friday afternoon, the only survivors were the Australians--Laver, Newcombe, Rosewall and Stolle. A fifth, Tony Roche, had been eliminated by Stolle in the opening round.
"We'll 'ave a faighve seht'er, eh Fred?," Newcombe was saying, when it became certain the two would meet.
"Shi', faighve seh'ts," Stolle grumbled. "Faighve seh'ts."
On Sunday, rain postponed the semifinals yet another day, but when the two finally met last night, Newcombe won convincingly in three sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Within minutes after the match, the two Australians were back in the club-house locker room, and after an exchange of friendly compliments, Newcombe grinned. The writers needed copy.
"Just like Wimbledon, Newk?", one volunteered. Newcombe had beaten Stolle there in four sets two weeks ago.
"Ah...." Newcombe shrugged. "Worth moor muhny, tho'," Stolle added.
"Will you still use an aluminum racquet, Fred?", another said.
Stolle waved his hand and tasted his beer. "Shi, go' teh use soomthin'."
Newcombe glanced over at Stolle. "You didn'a do bahd, Fred. Woon toyme, when you 'it the byseloine, I 'ad to be bludy Supermahn to return i'."
Newcombe feels that he might need to be Superman when he meets top-seeded Rod Laver in the finals tonight. Laver, who has won the tournament four of the past five years, wore down Rosewall relentlessly last night, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, Newcombe will have his hands full.
"Oy've beaten 'im before," Newcombe mused. "Bu' oy can'ht 'it wi' im froom the byseloine. oy naid..." Newcombe here waved his hand aimlessly, as if trying to grasp an unattainable secret to break Leaver's power. And immediately after the singles match, he'll have to pair with Roche to face Laver and Pancho Gonzalez in the doubles final.
"I'hts oll raight," Stolle consoled. "Thy've been colin' me "Stole" on the rydio oll wyke." Fred's name is pronounced Stawlleee.
"Wha' sahn you expect," Newcombe phiosophied. "Ayven in Boston thy can'ht spayk bludy English."
Stolle slipped his beer and shook his head. "Shi'," he said.
Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.