World Team Tennis made its debut in New York last weekend, where 5,000 fans watched their "local" team plunge to an initial defeat.
GTV Teams walk onto court and presented. Commentary
GTV PAN Along Hawaii Leis Team
MV PAN Along New York sets
GTV Hawaii's Valerie Ziegenfuss and New York's Pam Teeguarden in action
GTV Santana and Case playing as crowd watch (4 shots)
GTV Mixed doubles. New York's Scott and Martinez playing Hawaii's Ralston and Kiyomura and end of game as crowd watch. Commentary
Lawn Team tennis, the latest product of modern sport, made its debut this week -- Monday night, in Philadelphia and last night in New York, as the New York Sets entertained the Hawiian Leis. The New York Sets, coached by Manuel Santana in blue, were defeated by Hawaii 29-25 at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The paid admissions by actual turnstyle count was a surprising 4,999. And the crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy the programme of four singles matches and two mixed doubles events.
In this first singles match, Hawaii's Valerie Ziegenfuss, ranked tenth in singles, downed New York's Pam Teeguarden, who is ranked sixth, by the score of six-four. Incidentally team tennis will be available through-out the country seven days a week, and can be seen on certain weekends on tv. The season ends on August 18th, to be followed by the playoffs.
In the second singles match of the evening, New York Sets' coach Manuel Santana met Hawaii's Rose Case. Case is a twenty-three-year-old bachelor from Australia and definitely one of Australia's future star players. Santana is a former Wimbledon champion. However, Case won this match six-four.
New York doubles team of Gene Scott and C.C.Martinez of San Francisco defeated Hawaii's mixed combo of coach Dennis Ralston and nineteen-year-old An Kiyomura six-four. the mixed doubles was only the second victory for New York, along with the ladies singles match won in the opening second half.
Initials AE/20.37 AE/20.59
Converage of the New York contest is accompanied by a commentary over natural sound, which is transcribed overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: World Team Tennis made its debut in New York last weekend, where 5,000 fans watched their "local" team plunge to an initial defeat. The New York Sets were beaten 29-25 by the Hawiian Leis.
The fans were also witnessing a controversial break with tennis tradition. There's a complete new system of scoring -- with the first player to reach 4 points winning the game, and matches being decided not by sets, but by the cumulative scoring of games. Contests are divided into two halves, like football games, in an attempt to build up suspense. In each half, there has to be one set each of men's singles, women's singles and mixed doubles.
The organisers are hoping that cities will come to identify with their local team, thus building up the fan-following. In the case of New York, it means identifying with Spanish player-coach Manuel Santana and a team of mixed nationalities.
Many of the players are finding it difficult to take the new concept seriously. "Not real tennis. Just a big joke", was the reported verdict of Australia's Evonne Goolagong. But team tennis is controversial because it will damage the European tournament scene by holding large numbers of the top layers under contract in the United States until September.