Although American tennis star, Stan Smith, won the top title in last year's World Championship Tennis Tournament, he entered his first quarter-final match in this year's tournament at Dallas in Texas, with the odds heavily weighted against him.
GTV Smith serves to Laver and losses point.
SV Laver serves and plaus
MV Smith serves and wins point and judge looks (2 shots)
GTV Smith serves and wins point and crowd
STV Okker serves to Newcombe who wins point crowd (2 shots)
SV Newcombe serves and wins point judge (2 shots)
GTV Newcombe serves Ace to win match
GV Ashe serves and Borg wins point to win match and crowd watch
SV Borg interviewed (shot of him playing Ashe overlayed) (7 shots)
CU & GTV Judge looking as Kodes serves to Nastase and wins point to win match.
NARRATIONS: Seldom is an event's defending champion an underdog in the opening match of his title defence, but the '73 WCT Champ', Stan Smith, found himself in that unusual role against left-hander Rosd Laver in the '74 Tournament's first quarter final match. Laver had won 17 of 18 matches entering the action, and took the first set on a 7-6 tie breaker. But then Smith flashed the form that carried him to last year's title. He mixed speed on serves. tucked placements into corners. It took nearly three hours for Smith to complete a 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph. While Smith's victory was a mile surprise, the night's second paring started out like a shocking "pest. Tom Oddker hurried off with the first three games against top seeder, John Newcombe, before Newcombe began what was to be a remarkable one-hour and twenty minute display of tennis durgery. Newcombe rallied to smash the Dutchman in six straight games to close out the first set. Then turned on a howitzer serve that resulted in 17 aces. The final score 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, hardly indicated how badly Newcombe battered Okker. Smith and the man picked to take his title away, Newcombe, meet in one half of Friday's semi-finals.
NARRATION: Poor Arthur Ahse, a finalist last year, but this time around beaten thoroughly by a 17-year-old high school drop out form Sweden, Bjorn Borg. Ashe, who lost the tie-breaker here to go out in straight sets, admitted he served badly. Ashe said Borg is too young yet to panic; but wait four years when he's expected to win, and see what happens.
BORG: Right now I'm very happy to win, because before the match, I think this is a very difficult match to win. You know I have to play very well in it. I did play well.
INTERVIEWER: Was this a typical Borg-Ashe match in your mind?
BORG: I don't know, I think every time I play Ashe - you know six times, then every time I play very well against him but I think he didn't play that well he usually do, he missed a lot of serve returns. But anyway, I serve very well today.
INTERVIEWER: Did you feel any pressure int his match?
BORG: No. I didn't feel any pressure at all. I was not nervous, you know I was cold; I just go out and if I win that's good and if I lose I'll beat him next time.
NARRATOR: The other match last night also produced an upset; Jan Kodes over Ilie Nastase. The Rumanian, here in blue, threw a temper tantrum; said he didn't like Kodes because he's a Salv; said he might not play in the W.C. team next year and even threatened to get a new wife. Now I can understand why he might not like Kodes and the WCT people, but Domonique Nastase is a beauty form Paris and Ilie better think twice about her.
Initials AE/20.33 AE/21.08
THIS FILM IS SERVICED WITH THE AMERICAN NARRATION ON FILM FOR USE. A TRANSCRIPTION OF THE NARRATION AND INTERVIEW IS PROVIDED ON THE SECOND PAGE.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Although American tennis star, Stan Smith, won the top title in last year's World Championship Tennis Tournament, he entered his first quarter-final match in this year's tournament at Dallas in Texas, with the odds heavily weighted against him. His opponent in the match - played on Wednesday (8 May) - was veteran Australian champion Rod Laver, who had won 17 of his last 18 matches.
Nevertheless, Smith struck good form and survived to defend his title in the semi-finals by beating the Australian 6-7, 7-4, 6-4, 7-5. In the second match of the night, another Australian, John Newcombe, trounced Tom Okker of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
On the following night (Thursday), 17-year-old Bjorn Borg of Sweden, provided one of the biggest upsets of the Government. He beat Arthur Ashe of the U.S.A 7-5, 6-4, 7-6, in front of a capacity crowd of almost nine thousand.
During the evening the crowd gave a rough reception to the Rumanian star, Ilie Nastase, when he threw a tantrum on court in the third set of his third quarter-final match with Jan Kodes of Czechoslovakia. With Kodes ready to serve, Nastase turned his back on Kodes and began arguing with a linesman. He returned to the base line, but then stopped again to continue the argument. Kodes finally won 7-6, 6-1, 7-5.