Tennis - and in the United States, Arthur Ashe staged a spectacular comeback in the Professional Indoor Championship semi-finals to beat Vitas Gerulaitis 1-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, on Saturday (27 January) in Philadelphia.
Tennis - and in the United States, Arthur Ashe staged a spectacular comeback in the Professional Indoor Championship semi-finals to beat Vitas Gerulaitis 1-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, on Saturday (27 January) in Philadelphia. Tenth-seeded Ashe gave eleven years to his opponent, who was seeded fourth, and took almost three and-a-half hours to secure his victory. Ashe spent last year winning his way back into the world's top fifteen players after suffering a serious heel injury. He seemed beaten after the first two sets which Gerulaitis took easily, but in the third set he managed tao survive a break in service to drive the game to a tie-break, which he then won. By the fourth set, the whole direction of the match had changed and Ashe appeared confident.
SYNOPSIS: It was Ashe's devastating service which eventually won him the match. In the first two sets he had served double faults and failed to stand up to Gerulaitis' powerful play. But by the fourth set Ashe, in the dark shorts, was in control.
Gerulaitis lost his serve in the first game of the fifth, and decisive set.
And both players then held serve. At five-four it was Ashe serving for the match. The former Wimbledon champion had a fight off four break points during the final game and several times his backhand and forehand drives landed out of court.
In the final tense moments, Gerulaitis still managed to fight back against Ashe's onslaught.
Ashe finally reached match point when Gerulaitis hit a forehand drive well out of court.
After all the d r ama of the match, Gerulaitis eventually lost by simply netting the ball and the victorious Ashe won the chance of playing for the final prize money of forty thousand dollars.