Two hours after Bjorn Borg had destroyed Jimmy Connors to win the Wimbledon singles tennis championship: the same 14,000 people who stood and cheered the tall, handsome Swede did the same for Frew McMillan and Bob Hewitt.
Frew McMilland and Bob Hewitt?
They are the two tennis players from South Africa who won the Wimbledon doubles championship yesterday by sweeping past John McEnroe and Peter Fleming, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, in much the same relentless manner Borg handled Connors.
It was the third Wimbledon doubles championship for the McMilland Hewitt team: Hewitt's sixth overall title - he won two other doubles titles with other partners and a mixed championship. And it was McMillan's fourth title. He also won the mixed doubles championship with Betty Stove yesterday defeating Billie Jean King and Ray Ruffels, 6-2, 6-2. King was thus frustrated again in her attempt to win a record 20th Wimbledon title.
If McMillan and Hewitt left the court with cheers ringing in their cars, the echo did not linger. Waiting for the doubles players were seven Journalists compared to approximately 100 for Borg, and a check of $13,500 to split compared to Borg's first-prize of $34,200.
"The money we carried today was about one-sixth of what Borg earned, and the attention, as you can see from the number of people at this press conference, less than that," Hewitt said. "It's insulting, but it's something you expect. However, if I live to be 200, I won't accept it."
"Doubles," continued Hewitt. "Is a game all its own and deserves some recognition. The top singles players are fast with their feet and hit the ball hard. Doubles is a reflex game in which you don't need weight of shot."
In their victory over the young team of McEnroe (19) and Fleming (21). Hewitt (38) and McMillan (30) showed remarkable teamwork and intelligence. Together they are a bizarre pair - Hewitt, ferocious-looking with a balding head, graying beard and broad bottom: McMillan, slight of build, with a white Ben Hogan-style hat on his head.
They have been playing together for a decade, prompting Fleming, whose serve was broken four times yesterday to wish, "I hope they retire tomorrow."
But the Wimbledon doubles champions have no plans to quit. Instead, they'd like to see doubles get more recognition and prize money. "The players feel doubles gets a raw deal," Hewitt said. "The public enjoys it, and often doubles is the savior of tennis tournaments."
King, 34, losing in mixed doubles while competing in her 26th final, refused to state her future plans. "I would like the feeling of winning one more time," said King, who won her first title here in doubles in 1961. "But if I come back it will be for playing at Wimbledon, not for trying to win my 20th title. I love to play tennis."