On the second day of Wimbledon, twenty of the top-ranked male players, including Ivan Lendl, Vitas Gerulaitis and Johan Kriek, who all won today, signed a petition urging the Men's International Professional Tennis Council to void the sanctions taken against Guillermo Vilas.
Vilas, who lost Monday, has been suspended for one year and fined $20,000 for accepting guaranteed appearance money from a tournament in Rotterdam. The statement, signed by John McEnroe but not by Jimmy Connors, expressed the players' "concern over depriving, unjustly . . . one of our colleagues of his right to earn his livelihood."
Somehow it was fitting that Trey Waltke played his match today in long white duck pants and a button-down shirt, a reminder of a gentler age. "He came and asked, 'How do I look?' " said Ted Tinling, Wimbledon's chief for player liaison and designer extraordinaire.
Unfortunately, the match also proved a reminder of Stan Smith's age. The former Wimbledon champion was forced to retire in the fifth set with back spasms.
The All England Tennis Club, which runs Wimbledon, was reported to have taken out insurance for $3.75 million against legal action by players it might disqualify.
The club paid Lloyd's of London a premium of $45,000, informed sources said, to cover itself if sued by a disqualified player. Sir Brian Burnett, chairman of the club, had said that bad behavior by players on court would result in disqualification.