The armistice ended today. John McEnroe, the No. 2 men's seed, defeated Florin Segarceanu of Romania, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, in a match that required much of his considerable talent, two visits from tournament officials and all the forbearance that Segarceanu could muster.
In another stormy confrontation, unseeded Mark Edmondson eliminated No. 8 Vitas Gerulaitis, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-5. Tempers flared in that match, too, but as usual, McEnroe was not to be outdone.
Eight times McEnroe was called for foot faults. That and the unexpectedly good play of Segarceanu, especially in the first set, disconcerted him. He stewed and simmered and complained, which disconcerted Segarceanu. "It did probably affect me a little bit," he said. "It was happening in the moments I was playing better."
The play in the match was better than most people noticed. It ended fittingly when Segarceanu was called for a double fault on a foot fault.
Wimbledon officials seem to be making an effort to reinforce the rules against code violations, but they did not go out of their way to please Edmondson. Edmondson, a semifinalist last year, eliminated Gerulaitis just as he did last year. In the next-to-last game, he broke Gerulaitis' service to love and then served out the match. Later, he complained about playing on a back court.
"It was the same when we played in the quarterfinals last year--they put us on the outside courts then, too," Edmondson said. "Obviously they don't like me for some reason here. Maybe it's because I'm not a stiff-upper-lip type of person who always wears a tie.
"As long as I'm winning, I don't care. But it would be nice to play on one of the show courts sometime."
Edmondson also complained during the match. He was warned at the start of the third set for verbal obscenity when he questioned a service by Gerulaitis that he thought was out. At the end of the match, Gerulaitis threw his racket into the crowd and later refused to attend a postmatch news conference.
"Maybe I should have worn long pants," he said, referring to the sartorial splendor of Trey Waltke, who played on Centre Court today.
Everyone was grateful to Waltke for wearing his long white flannel pants and button-down shirt, a reminder of the way things were. Unfortunately, after taking the first three games from third-seeded Ivan Lendl, Lendl's passing shots proved too much for him. Waltke and his outfit were eliminated, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. "I read the rules before," Waltke said. "It says, 'Predominantly white.' It doesn't say long or short pants."
"I am improving day by day," said Lendl, who passed up this tournament last year. "Wimbledon, Flushing Meadow (U.S. Open) and the French Open are the three big tournaments. You can win 22 tournaments a year, but if you do not win one of those three, you are not going to be world No. 1 and that is something I would like to be."
Hank Pfister, the 15th seed, lost to Ricardo Acuna, 3-6, 7-6 (13-11), 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4. He lost the third-set tie breaker when he was called for a game penalty because of a time violation while discussing a point penalty assessed against him for uttering an audible obscenity. He disagreed, as did the crowd, which was on its feet yelling in support.
Pat Cash, the 1982 Wimbledon juniors champion, defeated Fritz Buehning, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2, but not before Buehning requested a new umpire because he said he had problems with the one that had been assigned. The request was granted.
Martina Navratilova, the No. 1 women's seed, survived a rugged first set with Sherry Acker to win, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. Her doubles partner, Pam Shriver, of Lutherville, Md., the No. 5 seed, did not fare as well: she was upset by Iva Budarova, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Shriver, who sprained an ankle during the French Open, found herself lagging in the match. Twice in the second set she was up a break and could not maintain it.
"I'm half in shock," Shriver said. "I should have won it two different times. I didn't put away any volleys. I was hitting the ball well but that's only 30 or 40 percent of it . . . I didn't look past her but I thought I'd play a routine grass-court match and win, 2 and 2."
Serving for the match at 5-4, Budarova saved two break points. On one of them, Shriver said, "She mis-hit a shot that hit the net cord and went over. That kind of tells the story of the match."