Ted Tinling, one of the most familiar figures in tennis, is not at the U.S. Open. Tinling is the international liaison for the Virginia Slims tour and a consultant to the Women's Tennis Association.

He is also an institution in tennis, one of the brightest, wittiest figures in the game and the man who stunned Wimbledon in the 1940s when he dressed Gussie Moran in lace panties.

He is loved by some and not loved -- to put it politely -- by others. The U.S. Tennis Association did not invite Tinling to the Open.

"We just didn't see any role for Ted," said USTA spokesman Ed Fabricus. "There was no need to invite him."

Tinling is flamboyant and quotable and gets a lot of attention from the media, which apparently doesn't please the USTA.

The saddest story of the tennis year may be Pat Cash. One year ago, at 19, Cash was the rising star of the men's game. He made the semifinals at Wimbledon and had match point against Ivan Lendl in the semifinals here before losing, 7-6, in the fifth set.

But this year, troubled by back, shoulder and apparent attitude problems, Cash is nowhere. He lost to a qualifier in the second round at Wimbledon and withdrew here because of his shoulder. Now, word is he is unlikely to play in Australia's Davis Cup semifinal in Sweden next month. Without Cash, the Aussies have almost no chance against the defending-champion Swedes.

Cash appears to be a victim of his country's desire for a new tennis hero. Since John Newcombe left the tennis scene, Australian men's program has been almost dormant. Cash was supposed to end that. Now, his future is in doubt.

Mary Carillo, who played mixed doubles with John McEnroe as a junior, now does commentary for the USA cable network. She is articulate and incisive and, unlike many network commentators, doesn't say things like, "This is really a crucial point."