"What of the future of tennis?" Ian Brodie asked the question back in August 1979. At the time Jack "Big Jake" Kramer was launching his book, 'The Game – My 40 Years In Tennis' which Jack co-authored with Frank Deford. Ian continued, "By the year 2000, Kramer predicted, all the world's major championships would be contested on hard concrete-type surfaces, sounding the death-knell for clay." Frank made known in 2009, "The 'Jake' wasn't an offshoot of 'Jack', but came from cards, where jacks are called 'jakes.'" 

In 1987 it was announced Australian tennis would to undergo a change (by replacing synthetic grass with Rebound Ace surface) to spearhead the sport into a new era. Harvey Silver reported, "The Australian Open has been the forgotten Grand Slam, rating a poor 4th behind Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the French Open for the better part of the Open Era (which started in 1968)." 

The construction of the National Tennis Center at Flinders Park in Melbourne would to cost $70 million (some $40,000 to lay the new surface for each of the 21 tennis courts). The event would to host day and night matches which could be played under all weather because of a retractable roof. There were said to be 15,000 seats built for Center Court, 6000 at Court No. 1 and 3000 seats at Court No. 2. 

At the $1.9 million Australian Open tennis tournament in 1988, Steffi Graf defeated Chris Evert to win the women's singles championship. "This is a very good start to the year – the best I could possibly have," Steffi enthused at the time. The first prize was $110,000. Steffi won the final in 1 hour and 11 minutes. The 1988 Australian Open ladies' singles final was also the first Grand Slam final to be played indoor. 

Heavy rain stopped play after 3 games for 90 minutes before the match restarted under the retractable roof. "In the first 3 games I felt good, energetic, and into it right away," Chris remembered. "After the break, the momentum changed and I just didn't adapt to the new environment. She (Steffi) handled it better than I did." Steffi raced to a 6-1, 5-1 lead before Chris forced the tiebreaker. "If you look at my record, I've always bounced back. I lose a few matches and I work harder," Chris made the point after winning her semi-final match against Martina Navratilova.

Steffi recounted, "I didn't have too much difficulty with the roof and lights, but she didn't seem to be into it. Suddenly she kept missing. At 6-1, 5-1 it was going very quickly. I was surprised. But after 5-1, I should have done more. I wasn't calm, but I kept telling myself I needed just one more game. Once I got back to 6-6 and into the tiebreaker it gave me confidence." Chris recalled, "I had my back against the wall. (At 6-1, 5-1 down) I started going for my shots and they started going in. It was desperation. I have to play almost a perfect match to beat her, she's so physically strong. She played the big points better than I did in the 2nd set. Steffi is a much better indoor player than I am."

Steffi explained, "The match depended on how I played. If I used my forehand, it was hard for her. She has an advantage on her backhand, but I think I go for the shots more. The good thing is that if you are playing her (Chris), you really get into your rhythm. Against Martina it's a different story." The 1988 Australian Open final marked the 34th Grand Slam final Chris had played. She won 18 times.

The explosion of big time tennis, Jack Kramer told the Associated Press in 1979, "It's the fruition of what a lot of people worked for down through the years – (Bill) Tilden, (Ellsworth) Vines, (Fred) Perry, (Don) Budge, (Bobby) Riggs and if you'll excuse me, myself. Now we have to be careful we don't blow it. Tennis players today (in 1979) have gained equal stature with the athletes of every other major sport – football, baseball, golf and hockey. 

"Prize money and endorsements run to more than $1 million a year in some cases. They are given prime spots on TV. They are lionized by the fans. As such, they must not overlook the fact that they have a responsibility. They can't take it all with them. They have to leave something for the next generation." In 1979, Jack ranked the best 6 all-time tennis players to be Don Budge, Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Richard (Pancho) Gonzales and Bobby Riggs. "I just think that for the equipment they had, their strong personalities, their ability to compete, this 6 would, on average, have done better than any of the other guys who played the game (to that time). 

"If I had to pick just one, I'd lean towards Budge. He was the only guy who was absolutely impossible to serve to and keep out of trouble. He was so good at return of serve that, even when he was 38, Gonzales and (Frank) Sedgman could never serve and come to the net on him. We'll never know (who's the greatest), of course, and it's hard to make comparisons because most guys have 4 or 5 years in their career when they are at their absolute best. But I do have the advantage, in making my judgments, of having seen 40 years of tennis."

Back in 1957, Jack Kramer predicted the arrival of Open tennis. He told the Associated Press at the time, "If we have enough tournaments, my tours will not mean a thing. But you've got to give a little to gain a little in this business. There's a lot of red tape to go through yet but I'd say that in 3 or 4 years (say 1960 or 1961) we'll see Open tennis. A lot of the foreign associations are dead against it and they'll have to come around. As for the United States Lawn Tennis Association, I think it will be one of the first to go for Open tourneys. It's become one of the most progressive-minded associations in the world in recent years. If I'm the best man to handle the promotion of an Open tournament, I'd like to do it. If there were 10 or 15 tournaments a year, like on the golf circuit, the players would make plenty of money."

Back in 1968, Jack Kramer suggested Grand Prix for Open tennis. He elaborated, "A point table would be kept throughout the year. Perhaps there would be a $50,000 prize for the winner, $25,000 for 2nd place and so on down the line. We might call it the World Cup. Each tournament would have its own individual purses but would count toward the grand prize. To achieve this we would need sponsors, a great deal of promotion and enlightened tournament management. If such a competition could be arranged I am sure no one would boycott any tournament. They couldn’t afford to."

Back in 1939, before the start of World War II, Jack Kramer told 'United Press International' he was convinced he had found an answer for tennis. "We've (Pancho Gonzales, Lew Hoad, Mal Anderson and Ashley Cooper) finally made some sense out of this brainstorming business. This year (back in 1939), the guy who wins the most matches wins the most money. Up to now, we had the only sport on record that paid the challenger more money than the champion. Any player who hits a hot streak like Hoad was can win $3000 in a week. How many pro golfers can do that? Even a rich man like Gonzales knocks his brains out trying to win that $600 feature match. If he loses, he has to win a prelim before he gets another crack at the bigger money."

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