The third and final day of the Davis Cup competition at La Costa was scheduled to begin at noon Sunday, rescheduled for 4 p.m., changed to 2 p.m., actually begun at 3 p.m. and concluded at 6:20 p.m.
Apparently, it was over just soon enough for Brad Gilbert, who ran tennis' version of a no-huddle offense and quick-served his way past a distracted Jorge Lozano of Mexico, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
The United States finished with a rain-shortened 4-0 victory over Mexico and had already clinched this first-round competition the day before, which meant that Sunday's last two singles results were meaningless.
However, Gilbert managed to inject some life into the proceedings by rushing through the match whenever he served. Gilbert was even cautioned by French chair umpire Michel Perrot to allow Lozano the full 10 seconds allowed between points.
Gilbert shouted at Lozano, who was examining the strings on his racket.
"What's your hurry?" Lozano yelled at Gilbert. "Are you trying to catch a plane?"
"Yes," he said.
There was a plane heading to San Francisco shortly and Gilbert intended to be on it. So for the rest of the match, bad feelings blew over what had been a sort of a fun exhibition.
Gilbert once took a short ball and hit it right at Lozano, who turned away at the last minute to avoid gaining a second navel. Lozano said he was sure Gilbert was trying to hit him.
"It's not good for a top 10 player to do those things," Lozano said.
Gilbert's explanation was not forthcoming. He was on his way to the airport.
Lozano said he had already passed up an opportunity of his own to drill Gilbert. "If I had another chance, maybe I would have done differently," he said.
Rain, which had played havoc with starting the match, kept Jay Berger from finishing his. Berger had a 6-4, 1-2 lead over 18-year-old Luis Enrique Herrera, a replacement for Leonardo Lavalle, when it began raining again.
Referee Javier Sansierra from Spain abandoned the match.
It was not exactly Irv Grossman's finest moment. The promoter of the first-round Davis Cup match at La Costa found himself with a stadium configuration that meant at least 1,600 of his 4,800 seats had obstructed views.
Grossman blamed the company which erected the stands for giving him a stadium without enough elevation between the rows. Grossman estimated that from seats in two-thirds of the east stands and half of the west stands, spectators had little or no view of the court.
To make amends, Grossman offered a disgruntled ticket-holders box office refunds or exchanges for better seats. He said "a substantial" number of refunds were made.
Grossman said the problem with sight lines did not become apparent until Monday when chairs were placed on wooden risers. He said the contractor, who had already received partial payment, refused to change the elevation of the stands.