Thanks mostly to its mixed doubles pair of Butch Walts and Mary Lou Piatek, the San Diego Buds had won their first three matches of the season going into Sunday night's TeamTennis match in St. Louis against the Slims. In fact, Walts and Piatek had pulled through with victories to bring the Buds from behind to beat Miami Beach and Boston.
So, when the Buds carried a 19-17 lead into the final set--mixed doubles--Sunday against the Slims, it appeared another victory was assured. Not this time.
St. Louis' Sandy Collins and John Matke defeated Walts and Piatek, 6-4, to tie the match then beat the San Diego duo, 7-5, in a 13-point tiebreaker to give the Slims a 24-23 victory.
The loss left the Buds' record at 3-1 and dropped them a half-game behind idle Oakland into second place. St. Louis improved to 3-2 with the victory.