(From Our Special Correspondent)'. LONTION, July 28. It may be, as a certain supremely confident Antipodean writer on tennis has insisted with something akin to "damnable iteration," that the methods of our English lawn tennis player- are "out-of-date" and generally speaking terribly inferior to those adopted by the forefront players of America and Australasia. If, however, we look squarely at the results of the championship series at Wimbledon and the Dwight Davis Cup contests the average ifiah, who does not understand the niceties of the game, and is prone to judge the pudding in the eating, is forced to one of two conclusions; either that the leading exponents of the orthodox English style of play are greater than the leading players of the rival schools, or that the game as played by the best of our Home exponents is safer for match winning purposes than the more "scientific" game exhibited by the cracks among our visitors.
The caustic critics of the game as played by H. L. Doherty and S. H. Smith—to take onr two best singlehanded players—have been ever harping on the "brainy" nature of our visitors' tennis, and contrasting it with that of our men greatly to the disparagement of the latter style. From the play of men like Norman Brookes, Beals Wright and Lamed our. men undoubtedly l_am- ' ed a good deal. But so far as Doherty and Smith are concerned these players ] do not appear to have changed their ; style of play in essentials as a result Of . their meetings with our visitors, a_:d in ] the Dwight-Davis Cup contest it was | particularly noticeable that the English representatives kept as much to their '' individual methods as the tactics of ' their opponents would permit them to ; do. They did not attempt to play after : the manner of their respective rivals, ' and the Challenge Round resolved itself : into a duel between the English and the ' Yankee styles of play. This was es- • pecially the case in Smith's bouts with Lamed and Cothier, in which the En- ' glishman's persistent driving to the corners kept his opponents well at the : back of v the court and prevented them making much use of their clever net play- H.J-, Doherty, as usual, was much more versatile than Smith, and brought all sorts of strokes into his play, occasionally getting quite as much spin on to the ball as his opponents, but he was to all intents and purposes the Doherty of former" years, particularly when matters were going against him. His old style always seemed to serve him best when the pinch came, and it was the policy of steadiness adherence to his old tactics that enabled him to emerge triumphant. I will not weary you with details of the deciding round. Suffice it to say that H. L. Doherty beat Holcombe Ward by three sets to two and 29 games to 18, and Lamed by 3 to 2 and 26 games to 24, whilst Smith beat Lamed by three sets to one and 23 games to 19, and Clothier (who took the place of Beals Wright, who was prevented from playing by a s-tidden family bereavement) by three,sets to one and 21 games to 14. In the doubles, though R. F. Doherty was by ho means at his best and was palpably short of training, the famous brothers gave Ward and Wright a three sets to two beating after two hours play, securing 32 games to their opponents' 26. Thus ihe Englishmen "renewed their lease of the Davis Cup by five matches to love, 15 sets to 8, and -31 games to 101. The final of the Kent All-comers' Championship, which was postponed from the Beckenham week owing to wet weather, was decided last Saturday at bledon, when Norman _"rooke_ ? though playihg far below his proper form for the most part, managed to beat A W. Gore by three sets to two and 28 gameto 21. The previous holder of the title was the late Dr. H. S. Mahony, who met his death through a bicycle accident in Ireland during the early days of the Championship Meeting at Wimbledon. Brookes has been exhibiting his powers this week at the Edgbaston Tournament, and in the Midland Counties Championship Cup has qualified to meet G. W. Hillyard in the semi-final, which will be played to-day, weather permitting. He should have no great difficulty in disposing of Hillyard, in which ease he will have to meet either S. H. Smith or Dr. W. V. Evans in the final— most probably the former, ia which case the Australian will have to be at his very best to secure the Midland Championship. On their respective form at Wimble don in the final match of the AR-earners' Championship, which Brooke* won, and thus qualified te meat H. L. Dohertv, there was very little to choose between the Australian and Smith, and on more recent form, as exhibited in their respective matches against the Americans, the Gloucester player ought to prom the victor. A. F. Wilding was successful in winning the Thompson Challenge Cup in the Singles at the Redhill Tournament, concluded last Saturday. Playing up to the best form he exhibited at Wimbledon, and M_eeti_g players generally •_ a
much inferior calibre to those %t>'isl to fece in the Championship and Dcvi, Cap contests, Wilding ran.through fU . preliminary round without being at aire time fully extended, and in the final he* administered a three sets to love beattag to his 'Varsity chum, K. Powell, tfc_ scores against the latter Being fL~V 6—2, 6—l. The sneeess of tie *_» Zealander at Redhill did net end t-ert for, associated with Poweil, he wobTS Doubles, the Cadi-ridge pair Beata* * Gwynne Evans aad Eafp by tßre*i-_i to one. ' ~ Wildings next appearance was £_}'£§« Crystal Palace Tournament, commenesd last Monday, and the New Zealiiaet easily vanquished his opponents id |&g preliminary rounds of the Gentie_a^ s Singles, but found his master in. tie final in the person of A. W. Gore* who beat Wilding after a splendid striaii, by two sets to love. - As at Redhill, however, the -?ew ZHn lander "came off" in the Doubles, i* which he was partnered by W. G. Ji B*t« chic, who he had beaten in the Unrifinal of the Singles. Tnis combination proved entirely S-tisfaetorV, thf pi*_ romping through the prelimfn_fy ro_nß_ and taking the final from Pe_rs6n ani Finlason by two sets to one, tße seore-t being 6--3. 3—6, in Wiids* -Zx Ritchie's favour. *
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LAWN TENNIS., Auckland Star, Volume XXXVI, Issue 210, 2 September 1905
LAWN TENNIS. Auckland Star, Volume XXXVI, Issue 210, 2 September 1905
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