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LAWN TENNIS.

Writing from London on October 5, my .London correspondent says: Mr Anthony sailed this week for Mew Zealand/ where he intends to devote himself'to a professional career. Mr VVilding's play in lawn tennis tournaments this year has been rather Oisappointing. 'the "Times," in its sporting notes, sums him up in the folowing paragraph: "One does not feel that in saying farewell to English lawn tennis —if it is to be so—Mr" Wilding is robbing himself of the material prospect of a .future championship. He is already doubles champion for the second time, and in winning in All-England title at all he has done better man his general form justifies one in expecting. Mr Wilding's game, somehow, has aUvays remained incomplete. It has developed greatly

in some directions, and his vigour and condition have helped to cover a multitude of sins. But his inferior back-hand and his weakness overhead remain as a

handicap, while when hard ipressed in a close, match, he has several times shown that he cannot .command that last requisite of a really good player-—tempera-ment." I showed this estimate of Mr Wilding's play to Mr P. A. Voile, and asked his opinion thereon. He agreed with the criticism, so far as it went. "I have always told you," he said, "that Anthony Wilding has never done himself justice because, he will not play natural strokes. His play has gone back since he left New Zealand, instead of improving—particularly his back-hand. He used to play a far better back-hand stroke than he does now. At present it is neither English nor colonial, but a compromise of the two, and a poor stroke altogether. Ritchie beat him by pasting at his back-hand. Then, again, Wilding is not a ' good tactician. In New Zealand we. have a considerable number of players who would be quite as good as Wilding with half the opportunities he has had. For instance, H. X A. Parker. Give Parker a quarter of the opportunity that Wilding has had, and he will make a far bigger name for himself— even now. I am saying this plainly for the good of lawn tennis in New Zealand, for there arc so many players out there who do not understand existing conditions here. When Wilding has beaten Parker, the latter has never been fully trained and looking after himself. Parker is a tactician of the first water; Wilding is not. Iv my opinion. Parker, when at the top of his form, is little, if at all, behind H. L. Doherty. I know perfectly well that many people who go only on form will consider that this is a biassed statement; but'if anyone has any doubt about it, just let him ask the W. G. Grace of English lawn tennis, A. W: Gore, now champion of England at 40 years of age. He won't hear of Parker not being equal to any colonial player that has ever come to England; except Brookes. Parker has really never done himself justice here, because, curiously enough, he has never treated the game so seriously here as he has done there. Strange as it..may appear, Parker never really knew how good a player he was. I am perfectly well aware that a great many people will consider this a ridiculous statement, but the fact of the matter is that Parker would have done far better in English lawn tennis if he had valued his chances very much higher than he did."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19081114.2.75.2

Bibliographic details

LAWN TENNIS., Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 273, 14 November 1908

Word Count
578

LAWN TENNIS. Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 273, 14 November 1908

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