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LAWN TENNIS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909
COMING EVENTS. Easter — Otago Open Champions-lps and Handicap Tournament, at Dunedin Easter — Canterbury Open Championships and Handicap Tournament, at Chrlste_—rch ' Easter — *9V"alkato Open Championships and Handicap Tournament, at Hamilton Easter — Wellington Open Provincial Championships, at "Wellington Easter — University Championships, at Wellington Club's Courts The breaking of the season, which appears to have commenced, finds some of the club tournaments still unfinished. Both. West Erid and Eden and Epsom have not been so expeditious as they might be in getting their championships off, as in the former club a semi-final has still to be played, and In the latter the final. Championship events, at any rate, should be got in hand early enough in the season to allow of finals being played under conditions which bring out the points which are the essence of the game, namely, dry turf, clean balls, and line weather. It is no part of the game to be able to skim about on a slippery ground, as tennis Is a fine weather sport. Interest begins to lag towards the end of the season, and often players have passed the zenith of their form, which with most is a month or so after commencement of play. Every year there is the same complaint about matches being unduly prolonged, and yet club committees still seem to be loth to name short dates for rounds, and rigorously enforce compliance with time" limits. At Remuera on Saturday last the final of the ladies' singles championship was played between Misses C. Biss a,ud E. Cumming, the latter winning by two sets straight. Both players are of the steady order, and have got to that stage when they must cultivate a more vigorous style,' and not be content with getting shots back. One stinging drive is worth a lot of merely defensive strokes, and, without becoming rasli, both players ' mentioned can do a good deal in that direction. Miss Cumming is just making a start in club play, though she won the girls' secondary schools championship a year or two ago. More hard play will bring her on. Many lady champions play singles as much as possible with men for the sake of the hard hitting, and if they have sufficient endurance the i practice against a good driver does a lot for their style. Miss Nunnelly playssingles with men like Peacock and Fisher t as a matter of course, and though beaten, gives them a far better game than the great majority of men players. In fact, there are probably only a dozen men In the colony who could rely on winnino- a three-set match against her when in • form. All Auckland tennis players will bo glad to see that such a thorough sport as Miss D. Udy has recovered nearly all her form, which in the earlier part of the season was quite a stranger to her She has again assumed her place at the top of her club list, a position to which her sound knowledge of the game, heady tactics and brilliant execution undoubtedly entitle her. Miss P. Gorrie reached the final, but though she has improved her game a good deal by keeping her returns lower and of a better length, she lacks the severity which enabled Miss Udy to win the match in two sets. Dr. Plummer, of the Iris, has been getting in some practice on the local courts. He plays a strong game, and though lacking something in steadiness, has some fine shots, noticeably a hard service, breaking from the forehand to tbe backhand, and an ctdmlrable straight, quick, drawing shot on the backhand. From a review of the season's play, tbe prospects of a good class of tennis in Auckland in the near future are good. All the clubs have been full, and there ore many young players among the men who are very keen on the game and have taking styles, the first essential to sue-
cess. One obstacle to attaining the .front rank in the game confronts players or all degrees of experience, and that is the tedium of proper practice. Most of us play the game for the fun we can get out of it, but the player who i£ determined to step out of the ruck will have to make up his mind to a good deal of sheer mechanical effort and great patience in grasping the proper method of making a shot, and sticking to it until he gets it. We don't do' it, of course, and consequently we don't get on. We go out to our club grounds with a mate, and from tbe junip w.g §-* T to work to "beat him by manoeuvring to work off our best shots, tlie very ones that do not need half as much practice a? the others. If our backhand is weak, very likely we will run rot>nd tlie ba'lj to cover up the weakness. If we, cannot pass a volleyer we lob over his head instead of drawing a bead on the side line and shooting for it with persistent regularity un|ii w$ can bit \t\ -"'.''lt! Hooper, a tnaster qf many sports, and therefore of an observant and reasoning mind, used to say when asked how to succeed at tennis, "Take the game to pieces and see how every part is made up, and put it together again." It is high time that Auckland's name was inscribed on the banner which after every New Zealand meeting records. £he name of the province whose players have scored the greatest number of points. Not once since the institution of this, record has the biggest province of them all claimed a place. We have the men playing nqw who, with a dogged determination to master the ga,me in every detail, and to practice their weak shots despite the -monotony, can in years to come earn us a place if the3 r will.' The Easter tournament at Hamilton will probably take a number of Auckland people up the Waikato. In former years the visiting contingent has always come away delighted with their holiday, and if the weather holds, the trip is well worth the eonsiderati'n of all who can get away on the occasion.
LAWN TENNIS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909
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