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LAWN TENNIS

The third and final match between Upton and Grossinann proved, as anticipated, a very even go. With one win to the credit of each in the Auckland Association and the Eden and Epsom Club's championships respectively, both men were keen to win the rubber in the West End event. Upton won the match, 13—2, 5—7, O—S, 6—2, C—3, and the reside shows '.hat he is de facto as well as titular champion of Auckland, while at the same time the closeness of the last two match indicates that Grossmann's modification of his tactics was timely and well judged. It says a good deal for his adaptability that after keeping so long to persistent volleying he can play Upton almost at his own game, and run him to five sets. It is a pity j that conditions were not better for their \ match ou Saturday, as the court was slow and heavy throughout, and in the sth and last set (which Upton won) rain ( came down and made the ground slippery Both men were up to form, and the match is a very fair indication of their I comparative standing. Grossmann naturally got caught out of position a good ■ many times, from his instinctive impulse ito follow his shot to the net, instead of cutting for his proper base behind the back line, as he was bound to do in his i policy of keeping back till the time came for effective attack at the net. He has ' one very decided weakness which could be remedied with the greatest ease — namely, his second service. His first ball is fast and carries well over the base line on the bound, but if that fails he puts in a slow, high, plain bounding ball. This, to a man like Upton, is simply handing it to him on a plate for consumption. Then again there is no reason why Upton should continually miss low

volleys inside the service line—balls, that is, from 2ft to 3ft from the ground. An hour or two's practice with a ball boy would stretch out his game a lot. When men are so nearly first-class, it is a pity

they cannot accomplish the extra niche or two to give them a place at the top

of the tree. At Mt. Eden on Saturday R. Fratpr, from the handicap rec. 15 3 6, beat W. A. Brown (owes 30), 3 —6, 6—4, li—2. in the final of iVie singles. Frater is the most promising colt in the Mt. Eden Club. He hits out freely, and has very faii> accuracy and pace. He played so wefl on Saturday that it was hard at fiCßt sight to see how his opponent could hold him at all with the odds so much again'-T him; but it was the old story of expei :ence telling its tale. The rests were fought out mainly from (he base line, and though Frater was driving very well and hitting hard, Brown ncarlv always managed to keep his returns well back in the court, and so prevent Frater "angling" the return out of reach, until the younger player, in the natural course of events, made a mistake. Frater will certainly make a pla3'er if he acquires a sound know-ledge of theory. At the present time he does not get back to his base quickly enough, and conies in on the shots. Brown played an excellent g\me of the moderately "safe" character squired from so far behind iiis opponent's handicap. His activity was as.onishing, and his steadiness and recovering capacity gave him the first set by 6 games to 3. In the last set Frater had a good ,deal of luck with toppling balls. In one game, in which he started at rec. 30, two balls in succession struck the net and toppled over, and the game was his. Upton and Brown have still to play Grossmann and Keith in the Eden and Epsom championship doubles. All tennis players will be sorry to hear that it Is highly improbable that Dr. H. Keith will again play tennis after this season, as rheumatism prevents the violent exertion required. A season's rest and treatment may work a cure, but if it does not

the doctor's tennis days are gone. His style of play has always had to conform more or less to the demands of the arch-enemy, and we have never seen him

in the full vigour of his Scottish student, days, when he was the possessor of a strong forehand drive. The Xorth Shore final, Robson v. Shirriffs, is still unplayed. The club's sixth court is in course of construction. The ParneU Club matches are over, with the exception of the final of the Combined Handicap Doubles, in which Duthie and Miss Kenny (scratch) meet Mowbray and Mrs. Freeman (owe 30 :s-6). On Saturday last Swanston, champion of Wellington province, beat J. C. Peacock in the Thorndon Club championship, Wellington. 4—o, 6—2, o—3, S—o. The last set was productive of the best tennis. Peacock playing a hard aggressive game, and leading at 5 —2, he wanted only one point lo win the set at o—s, and missed it by a matter of inches with a cross court shot which

just passed the Swanston, though I not such a hard hitter as Peacock, was the more accurate of the two. Both men showed lack of thorough physical training. A correspondent raises -the question as to what is the duty of an umpire who wrongly calls the fall of a ball in either a service or subsequent rally, and immediately corrects himself. -Should he, on principle, stop the rally by giving the ball a let, or do so only if a player has been put off his stroke by the cori rection? There can be no question that it is the duty of an umpire to change hi.% decision if he is convinced that his first one was erroneous. Xone but fools are j infallible, and the essence of umpiring is to give correct decisions, even thougn .it means a correction to do so. If, then, j a ball is, in fact, right, it must be playen, ! and failure to play the ball must carry a penalty unless the player was impeded physically or by the first decision iof the umpire. So that the whole question seems to be, Did the first decision really act on the player's mind and prevent his doing as much with the shot as he might have done? A good rule would be to ask at the end of the rally whether a let was claimed by the party who might have been affected. If he , does not. well and good; if he docs, the i umpire must deeidetwhether, in fact, his j decision did prejudice the player's shot, ' giving, of course, the benefit of any ■ doubt to the pla\'er who sets up the claim.

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LAWN TENNIS Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 85, 10 April 1909

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