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NEW ZEALAND LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION.

CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT. CANTERBURY LEADING FOR THE BANNER. The annual championship tournament of the New Zealand Lawn Tennis Association tfas brought to a successful conclusion at the Eden and Epsom Courts yesterday. Canterbury is leading for the banner with 6 points, Taranaki being next with half a point less. Then come Wellington (5 points) and Auckland (1J points). This year has not seen much alteration in the holding of the championships. Miss L. Powdrell again carried off the Ladies' Championship, Mr. A. F. Wilding the Men's Championship, and Misses L. Powdrell and A. Gray the Ladies' Doubles. Messrs. Parker and Doust, who were the Men's Doubles champions last year, did not compete, and this year the honour was annexed by Messrs. F. M. B. Fisher and J- C. Peacock. The Combined Doubles will not be completed till to-morrow. Following are the results of matches which were played after we went to press yesterday:— MEN'S CHAMPION DOUBLES. FIKALS. F. M. B. Fisher and J. C. Pteacoek beat F. Wilding and A. F. Wilding, 9 —7, 6—4, 5 —7, 6 —B, 6 —2. As was anticipated this was a long hard contest. In the first two sets Fisher and Peacock playing well together gave a fine exhibition of hard driving and clever net play, against the steady lobbing of the elder Wilding, and the fine all round play of the champion. In the third and fourth sets the Wildings played even more steadily than before, and the Wellington pair were occasionally a little disorganized. Fisher seemed to 'be tiring and played a much softer game than usual, but as the scores show the struggle was so even that by the end of the fourth set ("two all") each side had scoretf exactly the same number of games. In the last set, however, the stjrain evidently told upon the elder Wilding, who bad played a hard double in the morn,ing; and A. F. Wilding could not expect to cover more than his fair share of the court against two such resourceful players as Fisher and Pea-cock. However, the struggle was fought out keenly to the end. The elder Wilding displayed remarkable activity and skill near the net, and lobbed well for the greater part of the game. A. F. Wilding having rather more than -half the court to protect, could not play with his usual freedom, but frequently brought off brilliant volleys and effected clever "eaves.' - Of the winners, Fisher was the more aggressive, and many of his short vol-lcj-s and recoveries of apparently impossible balls were quite sensational. Peacock played the steadier game of the two, driving and smashing well; but it may be questioned whether more vigorous tactics would not 'have occasionally saved the Wellington pair a great deal of trouble. On the wihole it was a most exciting and memorable contest, and the elder Wilding well deserved the special round of applause that gTeeted him at the close. MEN'S CHAMPION SINGLES. •FIIS'AXS. A. F. Wilding beat F. M. B. Fisher, 6—l, o—l, 6—l. This match needs little description. Fisher was practically exhausted by his efforts in the Doubles, which had just been finished, and was in no condition to put up much of a fight against the champion. Wilding, who does not seem to undenstand what fatigue means, played his usual cool and judicious gome, serving well, and manoeuvring his opponent out of position by fine drives down the side lines alternately. He made very few mistakes, and though Fisher eilsplayed remarkable skill and power in dealing with anything within reach, he could not stand the pace. The match proved once more that the difference between our best men and really first-class placers is that where our men can make two or three good strokes in succession and then break down, a world's champion can go on making his strokes as often as he pleases under anything like possible conditions. The score in such a case is hardly a true indication of the comparative skill of the players, but it shows how far our best men fall short of championship form in ccsr-tainty and accuracy. LADIES' CHAMPION SINGLES FINAL. Miss L. Powdrell beat Miss Nuirneley, 6—4, 6—2. The match was over far t<>o soon for the spectators, who had expected a bard fight, and were delighted with the severity of skiß displayed by both ladies. But Miss Powdrell lias improved very distinctly during the past two years, and the result of yesterday's contest shows that her victories at Nelson last year and at Sydney were not a mere " flash in the pan." Miss Nunnelev evidently does not stand the physical and nervous strain of such a contest as well as Miss Powdrell, and Miss Powdrell has now at. last learned how to pick up and return effectively that terrible drive to the back hand, which Miss Nunneley has employed in so many championships with deadly effect.' Both"players stuck to th e back-line game, and though Miss Powdrell is not so severe on the forehand as Miss Nunneley, she is stronger on her back hand, and is even more accurate. On the day's play there could be no doubt about the merit of the win. LADIES' CHAMPION DOUBLES. Miss L. Powdrell and Miss A. Gray beat Miss Nunneley and Miss K. BraithI waite, o—2, 6—3. In this match superior net play had a great deal to do with | the result. Miss Gray is positively deadly j near the net in a ladies' double, and Miss Braithwaite, though she played pluckily, ■made a good many mistakes in attempting to cut off Miss Powdrell's hard returns. Miss Nunneley played up to the end, but she was no better than Miss Powdrell from the back line, and she was not nearly so well supported at the front of the court. This match was a little one-sided, but the play must have convinced many onlookers that in power and severity of strokes the best lady players have very little to learn from the men. COMBINED CHAMPION DOUBLES. On account of the large number of entries, it was not possible to finish the Combined Champion Doubles- yesterday. After the other championships had been played off, Miss Powdrell and E. Hickson beat Miss Braitwaite and J. Peacock. °— 2 , 6—_ Miss Powdrell was of course too strong for Miss Braithwaite, and she •frequently beat Peacock at the net with magnificent drives. Hickso n deserves praise for his dashing play; in fact, he showed by far the best form in driving and smashing that he has yet displayed in public here. In the third round of the Combined, Miss. Travers and Fisher have still to meet Miss Nunneley and A. G. Wilding, and the winners will pQay Miss Williams and Blair in the 4th round. In the other

half of the draw, Miss Gray and Da I Keith will meet Miss Powdrell and Hick. ' '•"' 1 son. There is thus every prospect of v -.] 1 fine finish for the Combined champion- " ships, which will be played off on Friday • Apart from these, the N.Z. Championship ' V ■ Meeting closed yesterday. It has been • ■■■'**■'! [ in every way a success, and the courts,' -" thanks largely to the care of the ground superintendent, Mr. L. Mair, have played * splendidly throughout. The public at- : tendance has been large and enthusiastic,'. '■'; and the local committee, and more espe- -'' cialty the indefatigable secretary, Mr. T 'V V Gregson, and his assistant, Mr. A. Martin, '- deserve hearty congratulations upon th« V successful issue of their arduous labours, AUCKLAND PROVINCIAL TOUBNAf ' ■ MENT. .- ■- . ; SPLENDID ENTRIES. The annual provincial tournament, on ganised by the Auckland Lawn TenniiV''. 1 Association, begins at the Eden and EnV-iV som lawns to-morrow, at half-past nimy* and will be continued on Saturday, Mon-VV' day and Tuesday. The entries this yeat'V'':. are so large that two additional court*-V haVe been provided, making eight in all. « Messrs. Wilding, Fisher, Peacock, and the- V other cracks from the South are staying ". ' over for the tournament, so some interesting play will be witnessed. In addi- '•■",-. I tion to the provincial championships and,". ! the handicap matches on the programme, V J spectators will also be able to see the'-'V j final in the combined championship- j doubles of the New Zealand Association's -'».•[ tournament, which was not concluded yes». - ( terday. "WV

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NEW ZEALAND LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 310, 30 December 1909

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NEW ZEALAND LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 310, 30 December 1909

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