[By Recokdek.] The Dominion championships next week do not seem to lie arousing the usual annua! interest. This is, no doubt, mainly owing to tho war, which is occupying universal attention, and has. moreover, unset tho holiday plans of many of those addicted to athletics. After all, our sports are as nothing compared with the great world struggle now raging between the nations. The man who gives up his pleasures at this time is to be admired, more especially if, in lieu thereof, he gives his services to his King and country. Fveiynne cannot go to the front itself, but those who cannot enlist for active service at home or abroad can >.lu something, each in his own way. There are many lawn tennis players in our own City whoso ties and duties cannot bo lightly cast aside. Some hold business positions and interests which cannot bo sacrificed without entailing hardships on their own immediate kith and kin. Some are the family bread-winners, and their going away would mean serious inconvenience to those who would lie left behind. These remarks refer particularly to many of our oldest and most experienced players, whoso lot in life has been clearly marked out. It is the younger generation of players, "whoso careers are still ahead of them, whom I have in previous notes particularly referred to. Have all of these given serious attention to tinquestions : What, has my country done for me? What have, I done or what can I do for my country in return? Tho entries received for the championships total only 51—an average, of 10 for each event —but there is material for some exciting contest?. Beginning with tho Men's Singles, the general opinion is that Ollivier will regain his lost laurels. To do so is his chief object, but to succeed ho will require to display his best form of two or three seasons ago. If he should meet Jennings or Wallace (present holder), thero will be a battle royal for supremacy. 1 shail expect him to come through. The veteran Borrows wili be again on the scene, and none will be more heartily welcomed. The Hon. F. M. B. Fisher is the most noticeable absentee. His Ministerial duties have kept him off the green sward since last season. Harold Brown, a regular competitor for years, will also be missed, also- Misses Nunncley and Travers. Tho genial ex-hon. secretary, George Goldie, would be welcomed also. Peacock. Kdwin Salmond, and Swanston do not now take their tennis so seriously as of vorc. On all past- form the famous Taranaki pair, Wallace-Dickie, should retain the .Men's Doubles. It played on asphalt, I would have given our local champions, It. S. and S. X. Brown, a good righting chance against tho Taranaki pair, for they have rare combination, but the want of grass court practice will seriously aifect the piny of all Dimedh players." I do not overlook the. merits of Brav-Wilkie, Sea y- Borrows, l'earse-Goss, and' Ollivier-F. -S. Wilding. Fhero are only eight pairs entered, but there is room for surprises. Very considerable interest will attach to the play of S. G. M'Dougall, the young Boslyn player, whoso form is so full of high promise. The. entries for the. Ladies' Singles number eight only. 1 think Miss F. Campbell will get to the. final in tho top half, although want of grass-court experience will .sevoreiy handicap our champion. Miss Brewster "and Miss Gray (present champion) will meet- iu tho final of the lower haif. At their last m-cting in the Taranaki-Auckland match Miss Browner won. Miss Gray is not in quite the same class as seme former champions—notably Misses Nuinieley and I'owdroll—hut she is sound a!! round, and shapes well on the volley. Tn other years all her strokes lacked pace? Probably she will win for the. third time, but. 1 am in hopes that Miss Campbell will get to the, final and I put up a big bid for the lionois. The Ladies' Doubles will be fought out between Misse.-. Campbell and Brewsu-r and tho present, holders. Mi.-ses (Tray and Baird. The former pair may prove victorious, but 1 must v< te for the holders. Miss Gray's volleying should be the deciding factor. Tho .Mixed Double? event contains no weak pairs. It- is in such contests as these, that the man with the big break service, usually predominates. Ollivier and M'Dougall both possess fine deliveries, but Miss Gray and Borrows long experience should equaiifc matters iu the t-op half* If Peai'se has improved his doubles plav he. should assist Miss Camp-bell to the-* final by defeating Miss Brewster and Jennings. The pair who defeat the lastnamed couple should be hailed winners of the final. The paucity of the entries makes it very regrettable that the. Otago Association did not run an open and handicap tournament next week. It- would have, thawn excellent entries, as well as given a few extra entries in the championships. According to the programme it is proposed to start play each day at 0.30 a.m. There are only about 45 matches to play altogether, and these could be get through in two days if thought necessary, but the | finals should be held over till" the third day. There is, of course, the probability of unpropitious weather, and it- is as well to have an extra day or two in case of necessity. However, thero need be no doubts about the weather. Duicdiu's climate is very reliablo when it settb:s down, which it did at the beginning of last- winter. It is to he that the executive will decide to commence play at about 10.30 a.m., and not com'iu-m x new matches later than 4 p.m. Tho sun will be in the eyes of the players facing the north-east right- up-till noon, and those facing south-west will get it with full force after 5 p.m. Another factor: the grass carries a heavy coating of dew till 11 a.m. There will he plenty of time to finish if play commences at 11 a.m. .and ends at 5 p.m. each day. Tho financial aspect is not promising. Things have changed vastly since 1904. People, who used to stay in town and patronise tennis aud other sports now go to the seaside or inland. Everyone seems to own a crib or a motor car. It is the vogue. Tho expense of running the annual tournament is increasing rapidly. It calls for the intervention of the "Foodstuffs Commissioners."
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LAWN TENNIS, Evening Star, Issue 15685, 26 December 1914
LAWN TENNIS Evening Star, Issue 15685, 26 December 1914
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