ANTHONY WILDING ABROAD.
Mr F. M. B. Fisher supplies the "Dominion" with an interesting account which he has received of :he Mentone Club championships. "This report," says Mr Fisher, "will help New Zealanders to understand Anthony Wilding's recent defeats. It shows that the Continental players are much better than Avas commonly believed, and that the standard of pl=v there is on the up grade." The Mentcne Club, which holds quite a classic championship, invited the best eight available to play for a valuable challenge cup. Very great interest was taken in the event, particularly so as Decugis, last year's holder, had signified his intention of playing. In the first round Wilding beat Kleinsohroth, one of the leading Germans, 6 — 'l, 6—4, Bergmann beat Inman, 6—2, B—6. Decugis had a walk-over from Richie, whose car had broken down somevhere on his way from Paris, and' Rahe beat Wagner, 6—o, 6—3. The semi-finals provided quite a sensation for the large crowd. Wilding, despite some very fine play by the young German, Berbmann, got through, 6 —3, 6—2, and then Decugis and Rahe took the principal court. Decugis had recently suffered his first defeat in Paris at the hands of the quite young Frenchman, Gobert, who won the All-England plate at Wimbledon last year, and it was rumored that he was off his game this season. He soon proved otherwise, for from first to last he simply smothered the German, his play being brilliant in the extreme. Nothing was too hot for him to return, and his hard placing fell little short of perfection. It was Sedan reversed, Rahe obtaining only one game in two sets. Spectators smiled at each other ,and talked of the morrow's fight with Wild ing.
The news had spread over-night, and tennis players journeyed from all parts of the Riviera to watch the final round Wilding seemed anything but confident of the result; indeed, Decugis beat him when last they met. However, he soon showed himself to be steady, if not brilliant, and with Decugis uuable to. find his drive the New Zealauder took the first set, 6—o. In the next set, Decugis played better, and notched four games to his credit, in the third set he played some fine tennis, and took it, 6—4. In the fourth he had matters all his own way, Wilding scoring only a game. The New Zwalander seemed tiring, and he evidently felt the trying heat and sultry at n-\s-phere most trying. Towards the end of the set he made no effort to score, but reserved himself for the final tussle.
The crowd of spectators was eminently cosmopolitan, and favor seemed fairly evenly distributed. Excitement had reached fever heat with many when the two players, after cooling drinks, again took the court. Decugis played brilliant tennis at times, but Wilding volleyed his low drives in splendid fashion, some of the volleying rallies being perfectly delightful. Wilding took the first game, Decugis the second, then the New Zealander ran to 4 —l, but Decugis was far from 1 eaten, and quickly made the score •i-all, putting in some terrific overhead york and low placing. The champion now let himself go, and drove every ball hard on to the side-lines before getting to the net, never following up a stroke that was not well placed. His cool judgment now stood him in good stead, and though the Frenchman ran him to deuce in both.games, Wilding took the set and the match at 6- -1. It was a splendid fight between perhaps the two best tennis players now in Europe. Wilding confessed to being more tired after this match than for many a long day, and there is no doubt but that the Frenchman will run him for ali he is wortn in the coming contests. Froitzheim, who has often beaten Wilding, will arrive for the Nice tournament, and, should he prove to be in form, he Avill probably have some-thin-? to say about the challenge cups. Still. Wilding is playing a better game than last year, in the opinion of many capable of judging, and last year he beat Beals Wright, number three, in the states, therefore he should look forward to the future with confidence.
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LAWN TENNIS., Northern Advocate, 9 June 1911
LAWN TENNIS. Northern Advocate, 9 June 1911
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