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DOUBLES TO WILSON -STEDMAN

Miss Dulcy Nicholls Will Have To Fight All The Way To Hold Her Championship Crown

MIXED DOUBLES WILL BE HARD FIGHT

(From "N.Z. Truth's" Special Tennis Writer.) Disappointing m quality last year, the New Zealand lawn tennis championships, to be held m Christchurch at Christmas, look like being better than for three years past. It is no disparagement of their performance to say that both Charlie Angas and Edgar Bartleet scored their singles wins against fields which were not up to full strength. Not since the meeting has been held m Christchurch has there been such a high standard of entry and such likelihood, of spirited competition m the various events. This year the players have flocked out and though four men on the national ranking list are 4 absent from the singles — Bartleet, Seay, Sturt and Charters — and one woman — Miss Beryl Knight — from the women's events, the rest of the field is there m force.

OEAY, though absent from the singles, will be a dangerous man m both mixed and men's doubles, especially as he will come, to them fresh m the later rounds, while his opponents will have been struggling for hours with singles. Bartleet, Charters. Sturt and Miss Knight are all Aucklanders, so the reason for their non-attendance is obvious. There is a tremendous Canterbury team this season, and it looks as though more than one title may stray south. In the men's singles, 23 of the 43 men are from the "home of tennis," ana m the ladies' singles 15 of the 27 entrants are from Canterbury and South Canterbury. But though they ..... will present an even enough front §to the invaders from the north, the i tournament, for I the first few g rounds, will be I strewn with Canterbury casualties. The players from the plains will ! vanish from the lists more quickly than anyone else. V Yet, it looks as ' ' 1* though one title, 1 '" ' the men's singles, cream of the meetMiss Macfarlane Ing, will * stay where it belongs. Of no other championship can that be said, for the others are m a finely mixed j state. t Anarysis of the merPs singles show that the seeded players are D, Q. France, J. T. Laurenson, K l . R. C. Wilson, T. Rhodes-Williams, C. Angas, A. L. France, A. C.' Stedman and A. G. Wallace — two of them m each quarter m the order named. Upsets there may be. against individual players — last year, for instance, Alec Wallace 1 had to go to five sets to beat Orbell, j who at ' that time was tenth on the Canterbury ranking list — but the general complexion of the event remains the same. There is not a chance m the world of the championship going to anyone but this select band. : And the more the draw is regarded the more certain does it appear that Charlie Angas "will add another New Zealand championship to his list of winnings. He has the easier half of the draw, and his hardest test will be against the Wanganui man, Lampe, m the third round. Neither H. J. Pollock, of Otago, the Canterbury man, Warne Pearce, nor Lampe is good enough to get a set from j Angas if he is after it, and these three Wins will put him into the last eight without even being extended. Meanwhile, In the same quarter, Leri France will have been demolishing the opposition. France's first task is against Sheppard, who won the Wellington singles championship from. France In the days when both were m uniform for the Big Scrap, and who is not likely to repeat the performance. After that, there is nothing to stop France from meeting Angas, and there is nothing to stop Angas from / beating France. The dogged, Industrious France, once the terron of all hitters, is now nothing like the player he was. He may come back to form with intense practice, but he had not gained' this practice, and he will be definitely less fit than Angas for the strain of a hard five-set encounter. I His style of play will not bother Angas as much as other people, for the chami pion seems untroubled by spin, and Ani ' ' Bowls

gas's net attack and sureness of agressive volleying will be an effective counter to the flat, spun shots which France will send down. I^ower down, Alan Stedman will have been gaining access to the last eight by beating Alec Wallace. Stedman may not have much to spare by the time the match is over, but he should do himself justice and win out. The final is almost certain to be the same as last year. The semi-final will be between Don France, Rhodes-Wil-liams (who has an easy quarter), Angas and Stedman, and the final should be a repetition of last year. Here there will be a titanic battle, for France's control of the ball, his speed and brilliance, are superior to Angas's. The only thing he may lack is the fitness to apply the pressure consistently enough to keep Angas down. • Once Angas gets ahead It is all over, for he will make things hot for France. But the odds are on Angas. Hts even and well-balanced game and the concentration with which ,he plays are all m his favor. It is a choice between consistency and • brilliance, and consistency should win. The women's singles are not an easyaffair. Complicated by a superabundance of champions, they look as though she who wins will deserve it all the way. Mrs. W. J. Melody, Mrs. R. P. Adams, Miss Dulcie Nicholls, Miss Marjorie Macfarlane and Mrs. Dykes— all these players have held the singles title and all are capable of regaining it. The only thing to do is to go by, present form. The seeded players are Mrs. Melody, Mrs. Dykes, Miss Nicholls and Mis* Marjorie Macfarlane, and here the title rests. No one can be said to have an easy passage, but Mrs. Melody probably is favored most. Two matches, one against. Mrs. Adams, •win put her m the semi-final, and she definitely has the advantage over Mrs. Adams these days. Mrs. Dykes, playing m the second quarter, has only such relatively easy players as Miss Marion Marfarlane and Miss May Andrew to defeat. The semi-finalists should sort themselves out by Mrs. Dykes beating Mrs. Melody and Miss Nicholls just getting there against Miss Macfarlane. In either event, back m her beloved Christchurch, Mrs. Dykes, who used to be Miss MaySpiers and has m recent years enjoyed a position m women's tennis comparable only to that of B. D. Andrews m the men's should be a strong favorite for the final. To be a real test, this should be between Miss Nicholls and Mrs. Dykes, and unless Miss Nicholls wins m two straight sets, she will lose her championship crown. Easy favorites for the men's doubles, on last year's form, must be Wilson and i Stedman. Wilson, especially if he fails j In the singles, will impart more sting to his doubles play. Two easy matches put them into the semi-final and there, if they can beat France and France, who have never been j really strong contenders for the championship, they will plough through to meet Angas and Seay. Angas never has been remarkable as a doubles player, and while the encounter should be marked with sharp exchanges, a soundly-bal-anced Wilson and Stedman may take the championship. • If they fail, that title, along with the singles, will go to Canterbury. Whatever happens, Wallace and Lampe or Dyrnond and Loughnan are not class enough to lower the colors of the first Canterbury pair, who figure m the lower half of the draw. I

Wilson and Stedman showed brilliant form last season, both m the national doubles final, m which they were beaten by three sets to one, and against the visiting Australians. In each of their matches against Kalms and Teague and Sproule and Donohoe, they threatened to take the honors, and lost them only after a long and desperate battle. Here, they showed better form than the New Zealand doubles champions, Malfroy and Don France, and lost the New Zealand doubles title only on a bad pafch, which Wilson struck m the first set. If Wilson and Stedman get past the Frances at an easy score, the final will be over before it is begun. A harder proposition is the ladies' doubles. Here Wellington dominates the field with possibilities, and the windy city should have a plentiful supply of girls m the semi-finals. The champions, Misses Wake and Andrew, could scarcely be more comfortable tucked up than they are after their first match against Mrs. Scott and the overrated Miss M. Gibson, of South Canterbury. Their chief opponents thereafter are Mrs. Melody and Miss Myers, two solid players, and the youngsters will have to travel hard to get past them. \That the Canterbury girls can do it is undoubted, but only if Miss Wake is m form. Miss Andrew alone ! is not enough to take them through, but that solid hitting by her partner which raises so many easy kills at the net, is the chief weapon of these two outstanding youngsters. Lower m the draw, Mrs. Adams and Miss Duleie Nlcholls will have to overcome their fellow Wellingtonians, Mrs. Thomson and Miss Doris Howe to get through to the final, following which they will need to lower the colors of the Macfarlane sisters, who promise to be rivals for the final. After this, they will be matched with the winners of the MelodyMyers v. WakeAndrew match. Probably it will be . the former pair, who are individually sound and both too solid tat Miss Andrew. Certainly, the combination of Kicholls - Adams seems class enough to win the national title. There remains - A. C. Stedman the misted. Finest of all tests of combined play, this form needs a peculiar genius. There are some strong contenders, and the best of them are the D. G. France-Mrs. Adams, A. L. FranceHowe, Wilson-Thomson, Stedman- Wake and Seay-Andrew pairs. But while, the form of the girl players counts, the mixed Is something which demands a rare temper. The outstanding possessor of that temper is Noel Wilson, who, with his partner, Mrs. Thomson, is" the present holder and has twice won the title m the . few starts they have made together. Stedman and Miss Wake will not stop him, though Don France and Mrs. Adams may. But no matter what goes ill elsewhere, this Is Wilson's event. He can, and should, win it, with the game support and perfect understanding that will come from his partner. If the title does not settle on them, then it will go to Don France and Mrs. Adams, so it seems booked for Wellington, anyway. '

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Bibliographic details

DOUBLES TO WILSON-STEDMAN, NZ Truth, Issue 1306, 22 December 1930

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DOUBLES TO WILSON-STEDMAN NZ Truth, Issue 1306, 22 December 1930

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