SOME LAWN TENIS NOTES.
PROGRESS OF MR A. F. WILDING.
IF»om Ovm Own Co»mßpondent.j
LONDN, June 21
Last Saturday afternoon Mr A. F. Wilding added one more to his already lengthy list of triumphs in the lawn tennis world, for he succeeded in wresting from A. W. Gore the championship of Kent. But the ccntest was a close one, the New Zealander winning by 24 games to 22, or by 3 sets to 2 (9—7, 6--2, 3—6, o—6, 6—l). The first two sets were the best of the match, and it is remarked that in the epd Gore lost to pace and youth.* In many meetings on grass Mr Gore, till now, hae always been tho winner.
But in the final round of the Invitation Doubles N. E. Brookes (Australia) and
Wilding- suffered defeat at the hands of Messrs A. W. Gore and H. Roper-Barrett, the scores being 2—6,2 — 6, 11 — 9, 6—l.6 — 1. One of the critics who was present gives the following account of the play: — "Messrs Gore and Roper Barrett pulled off an extraordinary match against Mr Norman Brookes and Mr A. F. Wildirfg, the Australasian pair, which is due to take back the cup on a two-years' visit to their veldt, or steppes, or prairies, or whatever they call their land in Australia. The match was won on the odd gam-c3 of the odd set, and was watched by a big gallery. From first to last Mr Barrett missed little that eculd be saved ; his supreme steadiness overhead never railed. Mr Gore played as he played in the Championship Doubles last year ; his game was quite unlike his single game, for. keeping up consistently, he hit with positive ferocity. The pair played together as if they had done so every day in the season, though this is Mr Barrett's first appearance at a tournament this year. The Australasian pair, on the contrary, were not together at all. Mr Wilding shows best when his partner j« weaker than himself If he has two-thirds of the courfc to cover and plenty of space to open his chest and fling out his arm to a ball, he manages to do a lot of useful work. But on Saturday he was not comfortable in his part in the neat net play of the other three. Mr Wilding is never " neat." He is colossally vigorous and powerful. But he wants room to turn round. Put him in a four .with, say, Mr Ball, Mr Greene, Mr R. F. Do'herty. and Mr Holcombe Ward, and he would be (without disrespect to his splendid game) like a bull among the picadors." Writing of the final in the Singles contest, the Mail critic remarks: — "Mr Wilding and Mr Gore, the youth and the veteran, had a great struggle, which ran into five sets, and produced many fierce and exhaustive rallies. The Queen's man made a marvellous, though characteristic, rally in the third set when he was two &?ts down and three games to tho bad. The crowd cheered lustily when the exchampion won 12 games right off the reel, repeatedly outmanoeuvring his strenuous opponent, and making some beautiful sideline drives. The New Zealander, however, stayed the better, and was able to wait for the time when the Englishman's stamina should be exhausted. He won the final set comfortably af s—l.5 — 1.
There- was a large entry for the Queen's Club tournament, which opened this week in London. Mr M. J. G. Ritchie will er favour to retain his title to the Gentlemen's Singles Championship of London. In the first round, which was played on Monday. Mr Wilding disposed of Mr D. St. J. Duke (6—o, 6—l,6 — 1, 6—l), in the second round he disposed of Mr F<- W. Goldberg (5_4, 6—3, 6—4) : yesterday in the fhird round the New Zealander successfully opposed O. Kreuzer (4—6, 6-7-I, 6—o, B—6), but the German representative played well. The contest is continuing to-day. Yesterday, in the Gentlemen's Doubles, N. E. Brookes and A. F. Wilding «act and defeated H. Pollard and J. B. Ward (6—?, 6—l).6 — 1). and the same pair disposed of W. S. Andrews and E. K. Blundell (6—2, 6—3). Play is in progress to-day. Early in the week a team of Australasian tennis players, composed of A. F Wilding, N. "E. Brookes, S. N. Douet, and J. Roberts, played a match against the University of Oxford, the result being ft draw of two matches each. A. F. Wilding^ and N. E. Brookes met A. H. Lowe and E. N. Crowder, against whom they were successful at 6—3, 6—l,6 — 1, 6—4.6 — 4. The same pair beat E. R. Patereon and W. A. Fleet at 6—3,6 — 3, 6—o, 6—o; but in the other two sets the colonists, Doust and RcL-erts, suffered defeat at the hands of Oxford, in one case being defeated by Lowe and Crowder (6—2, 6—3, 6—3) and m the other by Paterson and Fleet (B—lo, 6—4, 6—2). According to a London paper, " To drink or not to drink champagne is a question which is arousing considerable interest at the moment in the world of athletics. While, on the one hand, we have lawn tennis champions like S. H. Shnith and Mr Gore asserting that they find champagne a splendid tonic and stimulant to good play, Mr Norman Brookes and Mr A. F. Wilding, the colonists, who intend, to strive for the Blue Riband at Wimbledon this year, consider that to drink alcohol in any form prior to a match is a mistake. Miss May Button, the American lady champion, agrees with Messrs Brookes and Wilding, although she -occasionally drinks diluted champagne at a supper party. Her rule is, however, not to drink any alcoholic beverages— at anyrate till the championship is over."