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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1924

Tennis Club

Tennis Club

The Tennis Season opened last year, or at least did not open, with a serious calamity. There were plenty of anxious players, and plenty of racquets, balls, and nets, but unfortunately there were no courts. The contractor engaged to top dress the courts was possessed of the "go-slow" policy to an extraordinary degree. Despite numerous entreaties and threats by various members of the Club, our none-too-hasty contractor did not finish the work until well into the month of November. Then there was the serious problem of marking the courts. Many thanks are due to Mr. C. G. S. Ellis, who, with his knowledge of surveying, was able to determine the extremities of the courts to a nicety. A busy gang of workers was collected, and the work was completed in a few days. Alas! Our troubles were not then over. The supposed and alleged top-dressing was of a most unusual nature. It consisted of the usual tar, but instead of sand our "go slow" friend had used fine shingle and sand. The result was that millions of small pebbles wore off the upper surface of the courts and formed minute roller skates, on which the unfortunate players would go skating in all directions in a most bewildering manner. The "spills" were numerous, so numerous, in fact, that many players contemplate giving up the game and taking on some quieter and more harmless game, such as football, in which one has a soft ground to fall on at least, and not a rockery. However, after some of the energetic members had brushed the loose shingle off our supposed tennis courts about two or three times, the courts at last became playable.

Inter-club matches this year were displaced by a new idea of a Wellington Association Ladder, on which each Club had a certain number of representatives. On the ladies' ladder Miss Gardner just missed representative honours for the match, Wellington v. Canterbury, while on the men's ladder R. R. Young and N. A. Foden were successful in climbing a number of rungs.

Our own ladder has been very keenly contested this season by the men players. R. R. Young has succeeded in holding first place on the ladder during the season, defeating last year's champion, W. P. Rollings.

W. P. Hollings has not been playing in his best form this season, partly due to the fact that he was studying for the March Exams, during the latter part of the season and failed to keep in good training.

F. H. Paul was very successful on the ladder, climbing many rungs, and was only stopped by W. P. Hollings in a match for second place. Paul is the most improved player in the Club this year, and well deserved his place in the Tournament Team.

Although the men's ladder has been keenly contested, the ladies has remained practically the same throughout the season. It is only on very page 67 rare occasions that a lady ever challenges for a ladder position, and it is on even rarer occasions that a match is played to decide the challenge.

The Club Championships witnessed some good tennis. The biggest surprise was the defeat of R. R. Young by F. H. Paul in the final of the Men's Singles.

The finals were as follows:—

Men's Singles.—F. H. Paul defeated R. R. Young, 6—4, 8—6.

Men's Doubles.—R. and M. Young defeated Ellis and Paul, 6—4, 7—5.

Ladies' Doubles.—Misses R. Gardner and E. Madeley defeated Misses T. Thwaites and O. Sheppard, 7—5, 8—6.

Combined Doubles.—R. R. Young and Miss Whyte defeated C. Scott and Miss R. Gardiner, 6—3, 6—4.

The Ladies' Singles were not finished, owing to the disinclination of the contestants to play off.

The Otaki Tennis Club kindly invited a team to play them at Otaki on St. Andrew's Day. Messrs. R. Young, N. A. Foden, W. P. Rollings, M. C. Gibb, F. H. Haigh, D. F. Stuart, J. Stewart, and C. E. Scott, together with Misses M. Tracy and A. Madeley, accordingly journeyed up to Otaki. After defeating the Otakians and spending a most enjoyable day, marred only by an unfortunate disaster that befell the Secretary in distributing the train tickets and obtaining the cash there for, the team returned home in high spirts.

We were fortunate in obtaining Miss M. Tracy for a tournament representative, and, as expected, she won the N.Z. Universities Championships. It is the first time we have won a singles event for many years.

On the whole the members have not been very keen during the past season, and the courts were seldom crowded. This is attributed to the facts that tennis throughout Wellington has been quiet this season owing to the absence of the inter-club competitions, and that the courts have been in a poor condition. Nevertheless, the season has been a merry one, and those who did play passed many bright hours on the courts and in the "teashop," excepting, of course, those whose turn it was to "wash up."

Next season is expected to be more enthusiastic. Especially so owing to the possibility of the completion of the Miramar scheme, which will provide 60 or 70 courts for interclub competitions. The probability of a busy season is all the more strong because of the fact that under the new Students' Association Consolidated Fund scheme membership of the Tennis Club has increased from 80 to over 120 since March of this year.

Let us hope that next season will see the awakening of a new enthusiasm among the members and the rising of some new champions to make a name for our Club.