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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925



Owing to rain setting in on the Saturday, the preliminary rounds of the tennis tournament were not commenced until the Monday morning.

The standard of play shown this year was not quite up to that of former years, largely owing to the conditions under which the matches were played. Partly to the wind and partly to the damp courts, the players could not settle down and produce their best efforts. The weather could not be avoided, but another cause of disconcertment to players and one which could have been remedied, was the crowding of the side lines during the more important games. This was especially noticeable in the final of the men's singles, the court being crowded to the side line, a condition under which the players could hardly be expected to do themselves justice.

Victoria's team this year was slightly stronger than *hat of the past few years, but only succeeded in filling second place in two of the events. Had Miss Tracy, our first lady and holder of the singles title, been able to strike her usual form, we would have made a more definite bid for the singles and combine'1 events. Russell Young played well during the championship, and put in a very strong claim to the title in the final of the singles. It is with great pleasure that we note that Victoria's men are again up to the standard of the other colleges.

The standard of play in the men's singles was good right through. page 22 Young, our top man, in the first round beat Hunter, Canterbury's second string, and in the semi-final defeated Turner, Auckland's second player, who had won a great match from Smyth (Otago), the runner-up of the singles for the past few years.

Young's score against Turner was 6—4, 4—6, 6—3. In the last set the Victorian made very few mistakes and played finished tennis. In the top half F. H. Paul went down to Entwhistle, of Auckland. Robinson (Canterbury), by defeating Entwhistle 7—9, 6—2. 6—2. in the top half, thus became the other finalist. The final between Robinson and Young was a good game, both players hitting hard and accurately. Although Robinson secured the match in straight sets the result was often in doubt. The players were frequently crowded for playing room, and many side-line shots were thus spoiled.

In the Men's Doubles, R. R. T. Young and F. H. Paul, our first pair, after defeating Otago's seconds went out to Fish and Hunter, Canterbury's second pair. C. G. S. Ellis and B. R. O'Brien, our second pair, struck Otago's top double in the first round and went down 6—2. 7—5. Smyth and Fulton (Otago) were successful in this event, losing only eight games in the semi-final and final. Smyth, who holds the New Zealand Doubles Championship, was very ably backed up by his partner, Fulton, the possessor of a clever and fast volley.

In the Combineds we were perhaps a little unfortunate in that the finals were played off after the Tournament Ball—alas! In the top half the finalists were. Smyth and Miss Ballantyne (Otago), who had beaten F. H. Paul and Miss O. Sheppard, our second pair, in the opening round.

In the lower half, R. Young and Miss Tracy, Victoria's first string, had defeated in the first round Entwhistle and Miss Asser (Auckland's seconds), and in the semi-final had played very well against Robinson and Miss E. Partridge, Canterbury's top pair, whom they had beaten 3—6. 6—4, 6—3. In the final played on the Wednesday morning, our first pair had slackened considerably, and Smyth and Miss Ballantyne romped home in straight sets, the score being only 6—3, 6—1.

In the Ladies' Singles, Victorians had hoped to see this event fall to the Green and Gold, but it was not to be. In the opening round Miss Tracy, our top lady, was drawn against Miss Winnie Partridge (Canterbury), and Victoria won a very close and hard game at 6—5, 6—5. Miss O. Sheppard, our second string, went out to Miss E. Partridge, Canterbury's top player, who, in turn, was beaten by Miss E. Miller, the young Aucklander.

Miss Tracy in the top semi-final succumbed to Miss Ballantyne, the score being 6—2, 2—6, 6—2. Miss Tracy played clean, brilliant stroke tennis, but was beaten by the southern girl's consistency. It was then thought that Miss Ballantyne would avenge Smyth's defeat in the men's singles and carry off the ladies' event, but in the final Miss Miller (Auckland) proved even more steady than Miss Ballantyne and won in straight but very long sets. It was a great achievement of Miss Miller's, as she is still a very young player. To annex the Singles Championship on her first appearance—and against players of the Misses Tracy, Ballantyne, Partridge type is a record of which she may well be proud. We heartily congratulate her. By the way, this victory gave rise to one of the nicest unofficial episodes of the whole tourney, the Auckland team making a presentation to Miss Miller in the train as we were being hurried on our return to the "Wahine."

The Ladies' Doubles was won by Otago's top pair. Misses E. Ballantyne and I. Romans. Miss R. Gardner, who, with Miss Tracy was our first string, was at the last minute unable to accompany the team and was replaced by Miss E. Madeley. Misses O. Sheppard and I. Thwaites comprised our other pair, but both pairs failed to outlive the opening round.

Thus Otago carried off the Shield, by claiming all three Double events, with Auckland and Canterbury annexing a single championship each. Our congratulations to Otago on their win, as we remember their ill-luck of last year when they fought out three finals without success.

Next year should see some very keen competition for places in the Easter team. All the four men of this year's team will be playing hard to retain their places, and we have some good players who will endeavour to dislodge them, including Rowland Ferkins, the present holder of the New Zealand Junior Singles. With the ladies there should be very keen competition, as only one or two of this year's representatives will be competing again for selection.

Otago hold the Shield, and on their own courts down in the Exhibition City they will no doubt take some beating.