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The Spike or Victoria University College Review, June 1927



Though none of last year's champions were in Auckland this year to defend their titles yet the matches which were played on Saturday and Tuesday at the Stanley Street Courts, produced Tennis of a very high standard. The control of the Tournament was good and the weather behaved itself, so everything went without a hitch.

Early on Saturday morning a start was made with the singles matches, and Victoria's main hope in the men's event—namely R. Ferkins had a stern struggle with Nicholson of Auckland. Nicholson is one of those disconcerting players who never know when they are beaten, and by means of his speed in covering the court, and an awkward looking push stroke, he returns many seemingly impossible balls. During the first set Nicholson made some wonderful recoveries and as Ferkins did not, during this set, finish off the rallies with his customary accuracy, the Auckland player pressed him all the way. However, the first set went to Ferkins, 8-6, and in the second set Nicholson began to tire. The Wellington player had by this time played himself in, and was finding the side lines and corners with remarkable consistency. Consequently Ferkins had very little difficulty in winning this set 6-2.

In the second round Ferkins had to meet Hunter of Canterbury. This player who is one of the hard hitting type, plays a very pretty game, but the Victoria man was too consistent for him. Ferkins contented himself with playing a defensive game and really allowed Hunter to beat himself. The score were 6-3; 6-2.

Victoria's second string, B. R. O'Brien met Chisholm of Otago in the first round, and, not finding his true form went down rather easily 6-4; 6-1. Chisholm, however, is a very much improved player, as was evidenced by his defeat of Ferkins in the final. His chief assets are a good service, a steady drive of good length, with which he finds the side lines with splendid accuracy and a severe smash.

At the commencement of the final on Tuesday afternoon the hopes of Victoria's supporters were high, for last thing in the morning, Ferkins had shown brilliant form in winning the Combined Doubles semi-final against Hardy and Miss Mueller of Auckland. Chisholm, however, quickly settled on to his game, and by good services and steady driving he won the first set 6-3. Ferkins was unable to make his first service function and the length and consistency of Chisholm's drives prevented him from gaining the net, from which position he usually makes his winning shots.

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In the second set Ferkins rallied and as Chisholm went off slightly, the second set went to the Wellington man 6-3. In the third set, however, Chisholm again steadied, and by sound tennis outplayed Ferkins and won the third set 6-2.

In the women's singles, Miss Cameron of Victoria put up a sterling performance against Miss Miller of Auckland. In the first set Miss Miller played nearly everything to Miss Cameron's backhand, but in this department Miss Cameron showed wonderful steadiness and on several occasions scored clean aces with her backhand. The Wellington girl seized every opportunity of going for aces and won the first set 6-2 with good tennis. In the second and third sets, however, Miss Miller's well-known steadiness prevailed, the Auckland player winning both, the scores being 6-3; 6-1. Miss Cameron however, gained the distinction of being the only player in the Tournament to take a set from Miss Miller, who eventually won the Women's Singles' Championship for Auckland.

Miss Sheppard who was Victoria's first string was defeated by Miss Whitelaw of Auckland 6-4; 6-1.

In the Men's Doubles both Victoria's pairs were eliminated in the first round; Ferkins and O'Brien met Watson and Earle, who though classed as the second Otago pair, were probably a stronger combination than Chisholm and Mercer. A good contest resulted with the issue in doubt right up to the finish. The brilliance of Earl's play was probably the deciding factor in this match which was won by the Otago pair 6-1; 5-7; 7-5.

Scott and Paul were put out by the first Otago pair, Chisholm and Mercer, a match which was devoid of interest since the issue was never in doubt. Scott played well, but Paul failed to strike form, save in patches. The Otago pair won 6-3; 6-1.

The Ladies Doubles saw two Auckland pairs fight out the final. Misses Sheppard and Cameron won their first match against Misses Richards and Armstrong (Canterbury University College) 6-2; 6-5, but were defeated in the semi-final by Misses Whitelaw and Brownlee (Auckland University College) 6-4; 6-1. Misses Goodwin and Briggs, our second pair were defeated by Misses Scott and Jones (Canterbury University College) 6-1; 5-6; 6-2 after a good fight.

In the Combined Doubles, a Victoria pair, Miss Sheppard and Ferkins were runners-up. They won the first match against the second Canterbury pair fairly easily 6-3; 6-2, and after losing the first set to Hardy and Miss Mueller 1-6, by brilliant play on the part of Ferkins they won the second and third sets 7-5; 6-1.

In the final they were defeated by Hunter and Miss Scott of Canterbury 6-3; 6-2 after a good game. This Canterbury pair met and defeated Scott and Miss Cameron, 6-4; 6-1 in the first round.

So the conclusion of the Tennis found Otago with the Men's Singles Championship and Canterbury with the Combined Doubles Championship while Auckland with both the Women's and Men's Doubles, and also the Women's Singles Championships, were the winners of the Tennis Cup.

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V.U.C. Athletic Team, Winners Athletic Shield, 1927 Tournament. Photo by Vinsen.

V.U.C. Athletic Team, Winners Athletic Shield, 1927 Tournament. Photo by Vinsen.

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One point stands out, Victoria's Doubles representatives must get more practice together. It is useless for a doubles pair to go to a Championship Tournament having had little or no practice together, and yet that is what Victoria's representatives try to do. It is little wonder that our doubles teams meet with such scant success.