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MRS E. WESTACOTT and MRS. M. MOLESWORTH, Austrahaii doubles champions.

MISS ULA VALKENBURG and MISS JOAN HARTIGAN, runners-up.

TENNIS. i

Joan Hartigan,

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONS.

A cheerless, dull sky did not damp the enthusiasm of the thousands that "clicked" their way through the turnstiles of the lawn tennis ground on Satur- day. Whether they sweltered in the uncovered stands, or whether it poured with rain-as it threat- ened to do all day-mattered not to these enthus- iasts, who are only able to witness Australian cham- pionships every three years.

There was an added enthusiasm on Saturday, as the two best players in the world, Crawford and Perry, contested the men's final, but none the less spectacular was the play of the women finalists, Mrs. Molesworth and Miss Joan Hartigan.

The twenty-one-year-old Joan defended her title against the Queensland champion, whose record is one of the most remarkable In Australian tennis. There were many who believed that Mrs. Moles- worth, who first won the Australian title in 1922,

MISS JOAN HARTIGAN, who successfully defended her Australian title on Saturday.

would claim it once more from the brilliant New South Wales youngster, but the latter was in bril- liant mood, and literally drove her opponent oil

the court.

Joan's display was really first-class, the class of tennis that only champions play. From the first shot until the umpire called "game, set, and match," she made scarcely a mistake. On a somewhat slow court her drives sped from her racquet with arrow- like rapidity, sweeping the side-lines, clearing the | net with but a fraction of an inch to spare, or serv I ing aces nonchalantly. She was in irresistible

form, and quickly won the first set before her gal- lant Queensland opponent could find her feet.

The second set provided stiller opposition for the tkleholder, but Joan was not to be denied, and outplayed and outmanoeuvred Mrs. Molesworth, whose glorious backhand was a feature of the

match.

Joan bids fair to achieve the late Daphne Ak taret's record. The latter won the title five times ta all, and three times in succession. This is Joan's second success, and she has many years of lennis before her. Critics were amazed at the improvement she showed on Saturday as a result ¬ęseveral months' coaching, and it is quite feas- ible that, given the opportunity of development and Mst-class practice, she may become a world cham- pion. At the present time she is at a stage where Me needs experience such as Quist, McGrath, and

Turnbull obtained on their Davis Cup tour. If an English women's team were brought to Aus- tralia this year our champion could pit herself | against the world's best, and, if she did not emerge

victorious, she is still young enough to learn from the encounter and improve. One must ren.ember that Crawford only became a world champion on

his third tour abroad.

For so young a player, Joan has a splendid record. She learnt her tennis at Loreto Convent, Kirri- billi, and was always very keen. "It was when I won the schoolgirls' championship in 1928," she said, "that I became ambitious, and hoped to go further in the game. I practised hard, and my first big success carne* when I won the junior singles of New South Wales in 1931, and followed up this success in the Australian junior championship and Wilson Cup contests."

Joan caused a sensation in the senior events In the same year. Playing in the City of Sydney championships, she defeated In succession Misses Dingle and Hall and Mrs. Buttsworth. "It was my first big win," she smiled at the reminiscence, "and I was very thrilled and more determined than ever that I should win the Australian title one day."

In 1932, Joan won both the senior and junior singles of New South Wales and the women's senior and junior doubles-a unique performance. She retained these titles again in 1933, and then achieved her ambition by winning the senior Aus- tralian title in Melbourne.

Joan also holds the singles championship of Victoria and South Australia, so that her Aus- tralian title is thoroughly deserved. She has be- gun well in 1934 by keeping her Australian cham- pionship, and if she maintains her present form there seems little doubt about her continuing on her victorious way.

A tall, well-built, blue-eyed, fair-hairtd lass, she Is a most attractive figure on the tennis court, very neat in her movements, and her flowing style with its spectacular driving makes her a favourite with the spectators-an Australian who would worthily represent us wherever she may play in her futuie

career.

The doubles title remained with the Queensland champions, Mrs. Molesworth and Mrs. Westacott, who held it previously In 1930 and 1933. They beat Joan Hartigan and Ula Valkenburg in the final by the sheer brilliance of the hard-hitting Mrs. Wes- tacott, although it took them three sets to de- feat the New South Wales girls. Mrs. Westacott Is probably the hardest hitter among the tennis girls, and strikes terror into the hearts of many when her balls fly past them at the net with a terrific speed-a speed that often outplays the best of the men players. Her cheery disposition is not the least of her qualities which appeal to the spectators.

I

I MISS MAY BLICK-Australian and Vic | torian junior tennis champion.

The young Victorian Interstate player, -vlay Buck, defeated the New South Wales representative, Nina Vickery, who had previously defeated her in the Wilson Cup contest. The youngsters played tennis of a high order, the rallies were sparkling, and It will not be very long before both of them are con- testing semor championships on equal teims with the ícigning champions.

New South Wales kept the juni.r doubles when Edna Mccoll and Ethel Chrystal defeated Dot Ste- venson, of Victoria, and Edna Spencer-Parsons, of Tasmania It was an Intel esting match, and it was splendid to sec these gills coming Into the net to volley instead of hanging back on the hack

line

The standaid of tennis among the younfa'ei play- ers, and the fact that the Austi allan champion is only 21, speak volumes for tnese who had the foieslght to inaugiuate junior competitions, and, above .ill, ninior coaching Austialian tennis owes much to those who fougnt for these things-Mrs. R L Conway., Miss Lloyd, und Mrs. Waiburton, of the Now South Wales Council, and to Mrs. R R.

Harpei, of Victoria, who devotes so much time to |

the coaching of the juniors in the southern State.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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