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The sensational dotent of Honri Cochet, the favourite for the men's singles cham- pionship, by a comparativo outsider, Nigel Sharpe, In straight sets, was the feature of the ploy on the opening day of tho Wimbledon lawn tennis tourna- ment.
The tournament opened In brilliant weather, and Is more popular than ever as a social event. Tho second match on the centre court, boforo crowded stands, saw the biggest sensation for several years, In the absence of Tilden and Lacoste It was regarded as almost a cer- tainty that Cochet would carry off the singles championship for 1931, but Cochet only showed a shadow of his former self. He had not fully recovered from an at- tack of Influenza, and consequently lack- ed practice before meeting Sharpe. His conqueror has never hitherto been re- garded in the first flight, but was found to have a vein of great steadiness and patience.. Cochet, hero and there, show- ed a patch of his normal brilliance, but beat himself by his own errors.
Nobody was surprised at the opening by the apparent nonchalance of "fivo set Cochet," but * len he tried and found himself unable to call on his reserves In tho third set, there was a breathless silence. Sharpe had two match points before Cochet hit out the deciding ball. The defeat of Cochet gives hope of ending the French reign,' but Borotra Is still in, after a terrific four set struggle against the Yorkshire champion, Smith. A new- comer, In the Spaniard, Mater, unexpect- edly beat the South Afrlran Davis Cup player, Farquharson. Britain's hopes now centre on Perry and Austin.
MEN'S SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP. First round: Nigel Sharpe (Britain), beat H. Cochet (France), 0-1, 0-2. 0-3; J. Barbara (France), beat Smith (B.italn), 0-4. 4-6, 0-0. 0-1; Jlroh Satoh (Japan), beat Kirby (South Africa), 0-3, 0-2. 6-4; Frank Shields (U.S.A.). beat Spence (South Africa), 0-1, 6-1, 6-2. Other first round winners were:-F. J. Perry (Britain), H. W. Austin (Britain), C. Boussus (Franco), S. D. wood (U.S.A.), Maliroy (Britain), secured a walk-over.