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New Stars of Tennis Firmament
Miss Wynne Has Critics Tntrianprl
From MERVYN WESTON
(Bv Air Main
CHANGES are imminent in the lawn tennis 'first tens' of the world. In an international field at T5nurnemnnr.Vi Insr. wppV
three new luminaries captured the imagination and admiration of English critics and players. Brilliant futures have been fore cast for them. Miss Nancye Wynne, of Austra lia ; Yvon Petra, of France ; and Kho Sin-kie, of China, are these new stars of the lawn tennis firma ment. WHEN the Australian women left for Europe early in March it was to Miss Wynne that all critics looked for the major successes of the tour. For two years her praises had been sung. She had been looked upon potentially - as the greatest player Aus tralia has produced. A few weeks ago, she was unknown to English enthusiasts, who seem to believe only when they see. To-day Miss Wynne is the most talked of lawn tennis player in England. Not even Mrs. Helen Wills-Moody, who is to make another 'comeback' at Wim bledon after three years, surpasses the tall, athletic Australian in interest, rhe critics and the fans are intrigued. The newspaper critics have been cautious about Miss Wynne. They do not like to commit themselves. They fear to express their judgment. Pri vately they feel that one of the great est players to have crossed their ken is on the horizon of world honours, but they are afraid that the budding cham pion may not bloom. One who has been watching and writing lawn tennis for nearly 30 years, more daring than his confreres, wrote: 'I have rarely been wrong in picking future champions. I think that I have found one in Miss Nancye Wynne, of Australia. Nancye may lose at Bournemouth before you read this. That will not alter my opinion that she has greater immediate possibilities than anyone I have seen since Suz anne Lenglen. And Suzanne is a name I use sparingly. There has not been one it would be decent to compare with her since she retired. Not even Helen Wills Moody.' Not Relentless Enough Having studied Miss Wynne's game throughout her career, and having seen the leading English players,. I am convinced that Miss Wynne could easily become the world champion. In the power and effortless ease of execu tion of her service, forehand and backhand, she leaves the English play er:: and the diminutive Chilean Seno: rita Anita Liaana, the 1937 first rank ing player, m the shade. There is a classical quality, and rhythm in Miss Wynne's crashing service and sweep ing drives which they cannot equal. There are weaknesses in Miss Wynne's game. Her basic strokes are not yet under perfect control. Her volleying and overhead lack versatility and soundness, although they can be very destructive. She has a natural genius for the game, but has not yet acquired the real match-winning temperament. Her determination, concentration, andwill to-win are not yet fully developed. She is apt to become a little despondent if her strokes fail to function per fectly. She is often too sympathetic towards opponents, especially if they have the bad 'rubs-of-the-green.
fancyc Wynne racing lo the side line to make a cross-court forehand winner.
fancyc Wynne racing lo the side line to make a cross-court forehand winner.
Many champions are assisted by a slightly vicious streak, There is noth-| ing vicious in Miss Wynne's nature, but it would help if she were more re lentless. Though impulsive, she can play with the utmost coolness. She has just the right portions of nervous ness, confidence, and courage. Miss Wynne has great natural abil ity. I sometimes think that the game has come too easy to her. Perhaps the variety of competition she will meet with in the international fields in the next few months will bring just the stiffening influence to her strokes and temperament which she needs to make a champion. They will teach greater application and purpose. It was a wonderful achievement of Miss Wynne's to have reached the final at Bournemouth within a fortnight of her arrival in England. Like the other Australians who fell in the first round, Miss Wynne was palpably out of form during the opening days. Her style and technique allowed her to find form quickly. In those early days in defeating Miss Turner, Miss Southwell, and the sixth ranking Eng lish player (Miss Jean Saunders), Miss Wynne showed more patience and re straint than I have ever seen her show. Deadly Efficiency By the time she encountered Senorita Lizana, Miss Wynne was somewhere near her best Australian form. Winners flowed from her rac quet against a player who was illdis posed at first to stiffen her resistance. In reaching 6-1 and 4-1, Miss Wynne gave one of her most perfect displays. She was alert, patient, and deadly ef ficient. It' was thought that the senorita's famous drop shot might have broken up Miss Wynne's rhythm, but with her long, loping run Miss Wynne invariably covered them easily and dealt with them in cavalier fashion. It is possible that Senorita Lizana did not really try during those first 12 games. Her ankle, though it did not affect her mobility against the tiny Chinese, Gem Hoahing, on the previ ous day, may have worried her in this match. But the fact remains, that Miss Wynne reached heights in the first part of this- match that were never approached by any player dur ing the tournament. Then suddenly her game slipped in the 13th game, when she missed three simple 'sitters' which would have given her a 5-1 lead. Senorita Lizana appeared in the early part of the match to be greatly handicapped. In that 13th game Miss Wynne became sym pathetic. For four games she conceded ridiculous errors to an improving op-jj ponent. Leading 5-4, Senorita Lizana was in full .cry. Miss Wynne recog nised the challenge, and was galvan ised into action again. She was still able to call the tune. Lizana danced quickly over the court in the last three games, but could not withstand Miss Wynne's power. One has the oplqion that Senorita Lizana could never touch the heights which Miss Wynne can reach — and Senorita Lizana was graded first among her sex in 1937. Superior style, lOiin. taller, and an advantage in weight make a decided difference. Miss Wynne is 5ft. lOMn. and 10.7, while the Chilean is barely 5ft. and 8st. Senorita Lizana, who is to be married in July, might defeat Miss Wynne at their next meeting, but Miss Wynne will become greater. . Defeat Puzzles Experts Miss Wynne did not play so well against Miss Valerie Scott — perhaps the most promising player in England — in the semi-final, or against Miss Peggy Scriven in the final. She was better against Miss Scott .than against Miss Scriven, and won in straight sets. When one saw her hitting five out right winners to every one hit by Miss Scriven, one wonders how she lost to the English gii'l. The critics who watched are also wondering. That is why they have withheld their judg ment. The reasons for Miss Wynne's failure in the final, however, were obvious. It was really a failure, because Miss Scriven, in actual ability and equip ment, is not in Miss Wynne's class. The reasons were the eddying gale, the wind-swept, lifeless court, and inexperi ence. Of course. Miss Scriven added to the Australian's discomfiture by her wonderful consistency and amazing re coveries. If was not a day for an attacker who possesses classic strokes. In the first place the gale and the dust aided the defender: secondly, there was the court. In Australia we have seen our porous courts after wind, when they have not a vestige of that loose sur face material which quickens the bounce and makes it uniform — more like grass. We have seen them as bare as linoleum. They make stroke making: difficult, for the ball grips in stead of skidding and coming through. Such was the condition of the court for the final. When it was intensively watered it provided a dead surface. On such a surface Miss Wynne lost her rhythm, power, and control. She be came despondent 'at her failure to play her strokes. ' Miss Scriven also has a whipped forehand drive, and a rolled or looped backhand, and the court, while imped ing Miss Wynne's speed, helped Miss Scriven's scrambling defence. Miss Wynne, like Ellsworth Vines (in his 1932 Wimbledon form), and Donald Budpe. is so eood that her results in the future will not depend noon her opponents, but on herself. Like Vines nnd Budge her game is so strong that she can impose it on her opponents, who cannot make her dance to their tune. French Giant Next to Miss Wynne, the player to create most interest at Bournemouth was Yvon Petra, the stomy petrel of the French courts. Petra, who won the recent indoor championship of France, and who will probably be No. 1 for his country in the Davis Cup, is a most colourful personality. He looks and plays like an American, has the humour of an Irishman, and the gestures and ejaculations of the French. Despite his exuberant nature, he has powers of in tense concentration. He has the jaw and spreading shoulders of Tilden. He Iserves like Budge, and storms the nei Ilike Alison. 1 ? This likeable French giant Is headec
for world honours. Most of his play at Bournemouth was of world class. He ost only a few games in four matches in reaching the semi-final. He was un lucky to have lost that desperate fifth set to Austin after breaking 'through for 4-3. Petra speaks fluent English. He is keen to come to Australia. Per haps this year, and certainly in 1939, he would prove a particularly attractive visitor. He is brilliant in doubles. Drop Shot Expert Kho Sin Kie, as we know him, or S. K. Kho, made history in becoming the first Chinese to win a major interna tional championship. He won his way unobtrusively through the field to de feat Austin in four sets, and then won the doubles with the 6ft. 7in. Irish giant, Lyttleton Rogers. I have never seen any one use a drop shot in men's tennis with such deadly effect as Kho. He has wizard-like control over the ball, and disguises the shot so well that even Austin, a. compact runner, who plays from a forward base, was beaten by it four times out of five. When Kho adds his penetrating whipped forehand drive, an excellent service and net game, and a sound backhand, he is a formidable player. He has an athlete's mobility and Oriental patience. He sizes his opportunities like a flash. Kho, who was ? aged 24 years last September, is very tall for a China man— 5ft. llin. He was born in Java and played his early tennis at Sama rang. He went home to China in 1933 and won his country's national title at Nanking. In 1934 or 1935 he was at Manila ? for the Philippine champion ships with the Australians, Harry Has sett and Dave Thompson. He ' repre sented China in the Davis Cup in the American zone in 1935. He came to Europe in 1936, and has been acquiring a growing reputation, having defeated most, of the Continental Davis Cup players. Kho, . who is studying com merce in London, speaks perfect Eng !ls»- He hopes to visit Australia with in the next two or three years.