Re: 1923 results
Here's a piece on the semi-final of the mixed doubles event at the 1923 South of France Championships in Nice, one of Suzanne Lenglen's rare losses in any event in any tournament:
From "The Field", 29 March 1923
"The champion's defeat was encountered in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles when she and Count Soumarokoff were opposing Randolph Lycett and Elizabeth Ryan. This match was naturally the pièce de résistance of the meeting, for though Mlle Lenglen could claim to be in a class by herself among the ladies, the fact that the Russian was short of practice and had only entered for the one event because the present was the 'third successive year' discounted this superiority and inclined the odds towards last year's finalists at Wimbledon. Thus there was a great throng around the court, those present including the King of Sweden and the Duke of Connaught.
"The match opened auspiciously for the home side. They led 3-1 and showed no lack of confidence. But their advantage proved to be illusive. Count Soumarokoff's unorthodox drive with its excessive top-spin had caused some initial dismay in the opposite camp. Balls thought to be sailing out of court were left; the two advancing volleyers found them landing well inside the baseline. Nor were Lycett and Miss Ryan able to able to volley those drives with their usual speed; [?] was imposed and the opportunity given for Mlle Lenglen to trip across and make a winning shot.
"However, familiarity began to breed contempt, and with Lycett reaching his best form the balance was soon adjusted and Soumarokoff's defects exposed. These proved to be a tendency to volley the ball up as distinct from a decisive blow, while the extra time required for all his strokes, made with the elbow bent, was of priceless value to the other pair; it gave them the additional second to get into position. They won the next five successive games; the whole complexion of the match had changed. But it was soon to alter again.
"Lycett declined both in accuracy and vigour to such an extent at the beginning of the second set that, though his partner continued to play well, Soumarokoff and Mlle Lenglen went to 5-2. Luckily Lycett recovered in time, and as in the first set his side won five games off the reel, going straight to victory.
"No blame can be attached to Mlle Lenglen for this result. She played superbly throughout and had the misfortune to be supported by a partner who was never at his best. The champion was the first to congratulate the winners on their success."
Last edited by newmark401; Dec 11th, 2012 at 12:22 PM.