Re: Daphne Akhurst Articles
Daphne Akhurst's second Wimbledon (1928)
From the London "Times", June 29, 1928:
[Women's singles third round, Daphne Akhurst d. Helen Jacobs 6-8, 6-1, 8-6]
"Of the ladies, Helen Jacobs fell to Daphne Akhurst, but gloriously. It was match point against her in the eighth game of the final set, and nine times after that eighth game she changed tactics. She could not outlast Miss Akhurst at the baseline, for somehow everything that Miss Akhurst's racket touches comes back, so she volleyed her and almost brought off a great recovery. She would have done it, but that Miss Akhurst refused to succumb to smashes. She returned three running in one rally..."
From the London "Times", July 5, 1928:
[Women's singles semi-finals, Lili de Alvarez d. Daphne Akhurst]
"Lili de Alvarez beat Daphne Akhurst, of Australia, 6-3, 6-0. She won as she was expected to win: in the way that her range of lawn tennis strokes entitled her to win; and in the way that in real life, whatever the contest, the competitor with the more scientific technical equipment usually does win. But Senorita de Alvarez is so very far removed from 'the housewife that's thrifty' that in a moral fable she would have been outlasted by Miss Akhurst as surely as the cigale by the fourmi.
"Miss Akhurst appears, from her mode of addressing the ball, to play somewhat by the light of nature. But she has been champion of Australia more than once. She did return a number of hard corner drives from her adversary, but the rallies ended with a clean drive from Senorita de Alvarez that admitted of no return. When it was worth doing - and not before - Miss Akhurst substituted for her safety methods a drive that was anything but primitive. Miss Akhurst was a good loser; she was all over the court, hardly missed a ball to which she got a full racket, and hit hard the very few balls that invited punishment. But she could not be in both corners at once.
"Senorita de Alvarez lost the first game by overhitting; in the second she was - for her - tentative, as she reduced her length. The last two points of the third game she won by killing two services with two straight drives. Miss Akhurst did not trouble to chase them - and balls that a player like Miss Akhurst does not chase are rare even in the centre court. If Senorita de Alvarez could keep that up, the match was over; she could do so, and over it was."
From the London "Times", July 7, 1928:
[Women's doubles semi-final, Eileen Bennett/Ermyntrude Harvey d. Daphne Akhurst/Esna Boyd]
"In other matches it was, like Thursday, a good day for the Australians; and provided yet another success for Daphne Akhurst [who reached the mixed doubles final with Jack Crawford]. At one time it seemed likely that Australia would do even better for Miss Akhurst and Esna Boyd in the ladies' doubles won the first set [8-6] from Eileen Bennett and Ermyntrude Harvey. The English pair started by attacking; the defenders sent back a shower of lobs; the attackers temporized, and lost when beguiled into playing the game at which the Australians excel. In the next twos sets they resumed their own game and won them 6-3, 6-2; but their margin was less than it looks, for many of the games went to deuce."
From the London "Times", July 9, 1928:
[Mixed doubles final, Patrick Spence/Elizabeth Ryan d. Jack Crawford/Daphne Akhurst 7-5, 6-4]
"In the mixed doubles there was a time when it looked as if Patrick Spence and Elizabeth Ryan, who beat Jack Crawford and Daphne Akhurst, were also to be included among the victims of the Australians. The first four of the games were apportioned much as one expects them to be in a match in which Miss Ryan is playing; her side had won three of them. Then came a sequence of four games to the Australians. Nor was there any reason why it should not continue. In those games Crawford played the most consistently formidable lawn tennis of the day and, as he had taken Jean Borotra to the fifth set, there was no reason to suppose he could not keep it up. No stroke of his is to be singled out, because all strokes appeared equally to offer him an opportunity for winning the point outright. If it was expedient to wait, the stroke could be deferred without loss by sending a deep lob to Spence who was not confident overhead.
"When Crawford, leading 5-3, took up the ball to serve, it looked as if it was out of the power of Spence and Miss Ryan to keep the ball away from him without putting it in reach of Miss Akhurst, whose capacity to retrieve has been the subject of daily comment. But Crawford had kept back all his mistakes of the set for that vital game, he made every kind, including the double fault. He did well again later, but was never to recover the form of the first few games.
"For the rest of the match the attack was with Miss Ryan, to whom Spence, quick and neat in defence, gave the support she needed. There were amusing rallies in the second set in which the Australians teased Spence overhead. Miss Akhurst, who must have been born with a silver lob in her mouth, was specially adept at this, and her forehand return of the service was apt to disconcert the servers as they ran in. But the disconcerting was more often done by Miss Ryan with her angled smash; and at no time in the second set did it appear likely that she would not be in the winning pair of the mixed doubles for the fifth time."
From "Lawn Tennis and Badminton", August 18, 1928:
"The German Championships
"From a special correspondent
"Australia has every reason to be satisfied with her representatives in the German National Championships - recognised this year as an official championship by the International Federation - at Hamburg; they won three events and provided the runners-up in a fourth last week*.
"Daphne Akhurst had the best record in reaching three finals and being successful in two. She won the ladies' singles by defeating Cilly Aussem in the final, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4, after a victory over Esna Boyd in the semi-final, 6-2, 6-3. Frl Aussem had beaten Phoebe Holcroft-Watson in the other semi-final by 6-1, 6-4. Phyllis Satterthwaite had beaten Lucia Valerio, the Italian champion, before going down to Miss Boyd, 6-4, 6-1.
"Mrs Holcroft-Watson and Elsie Goldsack defeated Meryl O'Hara Wood and Louie Bickerton in the semi-finals of the ladies' doubles before losing to Miss Akhurst and Miss Boyd in the final by 7-5, 7-5.
"In the semi-finals of the mixed doubles Gordon Crole-Rees and Mrs Watson went down to Ronald Boyd (the Argentine) and Frl Aussem 6-2, 6-1, and Edgar Moon and Miss Akhurst beat Ronald Cummings and Miss Bickerton 8-6, 6-8, 6-0, but the winners of the latter match lost in the final to Boyd and Frl Aussem by 7-5, 6-4."
* In the final of the men's doubles event the Australian pair of Ronald Cummings and Edgar Moon beat the Germans Hans Moldenhauer and Daniel Prenn, 8-6, 6-0, 6-2.
Last edited by newmark401; Oct 13th, 2011 at 02:38 PM.