Originally Posted by chris whiteside
Treading carefully around Australian toes any moderate world class player could have won the Aussie Championships in 1935.
Round was probably lucky that Joan Hartigan (who had already beaten defending champion Round at Wimbledon and reached the semis there for the second consecutive year) had to withdraw with illness from the Australian.
Prolonged applause greeted Joan Hartigan, the Australian, when she defeated the British holder of the title, Miss Dorothy Round, in the quarter final of the ladies' singles on the central court at Wimbledon today.
The result of the match was a great surprise in the present Wimbledon series. The crowd was particularly impressed by the Australian's stoicism in recovering her best form and going after difficult shots, after an unfortunate line decision was given against her, and delayed her winning the second set.
Although captured by the English woman, the first set gave an indication of the strength of the Australian's opposition, and her determination to make a match of it. When a point was incorrectly given in her favour , Miss Hartigan was leading 4-2, and 30-0, and was loudly applauded when she served a double fault which may or, may not have been deliberate. After levelling at 4-all, Miss Round went on to take the next two games, and the set at 6-4.
In the second set Miss Hartigan led 2-0, Miss Round contributing to her success by two successive double faults. Miss Hartigan failed to hold the service, but led 3-1, slamming cross court drives to unplayable acute angles. Good serving and volleying gave the Australian a 4-1 lead. Miss Round again double faulted, helping Miss Hartigan to obtain a lead of 2-1, after admirable deep driving. Miss Hartigan, holding a set point, outed a backhand toss, and the English woman took the game.
Driving, tossing and volleying beautifully Miss Hartigan held two set points on Miss Round's service, but lost the game after a deplorable line decision. She was disheartened, and played badly, while Miss Round crept up to 4-5. At this stage, Miss Hartigan dropped another set point, but made no mistake when a further set point was offered.
As the match continued, the Australian showed further control of her drive, and finished with great coolness and determination, taking the match with a service which flew off the edge of Miss Round's racket.
Interviewed after the match, Miss Round said 'I just did my best. Miss Hartigan played too well for me.",
"The Daily Express" said "Nobody thought the modest, almost apologetic lassie from downunder could win."
In 1934, Hartigan (despite complaining of 'rheumatism' in her left leg and arm) won four tournaments in the UK (and was runner-up in three more) and made the Wimbledon semis.
In 1935, she won another three UK tournies (and another final) and made the Wimbledon semis.
Even forgetting her Australian successes in these years, her overseas success showed she was of much more than 'moderate ability' herself.
Hartigan was clearly the best Australian player, ahead of Emily Westacott. But another four women (Hopman, Bickerton, Molesworth and Le Messurier) had all played overseas - including Wimbledon - with some success. Entries in the 1935 Australian also came from South African and New Zealand players.
Young improvers Nancye Wynne and Thelma Coyne (who within a year would challenge Hartigan'#1 Aussie status - and presumably be considered of top 10 or 15 world standard) and Dot Stevenson added to the depth. And then we had the British team of Round, Dearman and Lyle.
This AUS v GBR match played in Sydney shows how even the AUS and GBR teams were, although Westacott had never played overseas and Bickerton had been out of top-level tennis for a few years.
Emily Westacott AUS d Evelyn Dearman GBR 63 108
Joan Hartigan AUS d Nancy GBR Lyle 26 63 61
Dorothy Round GBR d Louie Bickerton 64 62
Doubles - AUS d GBR scores??
Evelyn Dearman GBR d Louie Bickerton 64 57 61
Dorothy Round GBR d Joan Hartigan 62 26 63
Emily Westacott AUS d Nancy Lyle 46 63 62
Round/Dearman GBR d Hartigan/Bickerton AUS 16 64 97
FINAL SCORE: AUS 4/11/108 GBR 4/11/107
Tennis guru Wallis Myers travelled to Australia during this season. Some of his quotes on returning to London:
“Australia had more young players of championship mettle than any country in the world, with the possible exception of the United States.
Referring to the Junior Championships:."the play was of remarkably high standard. No decisions were ever questioned and their was no gestures following a winning or losing stroke.
Girl players did not get the same opportunities to travel as they did in Europe but, like the men, their courage and calmness was noticeable.