Re: New South Wales Championships
1961 (December 1961)
QF Margaret Smith AUS (61 YER 4) bt Madonna Schacht AUS 64 64
QF Robyn Ebbern AUS bt Jan Lehane AUS retired
QF Lesley Turner AUS bt Mary Reitano AUS 63 62
QF Darlene Hard USA (61 YER 2) bt Fay Toyne AUS 61 62.
SF Margaret Smith beat Robyn Ebbern 61 62 (or 86 60)
SF Darlene Hard beat Lesley Turner (86 60 according to Court’s autobiography)
FI: Margaret Smith (61 YER 4) beat Darlene Hard (61 YER 2) 62 61
Margaret Smith wins the first of 5 consecutive NSW titles, a joint record with R. Payten (1900-1904). She recalls the final match in her autobiography “The Margaret Smith Story” p65 as follows: “She attacked the ball with more zest than she had done in either of our earlier matches and I relished the chance to swap shots with her. I broke her first serve of the match to lead 2-0 and when I took the set 6-2 I again felt that I had her measure. In the second set I dropped my serve for the first time in the third game as Darlene unleashed several well-executed ground shots but after that reverse I seemed to play even better than in the first set and took it 6-1.
We shook hands in silence at the net and gathered up our racquets and handbags and walked off the court. As we walked through the familiar exit fromp the centre court and out towards the dressing room Darlene was met by several friends and I was surprised to overhear her say in rather annoyed tones: ‘Wait till I get her on my courts back in the States.’”