There are scores of games just the reverse of pleasant which are imprinted on my memory, but I am not going to revive them at my own expense, hoping they have been forgotten and forgiven to my account, by any unfortunate partners I have ever let down.
[Signature: Chattie R. Sterry.]
(Doubles Champion, 1899; Mixed Doubles Champion of Ireland, 1898, 1901, 1902)
A match that remains in my memory perhaps more than any other was the final of the Irish Championship Singles at Dublin in 1902, when Miss Martin and I met and had a long struggle for supremacy. At one time it really seemed as if I must win this match, as I led at 5 games to 1 and was within a stroke of the match. But I could not make that one point. Once when I had the advantage and only wanted an ace to win the match, one of my returns ran along the top of the net, and then, unfortunately for me, dropped my side. Miss Martin stuck to her guns persistently and eventually pulled the match out of the fire, winning the next six games straight off and thus becoming Irish Champion for 1902. It was very disappointing to lose after being so near victory. The score in Mis Martin’s favour was 6/8, 6/4, 7/5.
[Signature: Ruth Durlacher]
(Champion of London, 1907, 1908)
In recalling the most remarkable lawn tennis match that I have ever played, I do not think I can do better than give the Open Mixed Double semi-final that took place on the final day of the Kent Championship Meeting at Beckenham on June 1, 1908. Mr. Roper Barrett and I met Mr. Prebble and Miss Boothby, and the story of the match is one of startling lapses and recoveries. In the first set Mr. Prebble and Miss Boothby profited by the combination born of frequent association in Mixed Doubles. Miss Boothby was very good from the back of the court and Mr. Prebble seemed to make mincemeat of my returns. It was their set by 6/4. In the second set Mr. Roper Barrett was quite wonderful, and killed every ball that he could possibly reach. The result was that the set was easily ours by 6/1. Our opponents, however, had something in reserve, and, I playing badly, they ran away to 5/0 in the third set. All seemed over. My partner and I made a great effort and got one game, and we congratulated ourselves on saving a love set. Then the excitement began, and we added game after game to our side. I am sure the crowd beame intensely interested, and quite worked themselves up as we drew to 5 all. Mr. Barrett at this time was simply invincible, and I managed somehow to keep the balls out of Mr. Prebble’s reach and play everything to Miss Boothby, upon whom devolved the responsibility. My partner volleyed at all kinds of remarkable angles, and, as The Sportsman in describing the match, remarked, “sat on the net and was in complete command.” We took seven games consecutively and won the set at 7/5, and with it a memorable match.