[Signature: Violet M. Pinckney]
MISS D. BOOTHBY
Without doubt my most exciting match was the final last year at Wimbledon. In every player’s heart there must be a faint hope that one day she may win the All England Championship. At least it has always been in mine.
From Christmas and all through the spring my family and friends had dinned into my ears that now was my chance, and if I did not win this year I never would. Only when I was leading one set up and 2-love in the second did all these things flash across my mind. I suddenly got nervous. Oh, the misery of it! I served double fault after double fault (I learnt afterwards that I gave away sixteen points in this way), and my friends told me that it was a relief to them when my service went over the net at all, however slowly. My opponent, Miss Morton, caught up, won the set 6/4, and led me 4/2 in the final set. All this time I had been fighting hard to regain confidence. At last my nerve came back—I was determined to win, and, only after a very great effort, just succeeded in capturing the Championship with the narrow margin of 8/6 in the final set.
It was not until I had finished and had come off the court that I realized how very excited I had been, and how relieved I was when it was all over. Only those who have had experience can know how exhausting it is to concentrate one’s whole thoughts and efforts, without cessation, for an hour or more. Fortunately you do not feel the strain until afterwards, when it does not matter, and then you can look back with very great pleasure and satisfaction on a hard-won fight.
[Signature: Dora P. Boothby.]
(Doubles Champion, 1903, 1904; Mixed Doubles Champion, 1904, 1905)
My “most memorable match” was in the All England Mixed Doubles Championship at Liverpool in 1904. Mr. S.H. Smith and I were playing Miss Wilson and Mr. A.W. Gore, and we had a great struggle for victory. I do not remember the exact score, but at one time our opponents were within an ace of the match. Miss Wilson served to me in the left court—a good service out on the side line. I played a straight back-hand shot down the line, passing Mr. Gore’s forehand—rather a desperate stroke, as if it failed to pass him it meant certain death from one of his straight-arm volleys. Perhaps he was not guarding his line so well as usual, under the impression that I would not have the courage to try to pass him at such a critical moment—anyway, we won the point; and eventually the match and the championship, beating the holders, Miss D.K. Douglass and Mr. F.L. Riseley, in a most exciting match—almost as “memorable” to me, because I hit Mr. Riseley three times with smashes. I remember that side-line stroke and those three “hits” with great joy!