[Signature: Ethel W. Larcombe.]
(Covered Court Champion, 1907)
I find it a matter of some difficulty to decide which is the most memorable of the more important matches in which I have played. Four or five as I recall them seem, each in turn, to have left a lasting impression on my memory for one reason or another. Yet none of them appear more worthy of note than the others. The match which I think I shall remember long after many others are forgotten took place last year (1909) in the comparatively small and little-known tournament at Romsey. For the first time for some years I had missed winter practice on the covered courts at Queen’s Club and in the South of France, and when I started again late in June, on moderate club courts and against none too keen opponents, I found myself looking forward with apprehension to my first effort in public. In the semi-final of the Ladies’ Open Singles at Romsey I met Miss Sugden, whose well-merited reputation as a lawn tennis player is more or less a local one, chiefly for the reason that she has not competed in any of the first-class tournaments. It was a close afternoon, and the court being heavy we both felt the heat very much as the game progressed. I never really looked like winning the first set; my opponent led 4/1, and though I managed to equalize she easily ran out at 6/4. It was in the second set that the real struggle took place. In spite of all my efforts, Miss Sugden won game after game, until the game stood at 5/1 against me and 30 all; but by good luck I snatched that game and the two following. At 5/4 and my service we had deuce quite ten or twelve times, but in the end I managed to win and took the set at 7/5. After that I felt better, and with renewed confidence and steadier nerves I won the final set at, I think, 6/3.
There was nothing particularly remarkable in the match, but somehow I felt that confidence in myself for the future depended in a great measure on my success in this event, and, in spite of having a very sporting opponent, I never felt more relieved in my life than when the last stroke was played.
[Signature: Gladys S. Lamplough.]
(Runner up for the Championship, 1909)
[Illustration: Mrs. Larcombe]
[Illustration: Mrs. Lamplough]
[Illustration: Miss A.M. Morton]
[Illustration: Miss A.N.G. Greene]
I feel I owe an apology to Mrs. Luard for writing about a match in which I happened to beat her, as she is, and was then, a player altogether a class above me. No doubt it became “memorable,” as I certainly never expected to win at the outset, and still less so when I was undergoing one of those ghastly “creep-ups” in the final set. It happened in 1904 at Wimbledon, on the centre court,