• U.S.

Sport: Tilden Still Top

3 minute read

Professional tennis players in the U. S. are of two sorts: those who teach tennis and those who exhibit themselves for a living. The latter class, mostly onetime amateurs, has multiplied recently. Still numerically small, it contains all the best players, since patting soft shots at novices spoils the teachers for high-grade competition. In it are William Tatem Tilden II; his good friend Frank Hunter; Vincent Richards, onetime Tilden protégé; Howard Kinsey. Californian cut-stroker; Emmett Pare, youngest member of Tilden Tennis Tours, Inc.: and Karel Kozeluh, who was supposed to be best player in the world till Tilden beat him 33 out of 37 matches last winter.

Teaching professionals were quickly eliminated from the U. S. Professional Championship at Forest Hills last week. In the best quarter-final match, Karel Kozeluh, who considered himself disgraced by Tilden’s beatings and said he would never return to the U. S. unless he won the tournament, defeated Francis Hunter in four sets. Howard Kinsey beat Albert Burke, able Irish professional attached to the Deauville Sporting Club in France and rated as Europe’s second best pro. In the semifinals, four “playing professionals” proceeded to eliminate each other in a manner that was almost a foregone conclusion, and Tilden became professional tennis champion of the U. S.

Tilden’s own newspaper accounts of the matches were revealing. Excerpts: “It was greater severity, both off the ground and at the net, that beat Kinsey. . . . He lacked the punch to hold me off. . . . His lack of power was due to his long battle with Albert Burke. … I was at my best and have seldom hit with greater accuracy and severity combined.”

“Vincent Richards crushed Karel Kozeluh in one of the finest exhibitions of sustained attack I have ever witnessed. … It seemed to me that he played Richards’ backhand too much . . . missed many openings to Richards’ forehand corner. . . . Kozeluh was wild and erratic in his efforts to pass Richards. . . .”

Wrote Champion Tilden of the match in which he defeated Richards 7-5, 6-2, 6-1, after winning five of the last six games in the first set: “I have never played better tennis than in the singles against Richards. . . . Once I reached even terms I was always in command. . . . I believe . . . my crosscourt forehand to deep court . . . was most effective. . . . Richards had two bad falls, one at 0-5 in the last set. which injured his right leg . . . probably too late to affect the result.”

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