Wimbledon memories: Dora Boothby

Extract from Lawn Tennis for Ladies by Dorothy Chambers Lambert:

“Without doubt my most exciting match was the final last year (1909) 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 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 sixteen points in this way), and my friends told me that it was a relief for 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 ow 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.”

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