Tennis

Introduction | Earliest Book About Tennis | Tennis as a Royal Game
Art of the Paumier-Raquetier | Enlightenment, Revolution & Tennis: Diderot & David
Court Tennis in the 19th Century | Beginnings of the Lawn Tennis
From Recreation to Competition | Some 20th Century Court Tennis Rarities
Stars & Icons of Modern Lawn Tennis | Survival of Court Tennis as an International Sport
Billy Haggard: Sportsman and Bookman | Selected References

 
The Survival of Court Tennis as an 
International Sport

Jay Gould: The First American World Champion, 1913

Covey, Neil, ed.,
fred covey, world champion of tennisFred Covey, World Champion of Tennis.

Oxford: Ronaldson Publications, 1994.  No. 10 of 60 library copies, full red morocco, in jacket.

Court tennis in the U.S. benefited from the involvement of wealthy players.  The first American World Champion, Jay Gould, learned to play on a court at the Tuxedo Club built by his father.  The opponent he defeated, Fred Covey, was a professional, who, apart from service in the Great War, spent his career at Lady Wentworth's private court at Crabbet Park, in Sussex.   Covey re‑gained the championship in 1920, defending it successfully till his defeat by Etchebaster in 1928.


Allison Danzig on Tennis, 1930

Danzig, Allison, 1898‑1987.
the racquet gameThe Racquet Game.

New York: Macmillan, 1930.  Original cloth.

Danzig's book, which opens with a long section on court tennis, is, as its frontispiece illustration of the New York Racquets and Tennis Club suggests, particularly important for covering the history of the game in the United States.  For many years, Danzig reported court tennis for the New York Times.
E. M. Baerlein on Tennis, 1933

Aberdare, Clarence Napier Bruce, 3rd Baron, 1885‑1957, ed.
rackets, squash-rackets, tennis, fives, & badmintonRackets, Squash‑Rackets, Tennis, Fives, & Badminton.

Lonsdale Library of Sports, Games and Pastimes, vol. 16.
London: Seeley, Service [1933].  Original cloth, in dustjacket.

Edgar M. Baerlein, who wrote the sections of this book on both tennis and rackets, held the British amateur tennis championship from 1914 through to the 1930's. The editor, who had represented Oxford at cricket, golf, rackets, and real tennis before the Great War (when he was a captain in the Life Guards), was real tennis champion of the U.S. in 1930, and of England in 1932 and 1938. 
Like Father Like Son

Aberdare, Morys George Lyndhurst Bruce, 4th Baron, 1919- .
story of tennisThe Story of Tennis. 

London: Stanley Paul, 1959.  Original cloth, in dustjacket.  Inscribed by Aberdare "to Mr. W. Haggard," 1967.

Like his father, the fourth Lord Aberdare excelled in several sports (including winning a silver racket for tennis at Oxford), and became the grand old man of British court tennis.  This short book provides a very readable synthesis of tennis history, both court tennis and lawn tennis.

 

 


Court Tennis Down Under

Garnett, Michael P. 
a history of royal tennis in australiaA History of Royal Tennis in Australia.

Victoria: Historical Publications, 1983.  Full red leather in jacket, signed by the author.

Court tennis was introduced into Australia in the 1870's by an Oxford‑educated Londoner,  Samuel Smith Travers, who brought over as professional Thomas Stone, who had been apprentice in Oxford.  The first Australian tennis court, in Hobart, Tasmania, opened in 1875, and a second club, the Royal Melbourne opened in 1882. 

 


Pierre Etchebaster

Etchebaster, Pierre, 1893-1980. 
pierre's book; the game of court tennisPierre's book; the game of court tennis.
Edited and introduced by George Plimpton.
Barre, Mass.: Barre, 1971. Original boards, cloth spine, pictorial jacket. Inscribed by Etchebaster to Julian L. Peabody.  Gift of Mr. Peabody to the Haggard Collection, 2004.

Etchebaster, who had grown up playing the Basque game of Pelota, first gained the World Open Tennis Championship in 1928, and held it through seven challenges till he voluntarily withdrew in 1954, at the age of sixty.   As professional at the New York Racquet and Tennis Club, he was among the most influential players and teachers of the twentieth century.  
The Aiken Tennis Club and Etchebaster 

Aberdare, Morys George Lyndhurst Bruce, Baron, 1919- .
willis faber book of tennis and racquetsThe Willis Faber book of Tennis and Rackets.

London : Stanley Paul, 1980.  Number 100 of a limited edition of 250 copies. Original black morocco with gold lettering.  Signed "Morys Aberdare."

The Aiken Tennis Club, where Billy Haggard played, was built by William C. Whitney in 1902 to cater for winter visitors.  In the late 1930's, a group of members bought the court and hired Etchebaster as professional. Though he soon returned to the New York club, he continued  to spend one month a year in Aiken, and coached three world championship players from the Aiken club.

A Tennis Court awaiting Rescue

Shneerson, John.
two centuries of real tennisTwo Centuries of Real Tennis.

Oxford: Ironbark/Ronaldson Publications, 1997.  No. 40 of 50 signed library copies, in full red morocco, in jacket.

Shneerson's history presents a contrast between tennis in the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, and describes the rescue and renovation in the 1990's of the Suffolk House tennis court at Cheveley, near the racing centre at Newmarket.

 

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