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Manursing Island Club holds Men’s tournament

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Invitation to Manursing Island Club's Men's Tournament
Invitation to Manursing Island Club's Men's Tournament

The event was held on December 10,1938 and was won by Sidney Wood and Don White.The tournament used a blind draw format as as Wood had never played he drew Fox Meadow ace Donald White who coached through to the winners circle. Wood had trouble serving early on but as the tournament progressed he developed a tricky twist serve which proved formidable! Don White served as APTA President from 1942-1944. Sidney Wood (1912-2009) became the only uncontested winner of a Wimbledon final. Wood's opponent in the final of the 1931 championship at the All-England Club was U.S. Davis Cup teammate Frank Shields. Shields, however, was unable to play because of an ankle injury. Wood had already made Wimbledon history four years earlier when at 15 he became the youngest male to ever play in the tournament. Dressed in white knickers, he lost in straight sets to French great Rene Lacoste. Wood [...]

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National Championships

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Men's National Championship 1938, Fox Meadow Tennis Club, Scarsdale, NY
Men's National Championship 1938, Fox Meadow Tennis Club, Scarsdale, NY

Singles now had been discontinued. Blanchard had always maintained doubles suited the game of platform tennis best. The APTA confirmed this and found a low level of interest in both men’s and women’s singles and decided to discontinue these events in 1938. Men’s singles was reinstated in 1980. Fox Meadow teams swept the remaining three National events and Charley and Virginia O'Hearn won their third straight Mixed title and the fourth in a row for Charley. Only two other team have won more than three consecutive Mixed Nationals - Ronald and Elfie Carroll (1949-1952) and Hilary Hilton Marold and Doug Russell (1979-1982). Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Paddle Tennis, 1944

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APTA asks Fox Meadow Tennis Club to host inter-club Scrambles

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The Fox Meadow Tennis Club had been holding tennis Scrambles for several years when Ken Ward of Manursing suggested in 1938 that the recently formed American Paddle Tennis Association (APTA) hold an inter-club Scrambles. In paddle, this event came to be called the Jamboree and later the Jambles. Play was held at Fox Meadow, the only club with enough courts.

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APTA Report to Members – membership up to 15 clubs; clubs requested to remind players about foot-faults!

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APTA Report 1939

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Kenneth Ward elected APTA President (1939-1942)

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Blanchard gave Ward much credit for his enthusiasm and organizing ability as chairman of the Publicity Committee that he had run prior to taking over as President. He threw the same energy into the new position and the Association continued to flourish, By November 1941, the APTA had 21 member clubs. Blanchard considered him one of the best presidents the APTA had during the first two decades. Source: Adapted from Fessenden S. Blanchard, Platform Paddle Tennis, 1959

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APTA membership continues to grow

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In October, 1939, five years after the organization of the APTA, President Harold D. Holmes reported a membership of 15 clubs, all of them still only in the New York suburbs. “As paddle tennis veterans may remember, our form of the game began in Scarsdale in November, 1928. For several years its growth was slow. In the last few years the game has gone rapidly ahead with Scarsdale still leading in the number of courts (now twenty-eight), Greenwich, CT, second, and Englewood, NJ, which has come forward rapidly, third. It is impossible now for the Association to keep an account of all of the courts that go up during each year. Some of the more recent ones include platforms for Saint Mary's School of Peekskill, the Round Hill Club of Greenwich, the Bedford Golf and Tennis Club, the Knollwood Club of White Plains, the Saddle and Cycle Club of Chicago, the Woodway Country Club of Stamford[...]

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National Championships

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Fox Meadow Teams again dominated the tournaments and were winners and finalists in the three events. Couch and Kilmarx repeated their 1935 win by defeating Hyson and O'Hearn who had won the previous two years and Madge Beck and Marie Walker successfully defended their 1938 title and were on their way to five straight wins until the war years when the event was discontinued from 1943-1948. Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Paddle Tennis, 1944

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Fox Meadow players dominate the game through the 1930s and 1940s

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Through the 1930s and 1940s, Fox Meadow players dominated the new sport, and their styles and strategies became the standards for championship play. The Club's pre-eminence was partly attributable to members' wholehearted adoption of the game and partly to the fact that Fox Meadow had far more courts than any other club, with the exception of Manursing Island Club in Rye, NY.

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Paddle in Russia

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Letter from First Secretary Chuvakhin to Blanchard thanking him for sending details on court construction and playing the game
Letter from First Secretary Chuvakhin to Blanchard thanking him for sending details on court construction and playing the game

In the spring of 1940, the APTA received a request for information on the sport from the "Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" in Washington, D.C. The Russian Commissar of Sports, Mr. Dm. Chuvakhin, wanted to learn more about platform tennis.

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