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APTA starts to grow regionally; Blanchard promotes the game

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In 1941, the Hartford Golf Club joined the Association. In the same year, the Hartford team of Holbrook H. Hyde and Leland Wiley reached the finals of the National Doubles championships. Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Platform Paddle Tennis, 1959 Blanchard, ever the promoter of the game, wrote the article "Up from the City Streets" in the Spring of 1941 explaining the game's origins of the game, its attraction as a game for different skill levels. The article mentions the recently publish list of courts by the APTA. Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Unknown Publication, 1941

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Lob becomes new weapon in the sport

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In 1941, a powerful new type of play carried a new star to three championships. Clifford S. Sutter, former third ranking tennis player of the United States and twice intercollegiate champion, supported by his partner, J. B. Maguire, developed the exciting possibilities of the lobbing game. With almost unbelievable accuracy in their deep lobs and exceptional skill in taking the ball off the back and side wiring, Sutter and Maguire were able to keep the ball in play, even though their opponents were constantly smashing for the corners. For a time, at least, it seemed they had found the answer to the net game. Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Paddle Tennis, 1944

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Donald M. White elected APTA President (1942-1944)

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Don White (left) and Fess Blanchard play at Manursing Island club in Rye, NY
Don White (left) and Fess Blanchard play at Manursing Island club in Rye, NY

Don began playing paddle in the early thirties and became a National Champion in 1943 with Charles O'Hearn as his partner. He was friendly with Blanchard and Cogswell and often contributed to the direction in which the game has evolved. Don was a member of Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich, CT and an enthusiastic promoter of the game to the membership.

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National Championships

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Scarsdale Inquirer Feb 2, 1942
Scarsdale Inquirer Feb 2, 1942

The 1941 Finalists, Holbrook (Hobey) Hyde and Leland (Lee) Wiley from Hartford GC, CT, capture the Men’s over the 1940 winners from Manursing, Witherbee Black and Paul Hicks. The steady play of the winners and their lobbing skill finally offset the speed of Hicks and the reliable play of Black. Hicks won the Mixed with Madeline Price and FMTC teams again dominated the Women’s with Madge Beck and Marie Walker adding a fifth consecutive title - a record that still stands. It was in the semifinals of that same tournament that Sidney B. Wood (former Wimbledon tennis champion) and Kenneth Ward beat the lobbing game of Sutter and Maguire, the defending champions, by Sid's hard-driving and Ward's deceptive chops. This was a match in which the offense of the winning team overcame the largely defensive play of the losers. Perhaps they were inspired by a remark that Sid made to Ken be[...]

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National Championships

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The Women’s and Mixed National Championships were not played because of wartime travel difficulties. Fox Meadow teams dominated the Men’s, which was the only tournament held. Charley O'Hearn won his third title over future Hall of Fame inductee John Moses. Historical Factoid: At the time Moses, who had grown up at Fox Meadow, was 19 and in military service between stints at Yale; he became the youngest finalist in the history of the game. Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Paddle Tennis, 1944

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National Championships

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As in 1943 the Women’s and Mixed National Championships were not played because of wartime travel difficulties. Holbrook Hyde and Leland Wiley from Hartford GC, CT, won their second Men’s Nationals in a repeat of the 1942 finals. Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Paddle Tennis, 1944

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APTA Annual Meeting – innovation in the face or war-time shortages

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J. P. Allen of The New York Sun covered the meeting: Old Mrs. Necessity, who has mothered a brood of inventions, has presented her latest offspring to the American Paddle Tennis Association. To keep the game going, despite ball shortage due to war, clubs have arranged to rent spheres to players. That decision was arrived at during the eighth annual meeting of the organization at the Yale Club.....[see article for more] Meeting Minutes: APTA Annual Meeting Minutes 1942

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