Playing Past is delighted to be publishing on Open Access – Sport and Leisure on the Eve of World War One, [ISBN 978-1-910029-15-2]  – This eclectic collection of papers has its origins in a symposium hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Sport and Leisure History research team on the Crewe campus between 27 and 28 June 2014. Contributors came from many different backgrounds and included European as well as UK academics with the topics addressed covering leisure as well as sport.


Please cite this article as:

Eaves, Simon, J. Coaching, Physical Training, and the Changing Landscape of Lawn Tennis: Australasia’s Ascendency to Dominance in the pre-Great War Era, In Day, D. (ed), Sport and Leisure on the Eve of World War One (Manchester: MMU Sport and Leisure History, 2016), 72-97.





Coaching, Physical Training, and the Changing Landscape of Lawn Tennis: Australasia’s Ascendency to Dominance in the pre-Great War Era.

Simon J. Eaves




By the commencement of the twentieth century many sports had embraced, or at least accepted, the concept of coaching and training players. However, in lawn tennis this was considered the domain of the professional, and in that regard, a threat to the game. Whilst the prevailing amateur ethos may have restricted coaching and training, there is evidence to suggest that these were part of the tournament tennis players’ life, at least for some. The tennis authorities fought to maintain the amateur status quo, but many players sought the ‘advice’ of the professional, engaged in rigorous preparation for matches, and in some cases were coached intensively. The British professional coach had emerged, but the remuneration for their expertise was limited; many were forced to move to Europe and beyond. Prior to the First World War, British coaches were engaged in tennis clubs in France, Sweden, Germany, and across the Atlantic. The relocation of these coaches was viewed as beneficial to the diffusion of the game, and the transfer of coaching knowledge, but was a serious detriment to the emerging home-grown talent. In Australasia, the coaching of players was perceived as a positive move; however, the geographical isolation of this area was a barrier in attracting either coaches or top rank British players, who could act as role models to the aspiring tennis players. Yet, despite this handicap, the Australasians rose to dominance in this period with their players reaching the Wimbledon final seven times and winning it on six occasions. In addition, Australasia challenged for the Davis Cup, winning four consecutive competitions between 1907 and 1911, and again in 1914. Three men played a significant role in this ascendency: Norman Brookes, Anthony Wilding, and a lesser-known tennis expert, Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves. This chapter examines the inception of coaching in the game of tennis, and how these three Australasian born players embraced coaching and training to raise the southern hemisphere to the zenith of world tennis.

Keywords: Coaching; Physical Training; Australasia; Lawn Tennis; First World War.


On Sunday May 9, 1915, a young Captain sat amid the cacophony of war on the western front. Already under severe enemy artillery attack, he and his fellow officers were pinned in their dugout. Amongst the chaos, he penned a letter to Lieutenant-Commander Chilcott, which was later reproduced in newspapers around the world. It read:

For really the first time in seven and a half months, I have a job on hand which is likely to end in gun, I and whole outfit being blown to hell. However, it is a sporting chance, and if we succeed, we will help our infantry no end. I know the job exactly and the objects in view, from my study of them, which is the only way to play business or war.

The letter concludes with directions for the disposal of his motor car and other property should he not survive the onslaught.[1] A report, sent later, by the Captain’s fellow Officers, to their Commanding Officer, and reported in the Otago Daily Times in October 1915, outlined in detail some of that day’s events. The Captain had elected to take charge of a trench party, leaving his armoured car with a fellow officer. His gun crew opened fire at 3.20 p.m., with the Captain observing and directing fire from both the platform and trench. The trench section was under heavy fire throughout the day, with the main attack coming from the right. At 3.30 p.m., as the fire lessened, he ordered his gun crew to cease firing, and went to do some reconnaissance. He returned to his trench dug out about 30 yards from his gun, as shells whistled overhead. At 4.30 p.m., a ‘Jack Johnson’ fell on the dugout roof killing the officers inside.[2] After his body was recovered, a note to his mother, and a letter, dated that same day, were found on his body.[3]

Five years later, in London, a 52-year-old man went under the knife for a second time in fortnight. He was himself a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS); Licentiate of the Royal College of Physician of London (LRCP); a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) and a Doctor of Medicine (MD).[4] On the outbreak of the second Boer War in 1899, he had volunteered his services alongside fellow surgeons, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and was contracted to the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), as a civilian doctor, embarking for South Africa aboard the SS Orient on 30 December, 1899. He spent just over a year in the field hospitals of the Transvaal before being discharged following two severe bouts of fever. For his services in this campaign, he was awarded the Queen’s and King’s medals with two clasps on 1 October, 1902. A third clasp was issued on 9 July, 1903.[5]

At the declaration of the First World War, he was again one of the first to volunteer his services, taking a temporary commission (Lieutenant) on 10 August, 1914. He was promoted to Captain within the year and spent most of the duration of the war at Woolwich Arsenal. For his services to the war effort, he was awarded the M.B.E. on 7 June, 1918, the investiture taking place in the Bell Room at Buckingham Palace, London, on 5 November.[6] His battlefield had been the surgeons’ theatre; he had worked, often with little rest, to assist the casualties of the conflict. In doing so, he had neglected his own health, refusing treatment for his own illnesses. Had he taken complete rest when he developed a blood infection, performing surgery, he would have repaired his health, but he had staunchly refused.[7] On 4 February, 1920, he underwent a second operation in a fortnight, in an attempt to drain inter-abdominal abscesses. Six days later, he passed away. In recognition of his death ‘in service’, he received a military funeral, at Greenwich Cemetery, Shooter’s Hill, London.

The Great War had taken two of the three men who had been primarily responsible for the ascendency of Australasian tennis in the decade prior to the onset of hostilities. Captain Anthony Frederick Wilding had sacrificed his life at Neuve Chapelle, bombed in the trenches, and according to some sources, buried alive. Captain Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves gave his life, neglecting his own health in pursuit of restoring it to others, at Woolwich Hospital. Whilst their wartime heroics are relatively unknown, in their lives prior to military service they were widely recognized as first-rate lawn tennis players, who not only reached the highest echelons of the game, but also significantly developed one of the greatest ever Australian tennis players, Norman Everard Brookes. The convergence of Brookes, Wilding and Eaves, at the start of the twentieth century, catalysed lawn tennis in Australasia, and secured a period of antipodean dominance in the game, hitherto the domain of the mother country.

In an era when etiquette, restraint, sportsmanship, and amateur ethos were values symptomatic of the game of lawn tennis, these three men sat outside of convention, and in doing so brought Australasian lawn tennis to its predominant position. The conventional presentation of lawn tennis in this era is perhaps more idealistic than realistic. In the early years, the relationship between lawn tennis and acceptable behaviour was part of the fabric of the emerging game. Players of lawn tennis regarded behavioural conduct on court as reflecting the social class to which they aspired.[8]  When ‘the first Wimbledon was held in 1877, dissent towards officials was out of the question; polite calls of “jolly good shot, old chap” echoed back and forth across the net’.[9] The game at this time is strongly associated with a particular social class, evoking an image that is both quintessentially Victorian and ‘English’. In one’s imagination the pastel colours of the garden party, and the gentile patting of the ball across a net, persist. However, whilst this impression of the game in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century may, in part, be true, it is certainly not a complete reflection of lawn tennis in this period. By the end of the nineteenth century, sport was changing. The bifurcation of rugby football, driven by the demand for ‘broken time’ payments, resulted, eventually, in the formation of a professional rugby league. Likewise, in the Association game, the idea that one played purely for the love of the game had long since disappeared. These associations were moulding themselves according to the changing nature of sport; sport for sport’s sake was becoming an antiquity. However, although fighting against the tide, others steadfastly fought to preserve the status quo in their games. The British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) was unequivocal; their game was a pursuit for gentlemen, so any fiscal benefits from playing the game, or from associated activities, were strictly prohibited.[10] Unlike other sports, where the coaching and training of players was becoming an accepted part of the game, in lawn tennis, this was perceived as being the domain of the professional, and in that regard, a ‘cancer’ to the amateur ethos. To ‘try to win through specific training or coaching was, in effect, to demonstrate a crude, impure and tainted or much-maligned “working-class” approach to sport’.[11] However, whilst the prevailing amateur ethos may have restricted it, evidence suggests that coaching and training were part of the tournament tennis players’ life, at least for some. In a period when tennis authorities around the world expounded the ideal of amateurism, many players sought the ‘advice’ of the professional, engaged in rigorous preparation for matches, and, in some cases, were coached intensively. Players may have played for pleasure, but they also wanted to win! Writing in 1913, Anthony Wilding noted, ‘The old style of gently lobbing the ball over the net into the middle of the court is, among those who consider themselves tennis players, as extinct as the moa’.[12] He, unlike those who controlled the game, was fully aware that lawn tennis was evolving and new approaches to the game would mean a ‘changing of the guard’; the players from overseas, who embraced change, were on the verge of a hostile takeover. This chapter aims to examine the emergence of coaching and training in lawn tennis in the Pre-Great War period, with specific reference to how three Australasians, who each embraced coaching and training, influenced the rise to dominance of Australasian tennis at the commencement of the last century.

The professional player and coach

Robert Lake, in his A Social History of Tennis, suggests that whilst authors of instruction manuals (who were often players, or former players, of the period in question) seemed reluctant to mention it, many had received some form of coaching. Amongst those mentioned are Badderley, Heathcote, and Wilberforce.[13] An examination of these players in more detail highlights that, contrary to the present view, coaching did occur prior to the First World War. Herbert and Wilfred Badderley had ceased playing by 1897 and 1903, respectively. John Moyer Heathcote had died prior to the Great War, Charles Gilbert Heathcote had finished his lawn tennis playing career around 1890, and Herbert Wilberforce played his final game around 1891. All of these players were first-rate tournament players of their time, they apparently received coaching and this must have been, in some cases, prior to 1890, a quarter of a century prior to the onset of the war. However, in attempting to examine the coaching of tennis in this era, there are some inherent problems. Firstly, missing from the extant literature is any indication of who the actual coaches were who engaged with the tournament players in question. Secondly, placing a modern day definition of coaching onto a nineteenth-century activity can lead to misinterpretation, since our understanding of coaching, and the role of the coach, in the twenty-first century is more clearly defined than it was a century ago. In the period prior to the Great War, the term coach was used to embrace a range of activities; it could be merely advice offered by fellow players, teaching the game to the beginner, or developing the tournament player. All of these roles often appear under the same umbrella term of ‘coaching’. Hence, to ascertain the extent of coaching in the game, in its modern sense, during this period, is problematic. As such, in attempting to unravel the coaching of tennis in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, it is important to recognize that there were many different types of coach; the amateur player turned ‘advisor’; the mentor; the ‘teacher’ of the game; the amateur coach of the tournament player, and the professional player/coach.

The tennis professional or ‘professor’ emerged in Great Britain in the latter decades of the nineteenth century. In Ireland, Tom Burke of the Landsdown Club, Dublin, and George Kerr at the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club, plied their trade. In England, Queen’s Club was a focus for the aspiring tennis coach. Tom Fleming was perhaps the first recognized coach at the Club, and his father, also Tom Fleming, was the professional at the Maida Vale Club. Later, Tom Fleming junior moved to the Roehampton Club and was succeeded at Queen’s by Charles Hierons, the son of a railway porter.[14] In the period prior to the onset of the war, Henry (Harry) Cowdrey, a tennis professional, formerly working in Llandudno, assisted Hierons.[15] William George Seymour, Charles Haggett, -whose father was the head groundsman at the club-; John Laker, a racket professional at Malvern; Walter Hawes, a professional at Wellington; and Charles Read were also all associated with the Queen’s Club, in a ‘professional’ capacity.[16] Whilst often referred to as coaches, the main work of these ‘professionals’ was similar to today’s golf professional, that is, in the instruction of club members rather than in the higher development of the tournament player. However, there is extant evidence to indicate that some of these coaches also worked alongside the tournament players of the day. Players such as Anthony Wilding clearly understood the benefit of coaching. In discussing Charles Hierons, he suggested that he owed him a great deal. His ‘advice is always sound and based on a close and intimate study of the game’.[17] The recognition of the tennis coach was also apparent in America. In a brief article written in the Geneva Daily Times in 1923, Harry Cowdrey was referred to as the professional at Queen’s Club for twenty years and a ‘former instructor of several American tennis stars’.[18] Likewise, George Agutter, an Englishman who migrated to America to work in West Side Tennis Club in the summer and Palm Beach in the winter, was recognized as a coach of some long standing.[19]

Whilst professional coaches in Britain were evident, if not accepted, by the amateur administrators of the game, their move into Europe and beyond was viewed by those outside Britain as highly beneficial to the diffusion and development of the game. Many coaches, such as Harry Cowdrey, George Agutter, George Kerr and Tom Burke were instrumental in developing the game in both Europe and America. Charles Haggett was appointed to coach to the Swedish tennis team for the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, having been an active coach in Sweden since 1899 at the Crown Prince’s Lawn Tennis Club.[20] After the Games, he was invited to work at the West Side Tennis Club of Forest Hills, New York, and later coached the American Davis Cup team. George Agutter, whilst ostensibly focussing his coaching expertise on the instruction of the novice club member, and ‘celebrities’, also coached men and women tournament players, including Molla Mallory (née Bjurstedt), eight times winner of the U. S. Championships, and Helen Wills, the winner of nineteen Grand Slam singles titles.[21] He also ‘practiced’ with Spanish Davis Cup player, Manuel Alonso, and was sufficiently ‘famous’, to be a ‘poster boy’ for Colgate toothpaste.[22] Tom Burke, and his sons, Albert and Edmund, coached in both Britain and France, mainly in Paris and Nice, with a great deal of success.[23] Burke senior was the tutor at the Tennis Club de Paris, at least as early as 1898, having previously coached the Irish player, Joshua Pim. After Burke left the Paris club, Marshall, the former Llandudno professional was engaged as ‘professeur’. However, Marshall’s stay was short-lived: a severe sunstroke whilst playing at Etretat in the summer of 1901, curtailed his career. In the Melbourne Leader, in January 1902, ‘Deuce’ reported that Marshall was presently resident in St Anne [sic] Lunatic Asylum, London, under the delusion that he had two heads, and was heard to constantly recite, ‘the sun has done this’.[24] The danger of foreign climate aside, the success and influence of these British coaches working overseas cannot be overstated. Anthony Wilding, writing in 1912, noted that up until 1900 French players considered tennis a mere pastime, but latterly, the best players, Andre and Marcel Vacherot, Paul Aymé, Jean-Charles Worth, and Paul Lebreton, all improved greatly under the tuition of Tom Burke.[25] Another British coach, George Kerr, was assistant to the professional at Fitzwilliam Tennis Club, Dublin, in 1883, prior to taking up work overseas, mainly in America and Germany.[26] It is clear that in Germany, at this time, the understanding of the need for tennis coaching was paramount. Not only were British coaches employed in German tennis clubs, but a ‘school’ was also set up, with the specific aim of developing lawn tennis coaches. The New York Times in 1917 reported that, ‘it was realised there (Germany) that the mere fact a man takes money for playing or instructing did not make him a professional’.[27] A similar concept of ‘training’ coaches was deliberated, after the Great War, in America, where a proposal for George Agutter to ‘set up a school for tennis coaches’, as part of a University, was mooted.[28] In Germany, it appears that tennis was taken seriously, and it is evident that the German players, at the onset of the twentieth century, were rigorously prepared, prior to their games. In 1919, an article presented in La Vie au Grand Air, entitled, ‘L’ Entraînement pour le Tennis’ (Training for Tennis), the author bemoaned the French approach of years previous, comparing French preparation with their German counterparts. In this article it was suggested that,

Toute le monde arrivait sur la court avec un entraînement fait un peu au hasard; ce fut d’ailleurs, la principale cause de notre defaite contre les boches aux championnats du monde de terre battue en 1912. Les Allemands s’etaient en effet prepares tout specialement en vue de ce tournoi.

(Everyone was coming on the court trained; it was also the main cause of our defeat against the Germans at the world championships in 1912. The Germans were all specially prepared for this tournament).

The game throughout Europe had been growing since the turn of the century, and it was widely acknowledged that many ‘foreigners’ were reaching a par with the British and American players. In the New York Times, in 1903, a review of the relative merits of tennis in European countries suggested, ‘the all-round improvement of the continental game is due to the coaching of players‘.[29] Whilst the British tennis authorities looked on, others expressed greater concern at the apparent lack of emerging home-grown talent. Writing in 1903, Wallis Myers was critical of the LTA and their inertia on player development, suggesting that, ‘it is not the case on the Continent, it is not the case in America, nor is it the case in the Colonies’.[30] He lamented the lack of support by the authorities, a lack of proper teaching in public schools, and the reluctance of wealthy clubs to employ tennis professionals. Payn concurred; writing in 1906, he launched an acerbic attack on the failings of the LTA, and went as far as to suggest the association was merely for the benefit of the few and that they did little to encourage the game outside of London. He bemoaned the lack of English talent, and suggested the LTA was little more than an ‘opera bouffe’. Wallis Myers posted a warning, stating, ‘There is one event however, the certain coming of which will undoubtedly exercise an effect on English players – the invasion of foreign prize-winners’.[31] The problems though lay beyond the reluctance of clubs to engage coaches, or professionals; the die had already been cast. The LTA’s obstinacy in failing to embrace the tennis coach was to have disastrous effects. As the top British coaching talent, eager to earn a better living, relocated to Europe and beyond, tennis in Britain commenced its inevitable decline, with the concomitant ascendency of the ‘foreign’ player.

Coaching and training in Australasia

In the early decades of the game, ‘coaching’ was often merely the act of instructing the novice player; however, tournament players were also benefitting from expert tuition and guidance offered by tennis club professors. Whilst some players of the period may have availed themselves of the services of these ‘professionals’, there is also evidence to suggest that ‘amateur’ coaches also existed. In an article in the Auckland Star in July 1916, it was stated that E.G. Meers had ‘coached such well known ‘British’ players as H.S. Mahony, W.C. Eaves [sic] and R.H. Doherty’.[32] These were players at the highest echelons of the game in this period. Doherty was four times winner of the singles at Wimbledon, three-time Olympic gold medallist and four times winner of the Davis Cup. Mahony was also a Wimbledon singles champion and Eaves was three-time All-Comers champion at Wimbledon and winner of the U.S. All-Comers competition in 1897. Given that Eaves had finished playing by 1909, and Doherty and Mahony had died in 1910 and 1905, respectively, this indicates clearly that coaching was part of many players’ routine, many years prior to 1914. There are few references to Meers as a coach; however, Wallis Myers refers to him as, ‘a deep student as well as a skilled professor of the game’.[33] The extent of Meers’ coaching has yet to be established, but there does appear to be some agreement that he was instrumental, in some capacity, in the development of players in Great Britain.

Clearly, in the home country, emerging players had the opportunity to work alongside, or merely observe, the first rank players. On the far side of the globe, the aspiring tennis enthusiast was less fortunate. Whilst the coaching of players was evident in Europe in the latter years of the nineteenth century, the diffusion to Australasia was problematic. British coaches could easily relocate to European countries, yet the relative geographical isolation of Australia and New Zealand challenged the diffusion of coaching knowledge, craft and personnel. As such, the development of the game, so often based on observing ‘expert’ players, was hampered. The vastness of the southern colonies also created barriers to the greater development of the tennis player. When competition tennis emerged in Australia in the 1880s, the problems associated with travel meant that New South Wales (NSW) commonly played against Queensland, and Victoria against South Australia.[34] This lack of internal player movement between territories limited the diffusion of tactical and technical knowledge. In addition, few players from the northern hemisphere ventured south, and as such, the development of the Australasian player had to be predominantly based on training manuals and books, written by former players and tennis writers.

The understanding of the need for, and the embracing of, coaching though, was not lost on the Australians or New Zealanders. In both countries, coaching and coaches were mentioned in newspaper articles and books of the period, indicating clearly those associated with the development of the game were cognisant of the need for high quality instruction. In Australia, in 1895, ‘Blue Domino’, writing in The Australasian, suggested that Dunlop had many faults in his game, ‘but with some coaching he may improve’.[35] In 1896, in an article by ‘Bisque’ it was outlined that most young players from the lower classes had a cramped style, and he suggested that, ‘if the clubs’ executives would take their young players in hand and give them some coaching I am certain that they would improve more quickly’.[36] Two years later, the need for coaching was still being pressed by tennis writers. ‘Bisque’ suggested that, ‘Hunt has the makings of a good player, but requires coaching’.[37] However, it was not until the start of the twentieth century that named coaches were discussed. In 1902, an anonymous reporter highlighted that, ‘Barnard’s game has improved under Tatchell’s coaching’.[38] By the end of the first decade of the century, coaches appeared to be more prevalent in Australia. According to newspaper sources, Brookes was coaching O’Hara Woods in 1910; in Adelaide, in 1911, Lang was coaching R.A. Goode, Baylis, G.P. Goode, Nott, Gardner, Jeffries, and Giles; and in 1919, Robert Kidson, writing for the Referee, under the pseudonym of ‘Austral’ suggested that Wilding had coached Gerald Patterson. He further ventured, that whilst Wilding had acted as coach, Patterson’s primary coach was Ashley Campbell.[39]

Compared to Australia, coaching in New Zealand was less prevalent, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, although one of the first references to tennis coaching is in the form of a poem by C. F. Coburn in 1886.[40] The second stanza is particularly interesting, in that it refers to a man is being coached during a game, by a woman,

He played but ill – ’twas his first essay –

And she his partner and coach was both;

Though perhaps not “up” in the points of play,

Yet she knew the game in a general way,

And to give him points seemed nothing loath.

The dearth of coaching for tennis players, particularly young players, was a serious concern. In the Auckland Star in 1900, it was suggested that individual clubs should consider appointing coaches to assist in the development of the novice players and new members. Such a coach, it was argued would be wholly beneficial, as ‘many a player starting tennis, for want of proper coaching, develops bad habits, which are very hard to correct, but which would not be acquired were a coach appointed to look after beginners’.[41] This lack of coaching was still apparent some years later. In November 1907, an article in the Auckland Star bemoaned the fact that younger players were unable to develop because the veteran players held onto the Championships for so long. The author of this piece argued that the problem was, ‘novices don’t get any proper instruction in the game’.[42] The author, pressing his point, further suggested that ‘in all other sports, it is now the proper thing to have a coach or coaches. Such a thing is never heard of in tennis circles in New Zealand’.[43] The situation of coaching was still unresolved by 1911. Whilst there was promising young talent in New Zealand, tennis players suffered compared to other sports, which employed coaches. The time of the tennis coach ‘does not appear yet’ bemoaned one tennis writer, ‘and one must be content with watching one’s superiors and “taking a leaf out of their book”, at present’.[44] By the second decade of the century, the tennis authorities were considering the problem. In 1913, at the quarterly meeting of the New Zealand Lawn Tennis Association (NZLTA), a motion by L.G. Mackay, that the association should appoint a professional coach to service the affiliated clubs, was considered. Mackay argued that the country had failed to produce many high-class players, and appointing a coach would probably rectify this situation.[45] With 11,000 affiliated members, it was calculated that this would mean a contribution of eight pence per head, to cover all costs. ‘Huka’, the tennis writer for the Evening Post, foresaw problems. If every member contributed to the expense, each could rightly make some claim of the services of the coach, making his task impossible. As such, one would need to consider, not the extent of coaching, but who were the individuals who should be coached. Huka argued that many players were too old to be coached, as they could not alter their strokes. He believed that if the association led on this point, then the emphasis should be on the ‘best of the young material’, to the advance of the international game. Such a focus on the young would assist in increasing the quality of tennis in the Dominion, not only by improving the coached players, but also by allowing the young to impart their newly earned knowledge within their own clubs.[46] In short, the coached would become the coaches. Huka was clearly strongly in favour of employing coaches, particularly in the development of the aspiring young ace. However, at the annual meeting of the NZLTA, in November 1913, the lid was placed firmly closed on furthering the idea of professional coaching. The secretary announced, ‘consideration was given…to the appointment of a professional coach for New Zealand. It was resolved that the scheme…was not possible from a financial point of view’.[47]

Whilst, in England, the LTA remained wholly opposed to ‘the professional’, the view of coaching in Australasia, at the onset of the twentieth century, appeared less draconian. The stigma of being either a professional, a professor, or coach was certainly less apparent in Australia and New Zealand, than in Britain, at this time. Perhaps this acceptance in Australasia, and the staunch reluctance of the LTA to accept change in the home countries, was a factor in the changing of the guard, the decline of British dominance and rise of the Australasians, at the beginning of the twentieth century. There is no doubt that in this period, the top players of Australasia rose to prominence. In an era when the relative authorities in the Antipodes were reluctant to engage coaching professionals and the geographical outpost of Oceania was an obstacle in attracting first-rate players and the emerging professional coaches from Great Britain, Australasian players proved extremely successful in world tennis.

Between 1907 and 1914, the Australasian players dominated the game. Three players were fundamental in bringing the Australasian game to its zenith in this period. New Zealander, Anthony Frederick Wilding was four times Wimbledon champion (1910, 1911, 1912, 1913) and with Australian, Norman Everard Brookes (twice Wimbledon Champion in 1907 and 1914), victorious in the 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, and 1914 Davis Cup. The Australasian dominance continued after the war, before the invasion of Les Quatre Mousquetaires, René Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet and Jacques Brugnon. The third man is less well known, but equally significant, and worthy of acknowledgement. It is clear that, in this period, the top Australasian players were becoming advocates of coaching, to develop their game skills and strategies; Wilding sought advice on his game, and Brookes embraced coaching, to develop the American serve and better his tactical understanding and game craft. Whilst the extent of this coaching is not yet fully apparent, it is evident that a single person had a significant influence on the games of these players, and as such, on the development of tennis throughout Australasia. Such was his influence, it was reported in the Illustrated London News in 1933, that, ‘Australians in particular would be the first to acknowledge the debt [to the man], who discovered and coached Norman Brookes, the first great Australian champion’.[48] Wilding, also acknowledged this person, as being highly influential, and many authors have suggested that he did much to improve Wilding’s tournament play. Yet, the architect of the Australasian domination is, still today, a relatively unknown figure, despite, in his time, being a stalwart of tournament tennis for several decades.

An amateur coach in Australasia

Born in 1867, in St Kilda, Melbourne, to English parents, Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves, familiarly known as ‘the Doctor’, was a player of first rank, and the first Australian-born player to win both the All-Comers Championships at Wimbledon and the United States (US) Open Championship, being denied the ultimate accolade in the challenge round, on each occasion. His views on the game were widely sought, and he was fundamental in developing, and promoting, the game in the southern colonies. He was one of the first great internationalists, and possibly did more to develop the game of lawn tennis than any of his contemporaries, yet his significant contribution to his game of choice has been lost in the annuls of time. He continued to play tournament tennis until he was forty-five years of age, and remained sufficiently accomplished to win a bronze medal at the 1908 Olympic Games in London in his forty-first year. In recalling Eaves, in 1933, the London Illustrated News reported,

One of the greatest changes which the passing years have seen is the development of the international character of the meeting, and for this we owe a great debt to that sterling player W.V. Eaves. Eaves who probably held in his time more championships than any other player, travelled all over the world in the pursuit of his favourite game, and did more than anyone else to raise the standard of lawn tennis in the many countries he visited.[49]

In a tennis career that spanned a quarter of a century, he competed in tournaments throughout Great Britain and Europe, and toured throughout the world, usually at his own expense. Eaves, visited the Antipodes many times in his career, and became New Zealand Lawn Tennis Association’s delegate in London. In 1897, he accepted an invitation to play in a series of tournaments in America, with Harold Segerson Mahony and Harold Nisbit. In 1908, at the age of forty, he was part of an English team that made an extensive, and intensive, tour of South Africa, playing tournaments in Port Elizabeth, Kingwilliamstown, Queenstown, East London, Durban, Maritzburg, Ladysmith, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Salisbury, Bulawayo and Capetown over a period of ten weeks.[50] Whilst Eaves, the player, swung his racket across the globe with great success, he also recognized the opportunity to observe closely the play of his adversaries. His skilled observations were to benefit many players of the next generation and, in particular, act as a catalyst for the ascendency of Australasian tennis on the world stage. In an article written in the New York Herald, later reproduced in the Referee in 1919, the author states,

For the last decade, students of lawn tennis have been busy theorising on the great success of the Australians, and various but illusive problems have been advanced as the secret…It is curious that one never hears of any particular individual being the cause of the progress, and yet the Australasians owe their foremost place today to one man, and he is Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves’.[51]

Brought up in England, Eaves returned to Australia in 1891, to settle his mother and elder brother in Melbourne, shortly after his father’s death. During this time, he took the opportunity to play in some of the tennis tournaments, and was keen to offer advice about how to develop the game in Australia. He was critical of the non-covered ball used in Victoria, stating that, in his opinion, he thought that use of this ball was not lawn tennis, and that the covered ball, used in NSW, should be used throughout Australia, since no English players would come to play using the non-covered ball. In addition, he suggested that if the three main tournaments (Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney) were played in February or March, they would attract more of the first rate English players, since no one would travel such a distance to play in just one tournament

Australian journalist, Robert Kidson (‘Austral’), remarked in 1920, that Dr Eaves could fairly be called the player most widely known after Norman Brookes. To Australians, in 1891, he gave the first insight into the full wonders of lawn tennis. Kidson suggested that, ‘up to that time, we had marveled at the play of Dudley Webb and Ben Green. We thought them invincible. Better play we could not imagine. Eaves’ play was a revelation; he singlehandedly changed the game in Australasia’.[52] It was noted in The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser of 23 May that, ‘he (Eaves) never plays a soft stroke when there is a chance of making a hard one, and his all round play is far ahead of that of any player here’.[53] The tennis writers in Australia were of one mind in their praise of Eaves. ‘Backhand’ of the Dominion, suggested that Eaves’ visit in 1891 had taught all that ‘success was to be achieved by a persistent attack, the aim of which was to gain the net at some risk, if need be, but not at too great a risk, and there to press home without cessation’.[54] It is clear that the 1891 arrival of Eaves was a catalyst for change in the Australasian game. However, it is perhaps his return in 1902, which had a more significant effect, and according to ‘Backhand’ did the most for Australian play.

Between 1891 and 1902, Eaves travelled the world; he was probably the most widely travelled player of the period. A particularly significant trip was the 1897 visit, with Harold Segerson Mahony and Harold Nisbet, to play in America. Whilst other British players had visited, and played on, American courts prior to 1897, many were deemed not in the first rank or were not challenged by the strongest America had to offer; playing only the lesser ranked players. Hence, it was not until Eaves, Mahony and Nisbit arrived, that a true first-class match could be claimed. This series of tournaments could be viewed as the precursor to the Davis Cup completion, inaugurated a few years later. The LTA had previously refused to fund a team to travel to the United States, meaning the three British representatives had to pay from their own purses. Had these men not elected to make the crossing, and compete against the best America had to offer, one wonders whether the Davis Cup would have come into existence in 1900.

The culmination of the Eaves’ tour was the U. S. Championships held at Newport Casino. Although the British team had been ‘outgunned’ by the Americans throughout the tour, Eaves was the most successful of the triumvirate, winning the All-Comers competition, before narrowly losing in the challenge round to Bob Wrenn. Eaves was, according to many, ‘unlucky’ in his defeat to Wrenn. In the New York Times in 1897, it was reported that in ‘one of the finest matches ever seen on the Casino courts…Eaves played by far the better tennis’.[55] Moreover, the presentation of the match statistics indicated that Eaves made fewer errors, winning 46% of his points compared to Wrenn’s 38%.[56] The odds were stacked against Eaves from the outset. Even Wrenn acknowledged the conditions were against ‘the Doctor’. In a letter written to American Lawn Tennis, on hearing of Eaves’ passing, in 1920, Wrenn recollected the game that tennis writer, Jehail Parmly Paret had called, ‘five of the most exciting sets it has been my good fortune to see’.[57] Wrenn suggested, ‘I was lucky enough to win from Eaves after five sets, but he was distinctly bothered by the heavy conditions of the court’.[58] Eaves’ pursuit of a ‘major’ championship had failed at the final hurdle, not for the first time! Whilst he returned to England without the championship trophy, he secured an even greater treasure; ever the observer of tennis form, Eaves had studied the American players closely. Mitchell, writing in 1919, reported,

The doctor did more than make a bold bid for the American crown, as he took back with him to his native heath an exact copy of the American service, which was then rapidly finding worshippers on the other side of the Atlantic, along with all the drives, top spins, reverse spins, chops, drop shots, nicks, back-handers, volleys, pick-ups, and other strokes too numerous to mention.[59]

Eaves returned to Australia, in 1902, and annexed the NSW Championship. In that year, he penned an article for the Sydney Referee, in which he compared the game in England and Australia. Eaves, was very clear in his thinking; the game in the old country had declined, due to players adopting a more defensive style of play. He was, very obviously, in favour on the American approach, both on and off court. Eaves was also concerned both about the approach of the Antipodean player, and the constraints imposed upon them by their geographical situation. He reported,

One cannot fail to be struck by the comparatively little practice indulged in by the Colonial players. What they have missed, too, is the opportunity of meeting regularly players of greater talent than themselves, and deriving hints from the best models.[60]

In this article, Eaves, whilst critical of the Australian players, picked out Norman Brookes, as one of the three top Australians, along with Dunlop and Kearney. On his route to the NSW Championship, he played against Brookes, and won a five setter, after being two sets down. The touch paper had been lit. Eaves saw in Brookes a latent genius of the court, and thus began Eaves’ coaching relationship with ‘the Wizard’, a partnership that would, in the next few years, bring the Australian to the top of the game.

Prior to 1902, Brookes’ game was at best naïve. He was a powerful baseline hitter, but paid scant attention to the tactical aspects of the game. Wallis Myers wrote, ‘Eaves could see, as others declined to, that the days of the long baseline rallies were gone’.[61] He knew Brookes had raw talent but his game required honing, both technically and tactically. Brookes needed to adopt a more volley style game, something Eaves had demonstrated during his previous sojourn. In an article reviewing Eaves’ impact on Australian tennis, the author was clear in his thoughts; ‘the Doctor’ had demonstrated, unequivocally, that the volley was the only way forward. He wrote of the Australasian players,

…few attempted to get in on the service, till Eaves demonstrated it was the thing to do. His methods in singles and doubles that year were emulated by many players with benefit to their game and, to the standard of play in Australia.[62]

Whilst players in Australia clearly benefitted from Eaves’ expertise, he also advised New Zealander, Anthony Wilding, ‘Learn to volley, and come up at all times’. He claimed that volleying was the only profitable line under modern conditions, proclaiming, ‘Don’t let the other man enjoy the view of your court while you can see next to nothing of his’.[63] The tactical approach to the game was not Eaves’ whole focus. He was equally aware of Brookes’ technical deficiencies; if the Australian had designs on the Wimbledon crown the American serve had to be mastered. Over the next few years Eaves not only taught Brookes the intricacies of the serve, but also, ‘further modified and adapted this service, by adding more pace with a lessened kick’.[64] The Doctor’s work paid dividends. Writing in 1922, Beamish lamented the success that this serve had given Brookes because, ‘once more the English players were defeated through inability to find a counter to this changed attack’.[65] In America, Eaves’ contribution to the development of ‘the Wizard’, was acknowledged. In Munsey’s Magazine in 1913, it was outlined that Brookes was, ‘the first of the Australasians to take up the American serve; and it was not long, under the tuition of Dr. W.V. Eaves, before he had worked up a pace that reminded one of our own Larned, at his best’.[66] Percy Vaile, writing in 1904, had severely criticized the English game, focussing his acerbic commentary on the poor service, a lack of central theory, and a slowness in moving to the net. Writing later, in 1906, he remarked that the outstanding feature of the 1905 tournament (Wimbledon) was the success of Norman Brookes. He marvelled, ‘his progress through the week was a wonderful object lesson to the English players on the futility of the English game when opposed to a first class man with modern methods’. These modern methods, of course, were the American twist service and the net approach, both imparted to Brookes by his coach, W.V. Eaves. Wallis Myers suggested that Brookes’ securing of the 1905 All-Comer title had proved to the world that the colonial nursery could produce a champion, hitherto regarded as not possible. Brookes was unique, in Wallis Myers’ eyes, ‘his service, his methods of volleying and his general court craft were opposed to the ideal’.[67] His arrival on Britain’s shores ‘meant a revolution the influence of which was to be deep and permanent’.[68]

Whilst Eaves coached Brookes over a long period, the notion that he could be considered a ‘professional’ would have been abhorrent to him. Wallis Myers, writing in the Field, related several tales of Eaves’ wit and humour, suggesting he was a staunch anti-professional. During his tour of South Africa, in 1908, he had been overcome by heat, playing in Johannesburg. When the Doctor was restored to consciousness, in the Wanderers’ pavilion, it is said that his first words were, ‘five kings’ palaces, forty sheckels of gold, and ten beautiful damsels would not make me a lawn tennis professional’.[69] Eaves was an amateur. He played the game as an amateur, and he offered his sage advice, and coaching, as an amateur. Yet, his attitude to coaching, and his acknowledgement of the need to adopt the American approach, to developing the tennis player, tactically, technically, and physically, indicate clearly the seriousness of his approach to the game.

Physical training and the emergence of the tennis athlete

Eaves’ trip to America had crystallized his views on the game. Writing in 1902, for the Sydney Referee, he reported the Americans, ‘adopt more forcing tactics’ and contrary to players in England, are ‘trained to the hour’.[70] Eaves had seen the Americans’ play and training at first hand in 1897; their game was one based on regimented practice, aggression and an acknowledgement of the importance of physical fitness. In closing his article, Eaves offered some sage advice, directed firmly to the Australian players.

If they (the Australians) incline to the American methods, and regard laws tennis as a game requiring incessant practice and physical fitness, and not as a pastime, the day cannot be far distant when they may hope for success, on level terms, against the chosen representatives of Great Britain.

It is evident that the Americans had recognized the need for, and consequently embraced, coaching and training early in the development of the game. In The Daily Palo Alto, in 1899, it was reported that it is, ‘a game which requires no little amount of preparation, and nothing can be better to put a player in condition for the preliminary tournaments than hard practice during the early fall’.[71]

Similarly, in Europe, where tennis clubs had embraced the coaching professionals, unlike in Great Britain, the development of the physical aspect of the players was also on the horizon. In the early years of the twentieth century, French players also recognized the need for physical conditioning. In La Vie au Grand Air, in 1919, William Laurentz, reflecting on the French approach to tennis in previous years, highlighted how mere practice of the game was insufficient preparation for tournament tennis. He suggested that,

A mon avis, la pratique de jeu ne suffit pas pour etre a meme de gagner un grand championat; tel que celui de Wimbedon par example. Il faut en plus developer le souffle et le travail des jambes. La saut a la cord et les movement respiratoires me paraissent particulierement indiques. un mot, suivre un peu l’entraînement des boxeurs a la veille d’ un match. [72]

(I think that practicing the game is not enough to win a grand championship, such as Wimbledon. Moreover, it is necessary to develop respiration and leg muscles. Skipping and breathing movements seem particularly suited to me. In short, follow the training of the boxers before a match).

In a separate article in the same year, Laurentz stated that,

Tout d’ abord, le tennis est un sport athletique ou les qualities physique jouent un role de plus importante et, ensuite, un champion doit etre suffisamment entraine au point de vue souffle et muscles pour tres bien tenir cinq sets de suite (exemple Wilding).[73]

First, tennis is a sport where athletic physical qualities play a more important role, and a champion should be sufficiently trained in regard to respiration and muscles to hold on well for five sets (for example Wilding).

In Britain, the notion of trying to win through specific training or coaching was contrary to the prevailing amateur ethos of the period.[74] However, it is clear that many tournament players were engaged in physical preparation. Wallis Myers suggested that,

…the outstanding figures in my day were Pim, Badderley, Ernest Renshaw, Barlow, Mahony, Eaves and Lewis. What impressed me most about these men was the enormous amount of work they put into the practice of the game, both in public and private.[75]

In other parts of Europe, and the wider tennis world, the stigma associated with taking a more ‘professional’ approach to the game was less apparent, or at least swept under the carpet. It is evident that in terms of physical preparation, the emergence of Anthony Wilding, at the start of the twentieth century, was a significant factor. In France, at least, Wilding was seen as an example to other players, as one who took meticulous care with physical preparation. The ‘managers of French teams were never tired of holding up Wilding as a model for physical zeal’.[76] In fact, it could be argued that Wilding was probably the first true tennis athlete. In the New Zealand Herald, reporting on Wilding’s demise in 1915, it was stated, ‘some tribute may be paid to the fine inspiration for physical training which he gave on the continent. It is no exaggeration to say that modern athletic fitness…was fostered by the example of Anthony Wilding’.[77] He was a true athlete, and his approach to the game seems contrary to the currently held view of lawn tennis of the period. The idea that ‘players were not supposed to play too hard, train too much or take the game too seriously’ may have been the idealistic vision of those who controlled the game, but the reality was somewhat different.[78]

Some writers have inferred that Wilding was opposed to physical training, pointing to a statement made by the tennis star in which he suggested that ‘excessive muscular development’ was a ‘very serious handicap’ in lawn tennis.[79] This may have been Wilding’s opinion, but this is a single sentence from a whole chapter on physical training, taken from On the Court and Off, written by Wilding, in 1913. In reading the entire chapter, it is obvious that Wilding was very much an advocate of physical training. The sentence immediately prior to his discussion on muscular development, highlights his views on physical training. He wrote,

I risk giving offence and mention what I have found the most useful exercise and training for lawn tennis. They are 1. skipping, 2. short fast sprints. 3. ball punching. If any additional work is required, a little time may be devoted to a system of exercises such as Muller, which develops agility and quickness, as opposed to muscle building.[80]

He added, ‘The result of a hard fought tennis match depends often on the merest detail, and the scale has been turned in thousands of matches of all grades by that all-important factor – physical fitness’.[81]

In both his own book, and Wallis Myers’ later biography of the New Zealander, Wilding’s message about physical training is clear; it was a necessary aspect of the game for the tournament player. His was not a lone voice either. Jehail Parmly Paret, in his 1904 tome, Lawn Tennis: Its Past, Present and Future, devoted three chapter to physical training: The physical effects of lawn tennis; Training for match play; and Care of the body under physical strain.[82] It is also evident that Wilding’s approach to physical training was seen as a template for other less physical players to follow. Prior to the 1907 attempt to secure the Davis Cup for Australasia, there was some concern about Norman Brookes’ physical capacity to engage in protracted games. Wilding was called upon to assist in Brookes’ preparation. Wallis Myers reported,

Coming out from England, Anthony went to Brookes’ home on the fringe of Melbourne for preliminary training, carried out systematically and with great thoroughness. Brookes had a difficult ‘inside’ and it was part of Anthony’s function to see that his captain did not abuse his physique.[83]

Wilding himself reported,

Norman had to be very carefully handled, for the slightest over-exertion knocked him up. However, the following daily programme was faithfully fulfilled,

7 a.m. Up and a cup of tea; walk and a little running

8.30 a.m. Practice

11 a.m. Some stroke practice, and then three, four, or sometimes five sets against each other, as hard as we could go.

1.30 p.m. Lunch.

2.30 p.m. Possibly three sets of doubles, or some stroke practice. If smashing had been weak, it received special attention.

‘Skipping, running, or a little game with the wall’, he added, ‘ended the athletic day.’[84]

Between 13 and 16 July, 1907, at Worple Road Wimbledon, Brookes and Wilding took on the United States in the final of the Davis Cup Championship. The training at Brookes’ home paid dividends. The following week the players from the Antipodes defeated the holders, Great Britain, and secured Australasia’s first Davis Cup triumph. Brookes, in particular, dominated the tournament, winning five out of six of his rubbers. Wilding’s physical preparation, combined with Eaves’ coaching, had placed Australasia firmly on the top step of world tennis; a step they would not relinquish until tennis resumed in the post-war era.

Final comments

By the start of the Great War, when the major tennis championships were suspended, Wilding and Brookes had accumulated six Wimbledon singles titles between them, and secured a stranglehold on the Davis Cup. The game had changed; no longer was tennis the genteel game where the volley, smash and lob were frowned upon. The old style, Wilding suggested, reflected the game of the nineteenth century, when coaching and training were seen as inappropriate for the gentlemen player. It was widely held that the game could be taught via the written media, and ‘personal’ coaching was neither required, nor acceptable. However, by the turn of the twentieth century, the idea of the gentleman player was fading, and, it could be argued, that the tennis ‘athlete’ was emerging. Coaching and physical training, whilst not yet the norm, were certainly on the sport’s horizon. Coaching in Britain, at this time, was apparent, yet less accepted than elsewhere in the tennis world. The reluctance of the LTA to embrace coaching and training, resulted in the coaching talent moving abroad to ply their trade. British tennis’s slide into mediocrity was inevitable, as the international player, courtesy of the British coaches, made their hostile takeover.

The acceptance and understanding of the importance of coaching and physical training, in the southern hemisphere, was an extension of the view widely held in continental Europe. The stigma associated with being either a professional, a professor, or coach was certainly less apparent in Australia and New Zealand than in Britain at this time. Tennis, and the tournament player, were evolving rapidly. Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves had shown the way in 1891, and, in 1902, again had strongly suggested the Australasians consider physical training, practice and adopting more forceful tactics. He remodelled the game of Norman Brookes, and did much to assist the development of Anthony Wilding’s play. Wilding, was probably the first true tennis athlete and there is little doubt that his success on the court was significantly enhanced by his physique and physical fitness.

Others’ successes can also be attributed to Wilding’s influence. Norman Brookes was to become one of the greatest of all tennis players, and his rise to eminence was in no small part due to Eaves’ coaching and Wilding’s physical conditioning. Robert Kidson, shortly after Eaves’ death wrote,

He [Eaves] was in Sydney in 1902, when the first proposal was made by Mr. H.S. Fox at a dinner given to the visiting team, that Australasia should enter for the Davis Cup. He expressed his approval of the suggestion, and lived to see Australasia put its record, highest in those contests, and also to see his pupil develop into the greatest player in the game’s history.[85]

Over the next seven years, Australasia dominated the competition, winning it a further four times. Wilding and Brookes dominated the game up until the onset of the War, winning Wimbledon on six occasions. Sadly, both Wilding and Eaves lost their lives, in defence of the motherland during, and shortly after, the Great War. Wilding’s and Brookes’ legacy to tennis is widely recognized, ostensibly for their playing careers; both were later inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. Eaves, in contrast, has disappeared from our consciousness. Yet, as the coach of Brookes, both as a technician and tactician, he, alongside Anthony Wilding, brought Australasian tennis to world dominance at the start of the twentieth century. His induction, to sit alongside his protégés, in the Hall of Fame, is long overdue.



[1] A. Wallis Myers, Captain Anthony Wilding (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916), 286.

[2] ‘Anthony Wilding’s Death’, Marlborough Express, May 25, 1915, 5.

[3] ‘Out of Action’, Otago Daily Times, October 2, 1915, 5.

[4] ‘Royal College of Physicians of London’, The Times, August 10, 1889, 3.

[5] Army Medical Services Museum, letter to the author, April 29, 2009. TS.

[6] ‘Court Circular’, The Times, November 17, 1919, 15.

[7] ‘Dr. Wilberforce V. Eaves Is Dead’, American Lawn Tennis, March 15, 1920, 577-579.

[8] Robert J. Lake, ‘Social Class, Etiquette and Behavioural Restraint in British Lawn Tennis, 1870–1939’, International Journal of the History of Sport, 28 no. 6 (2011), 881.

[9] Kevin Jefferys, ‘The Heyday of Amateurism in Modern Lawn Tennis’, International Journal of the History of Sport 26 no. 15 (2009): 2240.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Robert J. Lake, ‘Stigmatized, Marginalized, Celebrated: Developments in Lawn Tennis Coaching, 1870-1939’, Sport in History 30 no. 1 (2010): 83.

[12] Anthony F. Wilding, On and Off Court (New York: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1913), 1.

[13] Robert J. Lake, A Social History of Tennis in Britain (London: Routledge, 2015), 64.

[14] Census Returns 1910 (RG13/66).

[15] ‘Lawn Tennis at Queen’s Club’, Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, November 16, 1918, 322-323.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Anthony F. Wilding, On and Off Court (New York: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1913), 40-41.

[18] Geneva Daily Times, 1923, 12.

[19] ‘Field for Tennis Instructors Grows’, New York Times, January 14, 1917, 87.

[20] Hans Bolling and Leif Yttergren, ‘Gender and Class: Women on the Swedish Squad’, in The 1912 Stockholm Olympics: Essays on the Competitions, the People, the City, ed. Leif Yttergren and Hans Bolling (North Carolina: McFarland and Co., 1912), 115-136.

[21] George Agutter, ‘Always a Professional’, Sports Illustrated, December 14, 1959, 102.

[22] ‘Forest Hills’, Newtown Register, August 23, 1924, 4; ‘Advertisement for Colgate Toothpaste’, Boys Life, June 1925, 60.

[23] Philippe Brossard, Prof Ou Champion de Tennis (Paris: Edicis, 1991), 112.

[24] Deuce, ‘Lawn Tennis’, Leader, January 4, 1902, 16.

[25] Anthony F. Wilding, On and Off Court (New York: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1913), 255-256.

[26] ‘Field for Tennis Instructors Grows’, New York Times, January 14, 1917, 87.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Palm Beach Daily News, January 13, 1925, 1.

[29] New York Times, April 12, 1903, 16.

[30] A. Wallis Myers, Lawn Tennis at Home and Abroad (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1903), 132.

[31] Ibid.

[32] ‘Lawn Tennis’, Auckland Star, July 22, 1916, 16.

[33] A. Wallis Myers, The Complete Lawn Tennis Player (Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs and Co., 1908), 27.

[34] Graeme Kinross-Smith, ‘Lawn Tennis’, in Sport in Australia A Social History, ed. Wray Vamplew and Brian Stoddart (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 133-153.

[35] ‘Blue Domino’, Australasian, May 18, 1895, 19.

[36] ‘Bisque’, Australasian, March 7, 1896, 19.

[37] ‘Bisque’, Australasian, June 4, 1898, 23.

[38] The Age, July 14, 1902, 7.

[39] ‘Austral’, Referee, April 23, 1919, 12.

[40] C. F. Coburn, ‘A Lesson in Tennis’, West Coast Times, February 8, 1886, 2.

[41] ‘Lawn Tennis’, Auckland Star, November 26, 1900, 4.

[42] ‘Lawn Tennis’, Auckland Star, November 9, 1907, 12.

[43] Ibid.

[44] ‘Lawn Tennis’, Auckland Star, April 12, 1911, 7.

[45] ‘Lawn Tennis’, Dominion, August 28, 1913, 9.

[46] Huka, ‘Lawn Tennis’, Evening Post, September 6, 1913, 14.

[47] Footfault, ‘Lawn Tennis’, Auckland Star, November 11, 1913, 9.

[48] Illustrated London News, July 15, 1933, 84.

[49] Ibid.

[50] ‘Tennis’, Natal Witness, October 7, 1908, 7.

[51] J. S. Mitchell, ‘Secret of Australia’s Success in Tennis is Dr. W.V. Eaves’ Early and Scientific Coaching’, Referee, November 26, 1919, 13.

[52] Austral, ‘Lawn Tennis Start Passes’, Referee, February 18, 1920, 16.

[53] ‘Lawn Tennis Champions’, Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, May 30, 1891, 1211.

[54] Backhand, ‘Lawn Tennis’, Dominion, December 26, 1913, 4.

[55] New York Times, August 27, 1897, 5.

[56] Ibid.

[57] J. Parmly Paret, Lawn Tennis- Its Past Present and Future (London: McMillan and Co., 1904), 67.

[58] ‘Dr. Wilberforce V. Eaves Is Dead’, American Lawn Tennis, March 15, 1920, 577.

[59] J. S. Mitchell, ‘Secret of Australia’s Success in Tennis is Dr. W. V. Eaves’ Early and Scientific coaching’, Referee, November 26, 1919, 13.

[60] W. V. Eaves, English and Australian Lawn Tennis’, Sydney Referee, December 24, 1902, 1.

[61] A. Wallis Myers, Twenty Years of Lawn Tennis: Some Personal Memories (London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1921), 24

[62] ‘A Tennis Champion Who Taught Strokes to Brookes’, Daily Advertiser, February 28, 1920, 8.

[63] Ibid.

[64] A. E. Beamish, First Steps to Lawn Tennis (London:  Mills and Boon Ltd, 1922), 42-43.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Munsey’s Magazine, 1913, 960.

[67] A. Wallis Myers, Leaders of Lawn Tennis, (London: Amateur Sports Publishing Co. Ltd., 1912), 17.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Dr. Wilberforce V. Eaves Is Dead’, American Lawn Tennis, March 15, 1920, 578.

[70] ‘W.V. Eaves, English and Australian Lawn Tennis’, Sydney Referee, December 24, 1902, 1.

[71] Daily Palo Alto, September 22, 1899, 2.

[72] W. Laurentz, ‘L’Entrainement Pour Le Tennis’, Vie au Grande Air, May 15, 1919, 15.

[73] W. Laurentz, ‘Faut-il Supprimer Les Matches En Cinq Sets’, Vie au Grand Air, September 15, 1919, 40.

[74] Robert J. Lake, ‘Stigmatized, Marginalized, Celebrated: Developments in Lawn Tennis Coaching, 1870-1939’, Sport in History 30 no. 1 (2010): 83.

[75] A. Wallis Myers, The Complete Lawn Tennis Player (Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs and Co., 1908), 29.

[76] ‘The Late Anthony Wilding’, New Zealand Herald, July 24, 1915, 11.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Robert J. Lake, ‘Stigmatized, Marginalized, Celebrated: Developments in Lawn Tennis Coaching, 1870-1939’, Sport in History 30 no. 1 (2010): 87.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Anthony F. Wilding, On the Court and Off (New York: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1913), 72.

[81] Ibid.

[82] J. Parmly Paret, Lawn Tennis- Its Past Present and Future (London: McMillan and Co., 1904), 233-268.

[83] A. Wallis Myers, Captain Anthony Wilding (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916), 181-182.

[84] Anthony F. Wilding, On the Court and Off (New York: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1913), 68-69.

[85] Austral, ‘Lawn Tennis Star Passes’, Referee, February 18, 1920, 16.