The Crusader, Eighth Army Weekly, No. 42, Vol 4, February 15th 1943

C R U S A D E R ---------------- P A L I IRWIN (former ‘'Sunday Express” Sports Editor) T a l k i n g S p o r t Crusader Cutie N o. 2 5 lanky, flame-headed Don Budge^ the best player seen on the Wim­ bledon centre court since the breath-taking days of big Bill Til- den, is now a trainer at an Amer­ ican flying school. He is a busy man, but can still find time to tell the world that he hopes to be in top flight professional lawn tennis at the war’s end. Don Budge is 27 and, even if the war were over tomorrow', heading towards the twilight of his career. Best of the old stars, however, he should keep his position till the bright young newcomers have sorted themsel­ ves out in the first couple of Vic­ tory seasons. BIG CHANGES I read Budge's mind correct­ ly, he envisages sweeping chan­ ges in top ranking tennis. He probably thinks there will be open tournaments — open, that is, in the true sense of the word. The “Wimbledon Open” is, of course, no such thing. No profes- Here s the answer to the prayer of Pte. Philipson {see " Blue Letter Box) — and heaven knows how many other " Crusader" _ corres­ pondents. sional can compete, a ruling which automatically bars the world's outstanding performers— Budge, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Hans Nusslein and, among the women, the incomparable Alice Marbl.e Well, there was a move be­ fore World W ar II to end all this. Another big step forward was taken not so long ago when Danny Maskell, the money-play- er who coached our Davis Cup team, played an exhibition against an amateur at Queen's Club — the first ever to do so in public. Many of the lawn tennis chiefs are in favour of genuine open tournaments. And this, not only because they would be gate-pull-' ing magnets, but because they would end the silly — and dis­ honest — amateur racket. MEANS TEST If a means test were taken of the Great Unpaid in the game how many could show themselves capable of playing all the year round at their own expense ? Very few. No, they live on ten­ nis like gigolos living on some raddled old woman. Play-boys and play-girls accepting “hospit­ ality” in swagger hotels, putting in expense accounts, cashing their prizes for crisp folding money. In short, they are “shamateurs.” The men, often enough sign up to use a certain make of racket— at a fee ; the women, bless them, link their names with some swag­ ger dress shop and are manne­ quins in masquerade. You get the idea ? Some shape­ ly Centre Court star wears the natty new pleated skirt, or the too, too divine coatee made by a W est End fashion shop. And there, bright and early next morn­ ing, are all the women queuing up to ge* just the same kind pf outfit. Now such people are regarded as amateurs although they make fat living from the game. Against that, the honest, right-in-the-open pi of essional is — well, untouch­ able according to Wimbledon standards. WORLD’S BEST Responsible people are tired of i; all. So are many of the so-call­ ed amateurs, not quite good enough to join the small band of brilliant professionals to-day, but good enough to earn bed and beard — honestly — if profes­ sionalism were general. As sure as night follows day, the barrier between the amateur and the money-player will be broken down. W e shall see real open tourneys, with the world's best in action. And now say I didn't tell you. This patience isn’t so hot ; no wonder they say it’s . THE GRIFF ADOLF S OWN There is a special air raid shel­ ter under Hitler’s Chancellery in Berlin which is especially popu­ lar with the ladies. The reason is this. After a number of women had given birth to children in the shelter duiing air raid alarms the Fiihrer gave orders for a midwife to be in attendance. T o every women who nad ? child in the shelter he gave a piesent of 500 marks (about £25) and went personal­ ly to congratulate her. The child­ ren were registered as “Born in the Chancellery.” Consequently the popularity of the shelter knew no bounds among expectant mothers and the overcrowding threatened to be­ come so bad that special regulat­ ions had to be drawn up. THE GHOSTS FLY W EST From time to time the boys of the R.A.F. get quite a kick out of hearing enemy radio ' announce­ ments describing how our aircraft are being shot down in flocks by the heroes of the German and Italian air forces. The latest example we have seen is a claim by a SINGLE Italian Fighter Squadron in Octo­ ber to have destroyed 36 of our ’planes, plus a further 17 prob­ ables, in four days. In reality the TO TA L loss of the R.A.F. over this period was 18 'planes I These imaginary victories re­ mind us of the exploits of the late lamented Luftwaffe “ace" Cap­ tain Marseille (killed sometime ago over the Alamein front) who was claimed to have shot down single-handed in one day twice the total loss of the R.A.F. on the whole battle-front for that period! Jerry must wonder as he crou­ ches in his slit trench where all those ’planes of ours keep com­ ing from ! THINK AGAIN “The British and Americans are unable to safeguard their main sea routes and are therefore unable to send supplies to their soldiers abroad.” (Italian Radio). Them tanks jes’ gsrowed in the desert ! MOBILE’S THE WORD 1 “Berlin military circles com­ menting on the situation in Rus­ sia state that the transition to the present mobile strategy of the German High Command has created insuperable difficulties tor the Soviets.” (Berlin Radio). - 7 -
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