The first Soviet tennis players ever to take part in a British Tournament were at Beckenham Kent today for the Kent Tennis Championships.
The first Soviet tennis players ever to take part in a British Tournament were at Beckenham Kent today for the Kent Tennis Championships. They were Andre Potanin, aged 17, a student of the University of Leningrad, Russia's No. 2 player, and a Master of Sport; and Miss Anna ???imitrieva, Russia's junior tennis champion, and Number 8 player, also a Master of Sport.
Andre and Anna, accompanied on their trip to England by Russia's top tennis coach Semen Belitz-Geiman. were welcomed to England by Major Kirkpatrick (Chairman of the Lawn Tennis Referee's Association) and Clemont Gottelier (Vice Chairman of the Beckenham Lawn Tennis Club).
This week the two players are anxiously familiarising themselves with the conditions of grass-court play. "It will take us a few days to get accustomed to it" Anna said through an interpreter, "the ball keeps so low, and its is difficult to run".
Watching the pair practise was Fred Perry, the former world champion, "They're dead keen" he said, "but it's awkward to judge how well they will do" Perry has been advising the Russians on tennis, and it was he who arranged this visit. "It will take about ten years before any Russian player is up to Davis Cup standards" he said.
It has been reported that the Russians are making an intensive campaign to gain a victory at Wimbledon, with an edict from the Committee of the All Union Committee of Sport, asserting that the Soviet Peoples must master the sport of Lawn Tennis. In the idyllic setting of the Beckenham Lawn Tennis Club it is hard to imagine that Anna and Andre are concerned with anything but getting the ball back over the net.