While there is a great deal to be said on each side in the controversy which has arisen between William T. Tilden and Harold H. Hackett, former champion, there can be nothing but the deepest regret that such a shadow should be cast on one of America's cleanest sports. It has always been thought that this of all games was a true example of sport for sport's sake. This squabble over policies and personalities between two such prominent men is as unfortunate an occurence as has arisen in the history of tennis.
Mr. Hackett's deprecation of the champion's ability as a doubles player does not seem to be especially well substantiated by Tilden's record. On the other hand the great player's threat to withdraw his services as a Davis Cup player is more the action of a spoiled child than an intelligent man. Moreover, his criticism of the committee's failure to name the defending doubles team a long time in advance is not altogether warranted. In citing past defeats and emphasizing the necessity of planning a campaign a long way ahead Tilden descends to the level of so many sports where winning is the primary object and a pleasant hour or so of recreation a minor detail. The champion is inconsistent in this in that once on the court he does decidedly play for the joy of the game. After all it would be no great misfortune if, as Tilden intimates, the Cup were soon to change hauds. In fact most people agree that it would be a great blessing to the game.
Tennis has always been more than a test of skill. The personalities of its great men have often been of more interest than their actual ability. Many will remember the impetuosity of McLoughlin, the craftiness of Brooks, and the imperturbability of Washburn long after their style of play is forgotten. It would be well for these ruffled champions to remember this before they go any further towards damaging a sport which has been built up by so many years of line tradition.