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Great Moments: Tennis


Meet Me In MorristownKBehr

The third week of September in 1905 marked the beginning of the official New Jersey Tennis Championship. It was held at the Morristown Field Club, which joined the state Lawn Tennis Association in 1900 and had held smaller tournaments prior to 1905. The new state title would be marked by silver cups awarded to the champions. Unlike the state’s other notable tennis venues—Sea Bright and Orange—Morristown featured hard clay courts. They played fast throughout the competition, which concluded on Saturday afternoon, September 23rd.

Fred Anderson, who hailed from Brooklyn, defeated Karl Behr (right), star of the Yale tennis team, in the men’s singles final. Anderson was known for his deep passing shots, which Behr countered by staying back and lobbing the ball to his opponent, hoping to tire him out or wait for an errant shot. Near the end of the first set, Anderson lured Behr into the net with short balls and then drove shots past him or lobbed over him to win a tight battle, 7–5. The rest of the match went Anderson’s way, as he took the final two sets 6–2 and 6–0.

Alice Day won the women’s singles, defeating Marion Behr, Karl’s sister. Behr had reached the final by defeating Marie Wagner, a future Hall of Famer, who was the biggest name player in the tournament. The Behr family did not go home empty-handed, however. Karl teamed with Herbert Little to triumph in the doubles final.

The New Jersey State Tournament ran through 1916 and was cancelled in 1917 with America having entered World War I the previous spring.


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