An international tennis star returned to Dubuque 65 years ago to conduct a clinic for kids at Eagle Point Park.
Charles Hare was a former captain of England’s Davis Cup team who twice finished as a runner-up in the doubles competition at Wimbledon. Hare and his tennis-playing wife, Mary Hardwicke Hare, later conducted a series of clinics throughout the U.S.
Charles Hare hosted clinics in 1951 and 1954 in Dubuque.
Here is how the Telegraph Herald reported on that second clinic in its June 9, 1954, edition.
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Charles E. Hare, Great Britain’s former Davis Cup champion and now a famous international tennis star, will hold a tennis clinic at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Eagle Point tennis courts.
According to Johnny Meyer, Dubuque’s tennis clinic director, Hare will expect everyone participating in the afternoon festivity to come prepared with a racket.
A public address system will be set up in order to aid Hare in putting the youngsters through their pacing and stroking.
The Dubuque Tennis Association has extended its regrets that Mrs. Charles Hare, better known in the tennis world as Mary Hardwicke, is unable to accompany her husband.
It has been reported that Mrs. Hare will be making up various tennis engagements which were postponed over the recent rainy weather. It can be remembered, however, when the Hares performed their last exhibition here, Mary went through the whole demonstration despite a sprained ankle.
Many local tennis enthusiasts who have seen Hare in his last appearance in Dubuque in 1951 will remember his sportsmanship and crowd-pleasing personality, which made him one of the most popular competitors to appear in the last decade in various tournaments of the United States and the world.
Hare will show the gathering the fundamental forehand and backhand strokes along with other court techniques.
In his 1951 appearance, Hare displayed his smooth, southpaw style in a singles match with Dubuque’s Tommy Breitbach, then city singles champion.
Hare and his wife also teamed up in a doubles match against Johnny Meyer and Clarence Falkenhainer. This doubles event proved successful in Hare’s attempt to show the huge throng of spectators the different type of strokes used along with various volleying and smashing plays.
Hare first attracted attention in 1930 when he won the All England Junior Championship at the age of 15. After making his first senior victory at Southport, England, by defeating Fred Perry in 1935, Hare went on to represent Great Britain in international matches against France, Germany, Italy and the Scandinavian countries.
The great southpaw artist gained international fame in the Davis Cup Inter-Zone Final between the United States and Great Britain, when he played a terrific, 17-15, set against Donald Budge.
After finishing as a doubles finalist with F.H.D. Wilde of England at Wimbledon in 1937 and 1939, Hare went on to become the Pacific Southwest Doubles Champion while being ranked among the world’s Top 10 singles players in 1937.