General Ronald Victor
Hammond, South Australia, Australia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


From The Recorder (Port Pirie, South Australia), 21 December 1936


Ronald V. Thomas – Death of tennis player – One of the greatest doubles men

Adelaide, Wednesday

Players and followers of tennis learned with deep regret of the death early this morning of Ronald V. Thomas, one of the greatest tennis players South Australia has produced. He was known affectionately as “Tommy” to nearly everybody in tennis circles, Mr Thomas was one of the great doubles players of modern lawn tennis, and also one of the finest fighters the game has known in Australia. Ill-health, unfortunately, forced his retirement from active competition when he was at the top of his game.

Mr Thomas represented South Australia in inter-state matches for 13 years from 1911 to 1923, and held the State doubles championship for four successive years. In 1920 he won with Pat O’Hara Wood, and in 1921, 1922 and 1923 with Gerald Patterson. He won the mixed doubles with Mrs Mall Molesworth in 1920.

The finest performance of his career was the winning of the Wimbledon doubles in 1919 with Pat O’Hara Wood, with whom he also won the Australian doubles championship in 1919 and 1920.

Mr Thomas first entered international tennis with the Australian Imperial Forces team, and subsequently had many successes in France and America as well as in English tournaments. He played in mixed doubles events in France with Suzanne Lenglen. Although chosen in a Davis Cup team to tour America in 1921, Mr Thomas never played for Australia.

One of his best performances came toward the close of his career, in 1922, when he won the New South Wales singles championship while in poor health. It was, his only major singles success. He never won the South Australian title.

Few players in the history of Australian tennis have ever equalled the power and certainty of Mr Thomas’s overhead game, and he possessed a terrific forehand drive and a fast, bumping service.

For fifteen years Mr. Thomas conducted a sports goods store in the city. Mr Ken Berriman, the well-known tennis umpire, said that Mr Thomas and the late Roy Taylor were the best two South Australian players before the rise of Adrian Quist. Quist, Australia’s no. 1 tennis player, said that he appreciated Mr Thomas’s knowledge of tennis, and had often received valuable hints from him. When touring abroad, Quist said he frequently had enquiries about Mr Thomas, who was one of the most popular players to go overseas from Australia.


Archive statistics 1909 - 1924

Tournament wins 1922 - New South Wales Championships (Amateur)

Tournaments Australian Open - 1924 South Australian Championships - 1923 Victorian Championships - 1923 South Australian Championships - 1922 Victorian Championships - 1922 New South Wales Championships - 1922 South Australian Championships - 1921 New South Wales Championships - 1921 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1921 Australian Open - 1920 Olympics, Olympic Games - 1920 Knokke Le-Zoute - 1920 Metropolitan Cricket (MCC ) Autumn Tournament - 1920 Australian Open - 1919 Wimbledon - 1919 US Open - 1919 Victorian Championships - 1919 Queens Club Tournament - 1919 South Australian Championships - 1915 Australian Open - 1914 South Australian Championships - 1914 Victorian Championships - 1914 South Australian Championships - 1913 South Australian Championships - 1912 Victorian Championships - 1912 Australian Open - 1911 South Australian Championships - 1911 Victorian Championships - 1911 South Australian Championships - 1909

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