This article is dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the first Australian Championship
Written by Karoly Mazak
In 1919 Gerald Patterson became the second Australian player to win the Wimbledon singles title. In January 1920 Australasia defended the Davis Cup against the British Isles 4-1 in Sydney. Algie Kingscote from the visiting British team won the Australasian title in late January in Sydney.
In 1920 the men’s South Australian Championships in Adelaide carried the Australasian title in March and was won by Pat O’Hara Wood. At the end of the year the USA took away the Davis Cup beating Australasia 5-0 in Auckland, New Zealand.
In 1921 the Australasian title was carried by the men’s Western Australian Championships in Perth in December and local player Rhys Gemmell won it from yet another weak field.
In 1922 James Anderson won the Australasian title in Sydney in December beating Patterson who was handicapped by an injured wrist. Ladies’ singles was introduced and Mall Mutch Molesworth became the first winner.
At a meeting of the ILTF in March 1923 a new category of Official Championship was created for events in Great Britain, France, USA and Australia for next year. This was the last year the Australasian title was combined with state championships. While the best Australian player contested for the Davis Cup in August in America, Pat O’Hara Wood won his second Australasian title at the Queensland Championships in Brisbane. Mall Mutch Molesworth defended her title.
The first edition of the ILTF recognized Official Championships took place in January 1924 in Melbourne. Another novelty was the introduction of seeding. James Anderson won his second Australasian title, while Sylvia Lance became the champion among the ladies.