Open main menu

Ignacy Tłoczyński (Polish pronunciation: [iɡˈnatsɨ twɔˈtʂɨj̃skʲi]; 14 July 1911 – 25 December 2000) was a Polish tennis player, coach and World War II veteran.

Ignacy Tłoczyński
Ignacy Tloczynski.jpg
Ignacy Tłoczyński (left)
Full nameIgnacy Stanisław Tłoczyński[1]
Country (sports) Poland
Born(1911-07-14)14 July 1911
Posen, German Empire
(modern Poznań, Poland)
Died25 December 2000(2000-12-25) (aged 89)
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Turned pro1929 (amateur tour)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
French OpenQF (1939)
Wimbledon3R (1931, 1939, 1946, 1953)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenSF[3]
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open3R (1934)[4]
Wimbledon3R (1932)[5]

Tłoczyński participated in 10 Davis Cup ties for Poland from 1930–1939, posting a 23–8 record in singles and a 3–9 record in doubles. He won two national titles in singles, seven in doubles and was a six-time International Polish Championship winner.[2] He was ranked number one in Poland in 1934.[6]

In international level he reached the third round at Wimbledon on four occasions. He was a doubles semi-finalist for the French Open with Adam Baworowski, won the Monte-Carlo tournament (now known as the Monte-Carlo Masters) in doubles with Józef Hebda, a two-times singles runner-up for the British Hard Court Championships, and three-times Scottish champion.


Early lifeEdit

Ignacy Tłoczyński was born 14 July 1911, in Poznań, then part of the German Empire, and was considered a skilful young player practising at the local courts of the town. Despite being a kid he was the sparring partner of players of the Academic Sports Association. He was born to a poor family and was forced to play tennis for money. According to the amateur rules that were in effect in pre-World War II tennis organisations, only professionals could financially benefit from playing. However the Polish Lawn Tennis Association suspended his penalty. He then moved to Warsaw and found a job at an insurance company.[2]

Tennis careerEdit

He first participated in the Polish Championship in 1929, eventually losing in the quarterfinals to national champion Max Stolarow. Later he won his first title in doubles at the Warmian Voivodeship tournament. This earned him a spot in the Poland Davis Cup team next year for the upcoming match with Romania, where he won both of his rubbers. These achievements led to him being put up for voting by the Przegląd Sportowy newspaper for the Polish Sportspersonality of the Year where he finished second, right behind track and field runner Janusz Kusociński. The same year he was crowned Polish champion after his victory over Stolarow in the final.[2]

In September 1931 he defended his national title and paired up with Wanda Dubieńska for the mixed contest, only losing in the final to Popławski/Volkmer. Also in September at the Polish International Championships, he was only beaten by French Benny Berthet both in the singles and doubles event.[7] In 1932 he shared the Cannes L.T.C. trophy with Giorgio de Stefani, as their match remained unplayed. They also divided the doubles title. He lost the mixed doubles partnering Jadwiga Jędrzejowska to Swiss team of Lolette Payot and Charles Aeschlimann. He then met de Stefani again for the Nizza L.T.C. championship, unsuccessfully. He and Jędrzejowska were runners-up again for the mixed doubles. De Stefani fought him for the Nice L.T.C. as well, but Tłoczyński fell for the second time. He and Miss Jędrzejowska were beaten for the second time by Miss Payot and Hector Fisher.[8] In 1933 he finally won the Nizza title both in singles and doubles, with his Davis Cup teammate Józef Hebda against Max Ellmer and Aeschlimann-Journu respectively.[9] He won the Polish national championships as well without dropping a single set.[10] In 1934 he lost the Hungarian International Tennis Championships to Czechoslovakian Ladislav Hecht.[2][11] In 1938 he repeated that feat beating Hebda and won the doubles with Adam Baworowski.[12] In March 1939 he won the doubles of the Monte-Carlo tournament with Józef Hebda, overcoming the Belgian duo of Pierre Geelhand de Merxem and Charles Naeyaert.[13] Just before the outbreak of World War II, in July he won the Polish international championships held in Gdynia in mixed doubles with Jadwiga Jędrzejowska and was a runner-up for the gentlemen's doubles.[14]

In the 1946 Wimbledon Championships he represented his nation, although the Communist government of Poland protested against it because of his wartime affiliation with Anders and the partisans. He refused to remove the Polish badge from his cloth,[2] although his nationality indication was removed from the main draw.[15] In 1946 he won the singles title at the North of England Championships in Scarborough and retained it in 1947.[16] In 1947 he participated in an international match between Poland and Great Britain still wearing the Polish colours.[2] In 1947 he was defeated in straight sets at the British Hard Court Championships by South African Eric Sturgess[17] as well as the next year also to Sturgess in straights.[18]

In July 1950 rain prevented the doubles final to be played at the Midlands Counties' Championships in Birmingham where Tłoczyński and Czesław Spychała were about to be featured and the prize was shared with their opponents Jaroslav Drobný and Bill Sidwell.[19] That same year Tłoczyński won singles titles at Bedford, St. Andrews, Carlisle and the covered court tournaments in LLandudno and Torquay.[20] In May 1951 he was victorious in the doubles event of the Sutton Coldfield Hardcourts Tournament partnering Peter Hare. Although his efforts were fruitless in the singles competition as he was subdued in the final against Peter Cawthorn.[21] In October he was a finalist for the Covered Court Championships of the United Kingdom facing eventual victor Geoffrey Paish.[22] In 1952 he entered the Connaught tournament where he reached the doubles final together with Anthony John Mottram where they were stopped by Cawthorn-Tregonning.[23] Between 1950–1952 he won the Scottish Hard Court Championships three consecutive years.[24] In 1954 he captured the North of England Championship title by defeating Matthew Farhang Mohtadi in three sets although Mohtadi found success in the doubles final against Tłoczyński/Pryor.[25]

During World War IIEdit

In early November 1939 after the Invasion of Poland he was reported missing and hiding in Latvia.[3] Later it turned out that he was working in a Warsaw Cafe with mixed doubles partner Jadwiga Jędrzejowska.[26] During the war he was involved in the Warsaw uprising[2] as a member of the Polish Resistance and smuggled hazardous cargoes in the city.[27] In the first days of the uprising along with his brother Ksawery and several prominent sportsmen including Czesław Spychała, Jerzy Gottschalk, Antoni Smordowski and Tadeusz Hanke he stormed an SS barrack and occupied it.[28] The assault, which took place on 1 August 1944 saw a one and a half-hour struggle in which the partisans threw in grenades and petrol bombs and surrendered the Germans.[28] They took 72 SS soldiers as prisoners and seized a handful of ammunition and an armoured car.[28] The Tłoczyński brothers and Spychała were all wounded as a result of the fight.[28] He kept on serving as a corporal and mainly operated in the Śródmieście-Północ as a member of the battalion "Ruczaj" within the Wojskowa Służba Ochrony Powstania branch of the Sub-district I of Śródmieście.[28][29] His codename was "Igo."[29] He was wounded and transferred to a POW camp near Salzburg-Maxglan. After being liberated by the Allies he joined the 2nd Polish Corps of Władysław Anders. After the war he emigrated to Britain.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1955 he officially retired from tennis and went on to coaching at the Dunlop Tennis Club in Edinburgh.[2] His most famous coachee was Suzie Mair.[24]


  1. ^ "Roland-Garros 1937 (Grand Slam) – Men singles" (pdf). Paris, France: Fédération Française de Tennis. 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Krzysztof Kraśnicki (2011). Mariusz Gazda (ed.). "Zapomniana legenda: Ignacy Tłoczyński" [The forgotten legend: Ignatius Tłoczyński]. Dobry Znak (in Polish). Wołomin, Poland: UBR Ltd. 4 (21). Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b "War has taken its toll" (PDF). The Argus. Melbourne: Argus Office (29, 084): 16. 9 November 1939. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Tennis surprises" (PDF). Advocate. Burnie, Tasmania, Australia: Harris publications: 1. 30 May 1934. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Hopman-Mlle Sigart Win". The West Australian. Perth, Western Australia, Australia: West Australian Newspapers Ltd. XLVIII (9, 363): 14. 30 June 1932. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  6. ^ Harry Hopman (28 May 1934). "Tennis trio beaten". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane, Australia: The Herald and Weekly Times. II (233): 12. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  7. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (1 October 1931). "A varsói lengyel bajnokságok" [Polish Championships of Warsaw] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf. III (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda, Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt. 18–19: 369, 378. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  8. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (22 April 1932). Tennisz és Golf (PDF) (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Kő-, Könyvnyomda, Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt. IV (3): 41 Retrieved 18 October 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ De Lang, ed. (21 March 1933). "Lawntennis" (pdf). Het Vaderland (in Dutch). Beetsterzwaag, Netherlands: C.M. Schilt. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  10. ^ Henry Archacki (1933). "Polish tennis champion". Dziennik dla Wszystkich (in Polish). Buffalo, New York, United States. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Dalsze sukcesy Tłoczyńskiego na zawodach tenisowych w Budapeszcie" [More success for Tłoczyński at the tennis competition in Budapest] (djvu). Nowiny Codzienne (in Polish). Warsaw, Poland. III (250): 2. 8 September 1934. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  12. ^ Henry Archacki (20 June 1938). "Tłoczyński-mistrzem tenisowym na r.193" [Tłoczyński-tennis champion for 1938] (pdf). Ilustrowana Republika (in Polish). Łódź, Poland: Leszek Kirkien, Władyslaw Polak. XVI (167): 7. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  13. ^ H.M. Planten, ed. (4 March 1939). "Toernooi te Monte Carlo" [Monte-Carlo tournament] (pdf). Algemeen Handelsblad (in Dutch). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Daniel Johannes von Balluseck. 112 (36, 676): 6. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Jędrzejowska zdobyła mistrzostwo w Gdyni" [Jędrzejowska won the championship in Gdynia] (djvu). Polska Zachodnia (in Polish). Katowice, Poland. 14 (209): 4. 31 July 1939. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Players "without country"". The Mercury. Hobart, Australia: Davies Brothers Ltd. CLXIII (23, 574): 20. 27 June 1946. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Pole retains British title" (PDF). Advocate. Burnie, Tasmania, Australia: Harris publications: 3. 10 April 1947. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Mrs. Bolton wins singles and doubles" (pdf). The Canberra Times. Canberra, Australia: Federal Capital Press of Australia. 21 (6, 261): 4. 5 May 1947. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Three titles to S. African" (PDF). Advocate. Burnie, Tasmania, Australia: Harris publications: 4. 3 May 1948. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Drobny win UK tourney" (PDF). The Argus. Melbourne: Argus Office: 13. 18 July 1950. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  20. ^ G.P. Hughes, ed. (1950). The Dunlop Lawn Tennis Almanack 1950. London: Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd. pp. 113, 134, 146, 148, 154, 321.
  21. ^ "P. Cawthorn wins tennis title" (PDF). Advocate. Burnie, Tasmania, Australia: Harris publications: 9. 28 May 1951. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  22. ^ G. de Rhoter, ed. (15 October 1951). "Lawntennis". Utrechts Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Utrecht, Netherlands: L.F. Tijmstra. 59 (142). Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Another win to Sedgman". The Mercury. Hobart, Australia: Davies Brothers Ltd. CLXI (25, 382): 14. 28 April 1952. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  24. ^ a b Arnold Kemp, ed. (27 July 1989). "Two former champions will spearhead challenge". The Glasgow Herald. Glasgow, United Kingdom: Newsquest. 207 (156): 20. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  25. ^ Australian Associated Press (22 April 1954). "Australian loses tennis final" (PDF). The Argus. Melbourne: Argus Office: 15. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  26. ^ Australian Associated Press (30 November 1939). "Tennis stars now work in Polish Cafe". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane, Australia: The Herald and Weekly Times. VII (1, 949): 5. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  27. ^ Białe linie kortu " Ignacy Tłoczyński był szefem – niósł niebezpieczny ładunek – a Jerzy Gottschalk i ja pełniliśmy rolę jego obstawy. W 1944 roku grupa, o której mówi Bohdan Tomaszewski, walczyła w Śródmieściu i na Starym Mieście. Gottschalk zginął, Ksawery Tłoczyński został ciężko ranny. Kilka miesięcy później Ignacy Tłoczyński i Czesław Spychała (ranny w Powstaniu) znaleźli się na Wyspach Brytyjskich. Nigdy nie wrócili do powojennej Polski."
  28. ^ a b c d e "Najlepsi tenisiści wśród zdobywców koszar SS w powstaniu warszawskim". (in Polish). Warsaw, Poland: Museum of Polish History/Polish Press Agency. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  29. ^ a b "Ignacy Tłoczyński". (in Polish). Warsaw, Poland: Warsaw Uprising Museum. Retrieved 4 October 2012.

External linksEdit