Linda Rupert Thomas
Induction Year: 2015
Linda Rupert Thomas has participated in Texas tennis for nearly 60 years serving as an ambassador of the game to the state of Texas. A native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, she started playing tennis at a very young age. She won numerous junior titles and was a Junior Wightman Cup team member. Rupert Thomas attended and played collegiate tennis at Lamar University from 1969-1973. She was a two-time TAIAW singles and doubles champion in 1972 and 1973. From 1970 to 1974, Rupert Thomas was ranked No. 1 in the Texas Women’s Collegiate singles and doubles polls all four years. In her final year playing collegiate tennis at Lamar she won the National Collegiate Doubles Champion with partner Cathy Beene and was named an All-American. Rupert Thomas went on play seven years on the Women’s Tennis Pro Circuit. In 1978, she advanced through four qualifying rounds of the Wimbledon Championship before eventually losing to Chris Evert in the third round. At the peak of her game, she was ranked the No. 76 women’s singles tennis player in the world (1978).
After her playing career ended, Rupert Thomas served as her alma mater’s head tennis coach for three years from 1977-1980 until she became a club pro in Houston. She has spent the past 30 years actively promoting tennis in Houston serving as Head Tennis Pro of Chancellors Racket Club, Tennis Director of the University Club and Tennis Director of the ERJCC Jewish Community Center. Additionally, Rupert Thomas is the co-founder of the Houston Wheelchair Tennis Foundation.