Carli hands duties to DePew after two-year reign

Carli hands duties to DePew after two-year reign

The Richmond Tennis Association closed out the year in late October by adding another impressive class to the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame, but before that gala affair, there were plenty of activities, including a pair of new events.

It also marked the end of Bill Carli’s energetic, two-year tenure as president of the RTA.

Of the first-time occasions, the best attended was the Arthur Ashe Birthday Bash at Battery Park on July 12 on what would have been Ashe’s 74th birthday. Hundreds gathered to see the mural depicting Ashe’s timeline unveiled in the tunnel under Overbrook Road.

In conjunction with the city of Richmond and the Metro Richmond Tennis Club, the RTA conducted free clinics and handed out prizes to dozens of kids who showed up to celebrate the legacy of Ashe, the former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion who grew up in Richmond.

The RTA worked in partnership with the Battery Park Association and U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project to plan and carry off the amazing project.

The other newcomer was the Brian McCarty Memorial Tournament held on June 10 at Avalon Recreation Association. Over 140 players got their fill of tennis while more than 300 friends and family members celebrated the life of McCarty, a 3.5 player who was killed in a boating accident the previous year.

There were also a couple of big fund-raisers for the RTA during the year. As usual, the Anthem Club Challenge was the largest, putting $40,000 into the organization’s offers, while the U.S. Open raffle in June raised close to $10,000.

The majority of that money will be used to fund the growth of junior and adult tennis in the area.

Richmond native and former Notre Dame men’s coach Bobby Bayliss won the raffle, which entitled him to a day in the President’s Suite at the U.S. Open, as well as tickets for another day and $1,500 in travel expenses.

At the Westwood Club, the 25th anniversary edition of the Anthem produced a first-time champion, as Hermitage Country Club ended the six-year reign of powerful acac during a sun-splashed weekend in September that featured competition and camaraderie among the area’s top 12 clubs.

A week later, the smaller clubs and recreation associations competed for the Autumn Cup at Avalon, where Three Chopt Recreation Association claimed its third straight crown over seven other competitors.

The Mercedes Benz Greater Richmond Tennis Championships opened in April at acac with the mixed doubles portion of the event attracting nearly 100 players in three divisions. An earlier date and new location contributed to the uptick in players.

Following the family mixed and junior tournaments in May, the open divisions of the city tournament took place at Raintree Swim and Racquet Club, where Hunter Koontz and Janet Fleischman won their third consecutive singles titles.

Throughout the year, the RTA also supported other annual events like the Junior Awards Banquet, the Keith Mumford Memorial tournament, the Young Aces Open, the MAC Wheelchair Open and the McDonald’s Junior Tennis Circuit.

Finally, the 2017 class of the Hall of Fame was inducted during a dinner and celebration at Westwood. The newest members are Bill Barnes, Martha Beddingfield, Ron Charity (posthumously), Sarah Townsend Harrison (posthumously), Rachel Gale, Joe and Shima Grover and the Country Club of Virginia.

Carli will be handing the reins over to John DePew at the beginning of next year.

“As my term as president comes to an end, I would like to thank all of the people that make Richmond such a great tennis town,” said Carli.

“Thanks to everyone who volunteers at the many tennis events all over town, whether it is helping out with a tournament, volunteering as a team parent or team captain, or the many other things you are doing to support and grow tennis in Richmond.

“Richmond is also very lucky to have a great group of tennis pros who work hard to help both young and old improve their games.

“I would like to welcome John DePew as the 2018 president of the RTA,” added Carli. “John has been involved with the RTA for many years, and I cannot think of anyone better suited to be the next president.”

DePew, who is the son of former RTA president, the late Jerry DePew, returned the compliment.

“Bill has done an excellent job as RTA president the last two years,” said DePew. “Bill is one of the most humble and unassuming guys you’ll meet, and he has a real passion to promote tennis within the Richmond community.

“Bill has spent countless hours both working behind the scenes and at events and tournaments. He has guided the RTA in its mission to provide opportunities for children and adults of all economic backgrounds and skill levels.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have had Bill’s leadership. We would like to continue this momentum and provide additional opportunities within our schools, recreational facilities, clubs and public courts.”

It appears as though the RTA will continue to be in very good hands as we move forward into another year.