Carli hands duties to DePew after two-year reign

Carli hands duties to DePew after two-year reign

RICHMOND– The Richmond Tennis Association closed out the year 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.

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.

Ashe is a 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 out the project.

The other newcomer was the Brian McCarty Memorial Tournament held on June 10 at Avalon Recreation Association. Over 140 players competed 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 many successful fund-raisers for the RTA during the year. 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.

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. He also won 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 and Joe and Shima Grover and the Country Club of Virginia.

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

“John has been involved with the RTA for many years, and I cannot think of anyone better suited to be the next president,” said Carli.

DePew said the RTA is 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,” said DePew.