John Packett Articles

Harmon thrived from ties with RTA

Harmon thrived from ties with RTA

By John Packett RTA Contributing Writer   The Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame held its biennial induction ceremonies on Oct. 28 at the Westwood Club, and one of its own served as the keynote speaker for the festive evening that saw seven new members added to the illustrious list. Rodney Harmon, who was inducted in 2009, passed over his prepared remarks and gave a wonderful off-the-cuff talk abou... »

Harrison: the ‘pied piper’ of Richmond Tennis

Harrison: the ‘pied piper’ of Richmond Tennis

Whenever Sarah Townsend Harrison took the court, she invariably wore a gold necklace or a set of pearls plus a sweater. It didn’t matter how warm it was, she always had that sweater on as something of an intimidating factor against her opponents. Not that she needed much help from outside forces. From the time she was in her early teens, Harrison used a powerful forehand to bash her way to the fin... »

Three Chopt Rallies for 3rd Autumn Cup!

Three Chopt Rallies for 3rd Autumn Cup!

After the first day of the Autumn Cup, Three Chopt Recreation Association was in sixth place out of eight teams. That was certainly no way for the two-time defending champions to open play in the annual competition at Avalon Recreation Association. “We never know what to expect on the first day,” said Rob Johnston, captain of the Three Chopt team and director of tennis at the Henrico County club. ... »

Hermitage Ends acac’s Anthem Cup Reign

Hermitage Ends acac’s Anthem Cup Reign

With the specter of six-time champion acac looming over the Anthem Cup Club Challenge heading into the weekend of Sept. 22-24, Hermitage Country Club captain Mark Bernstine figured his team would be among the runners-up again.          “I never imagined we would actually win,” said Bernstine. “We’ve always had a great time just coming and competing. Last year, I was surprised we came in second so ... »

Charity taught Ashe, others by example

Charity taught Ashe, others by example

One afternoon in 1950, when he was around seven years old, Arthur Ashe Jr., was watching someone practice tennis on one of the four courts right outside the side door of his home near Brook Field Park on the city’s North Side. Ashe had been very impressed with the way the man had hit balls against the wall or served into an empty court for hours on end. Eventually, the man invited Ashe to join him... »

Deep Run, Midlothian Girls, Sorkin Cap Big Seasons

Deep Run, Midlothian Girls, Sorkin Cap Big Seasons

The Deep Run girls’ team finally emerged from the giant shadow of long-time rival Mills Godwin to win the 5A state championship. Midlothian’s girls’ team captured its third straight 4A title, cruising past district rival Hanover in the final. Rising senior Nina Sorkin of Deep Run continued her unbeaten streak against prep competition, claiming her third consecutive singles and doubles crowns. Thos... »

Whitaker Third in 14s After Latest Triumph

Whitaker Third in 14s After Latest Triumph

Spencer Whitaker is a determined young man. He knows what he wants to be – a professional tennis player – and he’s staying squarely focused on that goal as he continues to learn more about the game and what it takes to reach the highest level. Don’t bet against him. “I’m feeling more compelled to reach them [goals] because I feel like I can do it now,” Whitaker said. “I’ve spent countless hours on... »

RTA Completes Another Banner Year

RTA Completes Another Banner Year

Another 12 months has come and gone in the life of the Richmond Tennis Association. It was a year highlighted by a re-vitalized city tournament and the celebration of another Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame class. In between, junior and adult teams from the area made their presence felt on the national stage, and acac pulled out yet another Anthem Club Challenge victory, their fifth straight in the a... »

Serendipity lifted 4.0 team in Nationals

Serendipity lifted 4.0 team in Nationals

A few weeks before her local team was scheduled to head to Indian Wells, Calif., for the 40-over Adult Women’s 4.0 U.S. Tennis Association League National Championships, Laurie Malhieros was diagnosed with breast cancer. “She had played singles for the team throughout the league season, as well as regionals and sectionals,” said Kathy Napier, captain of the team. “She played a significant role in ... »

Five New Members Added to Hall Of Fame

Five New Members Added to Hall Of Fame

It was an evening filled with laughter and nostalgia, punctuated with plenty of good food and old friends. The occasion was the Richmond Tennis Association’s biennial Hall of Fame induction banquet on Oct. 24. Five new members were welcomed into the fold this year during the festivities and merriment at the Westwood Club, which has proven to be a gracious host to all but one of the ceremonies that... »

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