Genter Finds Friends and His Game in Time for City Tournament
By John Packett
RTA Contributing Writer
When David Genter came to Richmond about four years ago, he hadn’t played much tennis since his high-school days in Hollidaysburg, Pa. But he was eager to get back on the court again, so he began to look around for playing partners.
“I moved into the west end [of Henrico County],” said Genter. “That’s where I was working. I found Raintree [Swim and Racquet Club]. Eddie [Parker, co-owner of the facility] helped me out, found me some people to play with.”
Parker even introduced Genter to his future wife, Lindsey Meleski, during the process.
Genter, who recently moved from a 4.5 to a 5.0 [on the USTA rating scale], has improved so much since arriving in Richmond that he was seeded fourth in the men’s singles draw of the Davenport City Tennis Championships.
The 28-year-old played his first match Thursday night at Byrd Park and defeated former Douglas Freeman player Tappan August 6-4, 6-4, escaping from a potential loss with enough solid ground strokes to outlast his opponent in a close match.
“He’s a very good player,” said Genter, who works in outside sales for Sun Belt Rentals. “I’m looking forward to keep playing with him. Just another guy for me to hit with. I was struggling a little with these courts. I don’t play on them very often.
“I’ve been playing a lot on clay over at Westwood [Racquet Club], and St. Christopher’s and the University of Richmond.”
Genter will meet Taylor Napier in the quarterfinals Friday at 6 p.m., and hopes to continue his run.
“I told Eddie that Richmond is by far … you have no idea how good the tennis is here,” said Genter. “It’s like anything else. You don’t appreciate it when you’re always around it. When you move in here, there’s 15 people you can call on a Monday to play.
“Where I lived, you had to travel to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia to find a match. That why I really like it here. I think my game is getting better here and there. I’ve found guys that like to play singles, and that’s my form of working out.”
The Genters met playing tennis at Raintree and are expecting their first child in September.
“I’ve had no trouble finding competition and finding friends, people to play,” said Genter, who won the Pennsylvania AAA state high-school doubles title in 2003. “I met my wife through Raintree, asked her to hit a couple of times, and the rest is history.”
Top-seeded Eric Shulman was also in action Thursday, blanking Ky Phung Nguyen 6-0, 6-0. He faces Conner Moncure in the quarterfinals at 6. Second-seeded Ryan Radke and No. 3 Chris Wallace had byes and play their first matches Friday.
Wallace could face a challenge from Bryce DePew, a freshman who played No. 1 singles for James River High School this spring.
The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, in conjunction with a clinic conducted by former pro star Ivan Lendl that is scheduled from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The women’s final will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, with the men’s title match at 12:30 p.m.
Men’s singles – First round: Mark Scordo d. Alan Savage default; Taylor Napier d. John Thompson 6-0, 6-0; Eric Shulman d. Ky Phung Nguyen 6-0, 6-0; Conner Moncure d. Chris Ward 6-0, 6-0; Clifford Foster d. James Atchison 6-2, 6-2; David Genter d. Tappan August 6-4, 6-4; Bryce DePew d. Brian Cox 6-2, 6-1; James Smyth d. Monty Stafford 6-2, 6-4.
Men’s doubles – Quarterfinals: Matt Foote-Matt Magner d. John Hudson-Al Thomas 6-3, 6-0.
Mixed doubles – Quarterfinals: Foote-Ginny Wortham d. Margie and Chris Ray 6-1, 6-2; Genter-Lindsey Meleski d. Mary and Taylor Napier 6-0, 6-4; Magner-Mason Davis d. Allison Engel-Bruce Sibley walkover.