Seven chosen for 2019 Hall of Fame class

By John Packett, RTA Contributing Writer

Seven chosen for 2019 Hall of Fame class

         One of them holds the record for the most women’s city singles championships. Another was one of the first professionals to play in the men’s division of the city tournament. A third directed the State Hardcourts tournament at his club for more than 20 years.

         That trio, along with four others, make up the 2019 class for the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame.

         The multi-talented group will be inducted into the Hall during a Nov. 16 affair at the Westwood Club.

         Margaret Anderson Duval won the city women’s singles title seven times in the 1940s and 1950s, the last of which came in 1951. She was still very competitive in her twilight years playing at the Country Club of Virginia.

         Hall of Famers O.H. Parrish and Bitsy Harrison report that she didn’t want them to give her points during their “practice” matches.

         “She would get mad if she thought you were letting her win a point,” said Harrison, who hit with her in the 1960s.

         Duval is the younger sister of Penelope Anderson McBride, a member of the Hall of Fame who made a name for herself on the national and international circuits. The annual Anderson Cup competition between four state clubs is named for them.

         Tom Magner came to Richmond in the early 1970s with Hugh Waters as an assistant pro at Westwood and played in the city tournament for the first time in 1972, losing to Mike Eikenberry. Magner won the next two years and again in 1979.

         Even though he never won it again, Magner continued to support the sponsoring Richmond Tennis Association by playing in the event. He also served as the head pro at Raintree Swim and Racquet Club before becoming director of tennis at Lakeside Country Club for many years.

         Magner was also a long-time contributor to the RTA junior development program, helplng many youngsters learn the game.

         Eddie Parker, co-owner of Raintree, was tournament director for the State Hardcourts for more than two decades and turned the event into one of the finest tournaments in the state, attracting large fields and adding prize money.

         He brought the Boys 16 and 18 National Indoor tournaments to Raintree and continues to run multiple local, state and regional junior tournaments at the club. Parker currently serves on the USTA’s National Junior Development Committee.

         The remainder of the class of 2019 is Tom Hood, Eric Perkins, Julie Ogborne and Damian Sancilio.

         Hood, a product of the RTA junior development program, played collegiately at the University of Richmond and (mostly) at Virginia Tech. He and Magner (and Jim Milley) won numerous city and state doubles championships.

         A long-time volunteer coach for the RTA’s indoor junior program, Hood has served as the president of the Virginia Tennis Association and was co-author of the book, “Richmond: One of America’s Best Tennis

         Perhaps Hood’s most notable claim to fame is upsetting touring pro Onny Parun in qualifying for the UVB Tennis Classic.

         Perkins spent three terms as president of the RTA and was another co-author of the book hailing Richmond as one of the top tennis cities in the country. His law company has sponsored multiple scholarships and programs benefitting local junior players.

         The West Virginia native has served for many years as a USTA board member and is currently chairman of the USTA’s National Rules Committee.  

         Ogborne, who grew up in Chicago, attended William and Mary, playing No. 1 singles and doubles, before moving to Richmond and immediately making an impact both on and off the court. She was a teaching pro at the Country Club of Virginia before becoming director of special events at the club.

         She won the city singles championship in 1999 and was the runner-up three years later. Ogborne captured several city and state doubles crowns and is the proud owner of 15 USTA gold balls, including winning the National Women’s Indoor Tournament nine times.

         Ogborne also directed the State Indoor Men’s and Women’s tournament when she worked at CCV. It was one of the state’s most popular annual events for more than a decade.

         Sancilio, another product of the RTA development program, was captain of the tennis team at the University of Virginia. He won the city singles title in 1984 and came back 22 years later to take the crown at 42, becoming one of the oldest champions.

         Sancilio was coach of Kuwait’s Junior Davis Cup team for a while and coached Germany’s Sabine Hack to a top 20 ranking on the pro tour. He continues to serve as a coach for Richmond’s junior development programs.

         The 2019 Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame Celebration will be on Saturday, November 16th at Westwood Club. Tickets will go on sale October 1st on the RTA website.