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Awards & Achievements, Second-half, 2020

October 19, 2020 05:43 PM

Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in the second half of 2020.

Kevin Theos

Kevin Theos Honored with USPTA Award

USTA Southern Tennis Service Representative for Alabama Kevin Theos was presented with the 2020 USPTA  President’s Paul Waldman Award. Kevin Theos currently serves as President of the USPTA Southern Division. For the last four years, Kevin has also led our mentorship program that has involved nearly 400 members across the country who help USPTA members with career advice and counseling. Kevin saw that there was a need for this program within the Association and took it upon himself to start it, manage it and grow it every year. Kevin is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a member for 25 years.

Larry Turville, Former Georgia Tech Star, Passes

Larry Turville of Dunnellon, Fla., a life-long competitive tennis player and pioneer of the sport, died on October 10 after a battle with cancer at the age of 71.  Turville was born in 1949, the son of Edward Turville who served as the first president of the Florida Lawn Tennis Association as well as President of the USTA, and was a former Davis Cup Captain.

Turville grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. and got his start on the court playing junior tennis.

Turville was ranked No. 1 in Florida during his first year playing in the 18s division. He went on to play collegiate tennis at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where he earned All-American honors.  Together with Armistead Neely, the duo founded a series of regional men’s tournaments in 1971 named the World Association of Tennis Champions (WATCH). Based in Florida, the tournaments were staged in segments and took place outside the orbit of the ATP Tour – and became known as “satellite tournaments.”  Here is the obit on ATPTour.com.

By the middle of the 1970s, satellite tournaments were being staged across the U.S. Turville reached a career-high singles ranking at No. 210 in 1976 while competing on the ATP Tour, and qualified for Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open. In 1979, the USTA took over the satellite circuit just as Turville was preparing to leave to assume the position of tennis coach for the Rice University Men’s Tennis Team. Turville would teach at Rice for the next twenty years.

Turville started playing USTA age group tennis when he was 35 and later went on to carry one of the most distinguished records in US senior tennis. In all, he won 22 National Singles Championships and 24 National Doubles titles.

In addition to his National accomplishments, he represented the United States on 11 occasions in the ITF World Team Championships and accumulated five World Doubles Championships and one World Singles Championship. In 2010, he earned the No. 1 ITF world ranking in the 60 & over division.

His passion and commitment to senior tennis were instrumental to the development of the Florida Super Senior Grand Prix, a national and worldwide event where top-level players compete for three months in Southwest Florida.   Turville chaired the USTA Florida Competition Committee for some time and served on the USTA Adult Competition Committee for four years. Beyond that, he was one of the founding members of the National Senior Men’s Tennis Association (NSMTA), which aimed to foster tennis competition among senior men on a nationwide basis.

Turville was friends with practically everyone on the senior circuit. He was welcoming, supportive and highly respected. Despite being fierce competitors on the court, Turville took the time to develop deep bonds with players, something that left an impact on those who knew him.

Larry Turville’s positive influence on tennis will be forever felt throughout USTA Florida, the Florida tennis community, and beyond. We extend our deepest sympathies to Turville’s family, friends and colleagues. To share memories or condolences, please visit the National Senior Men’s Tennis Association forum.