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Richard Hardaway was introduced to tennis by his brother Charles.  He was nationally ranked in all 4 age divisions, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U, including a #6 12U ranking in 1964. He played high school tennis at Greenville High under Wilton McKinney where the team won the 1967 Southern Interscholastic Championship.  He won the Southern High School Doubles Championship in 1969 and in 1970 won both the Southern and the South Carolina High School singles titles. Richard’s game and discipline were shaped by his introduction to tournament tennis in Belton where he had great success at the Palmetto Championships, winning 5 singles (1 in each age division and 2 in 16U) and 5 doubles titles between 1964 and 1968.  Richard’s 10 Palmetto titles place him 3rd on the tournament’s all-time boys list.  He won singles and doubles titles at the 1964 12U Southern Closed Championships and finished 2nd in the 1966 14U doubles at the National Championships, losing to Jimmy Connors and Brian Gottfried in the finals.  He and partner Danny Birchmore were ranked #2 in the nation in 18U doubles in 1969.  Richard was a member of the South Carolina Junior Davis Cup team 6 years (1965-1970).


Richard earned a full tennis scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where he played #2 singles and the team was ranked in the NCAA top 10 and won ACC team titles all 4 years (1971-1974).  He won the ACC singles championships in 1973 and doubles championships in 1973 and 1974 and was undefeated in regular season conference play his senior season.  Richard won the SC State Men’s Open Singles Championship in 1974 by defeating Chuck Hodgin in Columbia, South Carolina.


Richard was the UNC tennis team co-captain in 1974, was named to the All-ACC Team all 4 years and to the All-ACC Academic Team in 1973 and 1974.  During this time, he worked during the summers at Harbor Town (Sea Pines Plantation) under the guidance of Stan Smith, Doc Malloy and John Baker, where he helped advance junior players and practiced with Smith, who was a top-5 player in the world at that time.


Following college Richard returned to Greenville where he became the first tennis professional at the Greenville Indoor Racquet Club from 1975 to 1977 where Larry Rizzo was among his students.  Rizzo is one of the state’s top professionals and a 2007 SCTPF Hall of Fame inductee.  During this time Richard won the state 21-and-over singles title defeating Doc Malloy in the finals.  Later, he and his brother Charles won the 35-and-over State Doubles Championships.


Richard joined the USLTA, the predecessor to the USTA, in 1960 and is the state’s longest active member.  He plays social tennis from time to time, with plans to return to competitive tournament tennis after his retirement later this year.