USTA South Carolina and the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation are proud to announce that Judy Levering formerly of Hilton Head Island, and Renata Marcinkowska of Myrtle Beach will be the newest inductees into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.
Both recipients have dedicated countless hours to growing the sport of tennis in South Carolina and throughout the world. Their achievements will be formally celebrated at the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame banquet on December 10 at the Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms. The induction ceremony, held in conjunction with the USTA South Carolina Annual Meeting, is sponsored by the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation, the charitable arm of USTA South Carolina which operates the S.C. Tennis Hall of Fame in Belton.
“We’re proud and pleased to have enjoyed Judy’s impact on tennis in South Carolina, and Renata’s ingenuity, which has greatly enhanced coaching in our state,” said Graham Cox, executive director of USTA South Carolina. “It is our privilege to honor this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.”
Judy Levering began learning tennis from her parents as a child in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended Northwestern University where she was an active member of the Women’s Athletic Association. Judy was inducted into the Northwestern Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and was made a member of the ‘N’ Club. Currently residing in Pennsylvania, she spent over 17 years growing the sport of tennis in South Carolina.
Following 15 years of volunteer service to tennis, Levering was elected to the USTA Board of Directors in 1994, serving as the First Vice President in 1997 and 1998, and the first female President in the USTA’s 118-year history in 1999 and 2000. She was instrumental in creating USTA Serves, a national charitable foundation of the USTA which is now known as the USTA Foundation. One of her most notable legacies is the naming of the US Open stadium at Flushing Meadows after Arthur Ashe.
Levering was the 1995 USTA Service Bowl Recipient, an award given to the person who “makes the most notable contribution to the sportsmanship, fellowship and service of tennis.” She has served on the Board of Trustees for the SC Tennis Patrons Foundation and was recognized as the USTA SC Adult Player of the Year in 2007.
Upon moving to Hilton Head in 1999, Levering became involved in the Senior Cup Competition where she represented South Carolina for many years. She played on several Southern teams in the annual Intersectional Competition and also participated in League play at the 4.5 level every year from 2002-2014, advancing to Sectionals and Nationals.
The Judy Levering Leadership Initiative (JLLI) was established to honor Judy and funds the local grassroots leadership needed to help developing chapters become established youth development institutions in their community.
Levering is the epitome of sportsmanship, striving to bring tennis to all levels, clubs, public parks, and recreational programs. She is gracious when winning and in defeat. She is known for her never-say-die attitude on the court, her cheerful personality, and her love for the game. "Judy has had many, many accomplishments throughout her years of serving our sport,” said Lucy S. Garvin, USTA President from 2009-2010. “One of the most significant was when as President of the USTA 1999-2000, Judy determined the US Open could and should become a major entertainment event. To that end, she hired Arlen Kantarian as Chief Executive of Professional Tennis and the rest is history. Arlen accomplished tremendous success for the US OPEN and the USTA continues to benefit financially from the foresight that Judy had and the courage to it put in place.”
Renata Marcinkowska graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Psychology, where she played collegiate tennis and was an All-American athlete, as well as a Big 8 Conference singles and doubles champion. She became a naturalized US citizen in 1991 and has resided in Myrtle Beach, SC since 1988.
She was the 2002 South Carolina Adult Player of the Year, in 2003 and 2004 she was ranked number one in the world in the 35 year-old division. Renata was the 2002 and 2003 winner of the USTA National Clay courts, and the 2004 winner of National Clay courts in 35's singles and doubles.
Marcinkowska was the 2004 ranked #1 ranked player in the US in 35’s Singles and Doubles in 2004, the 2005 #1 ranked player in the world for 35’s singles, and the 2006 USTA Southern Slew Hester Female Player of the Year. She was named the 2009 SC Female Player of the Year, and has won the SC State Championships in seniors several times.
After playing for South Carolina at the Southern Senior Cup, Marcinkowska qualified to represent the United States on Intersectional teams, which led to her being chosen to play abroad on several USTA Cup Teams. She has traveled the world, playing in Germany, Turkey, Australia, South Africa, Spain and Mexico, and represented Poland in European and World Cup events, becoming the number one Junior in Poland.
Renata played on the WTA Tour for 8 years, was ranked in top 115 in singles and top 75 in doubles, played in all the Grand Slams and won the World Championship doubles 35 year-old division twice.
Marcinkowska has volunteered many hours of her time organizing tennis events and camps in South Carolina. She organized the Myrtle Beach Cup where all profits were donated to Friendship Medical Clinic for the poor in Horry County. Renata authored the book, “Power Drills for Team Tennis.” She continues enhancing the sport as a tennis pro and is perhaps best known for being awarded a patent for the creation of a revolutionary dual-surface “Hybrid Tennis Court.”
Always complimenting her opponents, Marcinkowska is known for her modesty on the court. Shirley Taylor, who was inducted into the SC Tennis Hall of Fame last year, commented, “To watch Renata play is like listening to beautiful music! She is a joy.”