Meyers Family Selected to LA Tennis Hall of Fame
One of the most accomplished tennis families in Louisiana, the Meyers family from New Orleans joins Chanda Rubin as the newest members of the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame at a reception and dinner open to the public and hosted by the Louisiana Tennis Patrons Foundation at The City Club of Lafayette on January 28, 2012 at 7:00pm.
Bill and Lorraine Meyers raised six children, all of whom grew up playing tennis at the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club. Bill, who played tennis for L.S.U. in 1948 and later served as President of the N.O.L.T.C., introduced his children to tennis at an early age. Coached by the legendary Emmett Pare’, Bill, Jr., Meg, Mark, Drew, Mary and Cullen quickly established themselves in the competitive ranks. Four of the six, Bill (Northwestern), Meg (L.S.U.), Mark (Duke), and Drew (L.S.U.) went on to play college tennis. “The single most important factor in whatever success we enjoyed as players,” explained Drew, “was the love and support from our parents, win or lose.” “The sacrifices they made for us over the years are immeasurable.”
While the Meyers competed extensively across the country, the best of the bunch was Mark. Consistently ranked #1 in Louisiana and in the top 2 in the Southern Section throughout juniors, Mark won the Southern Junior Singles and Doubles Championships. Recruited by universities across the country including Virginia, Michigan, Alabama, and Columbia, Mark chose to attend Duke University where he won the A.C.C. #1 Singles Championship and the Southern Intercollegiate Singles Championship. Upon graduation, Mark then went on to play professionally winning a number of professional titles and competing in the 1976 U.S. Open and 1976 Australian Open. Blessed with overwhelming top-spin groundstrokes, amazing touch, and mental toughness, Mark earned wins over players like Tom Gullickson, Peter Fleming, Hank Pfister, Zan Guerry, Pat Dupre and Brian Teacher.
After reaching a world ranking of 100, shoulder problems forced Mark to retire from the tour. Now a lawyer in Houston, Mark still finds time to compete at a high level. He has won the Southern Men’s 45 Singles Championship twice and has been a member of several U.S. teams in international tennis competitions. He reached the semifinals of the World 45s Championships in Vienna, Austria, and in 2009, Mark captured the U.S.T.A. National Men’s 55 Claycourt Championship without dropping a set.
Bill, Jr. was a top ranked Louisiana junior winning the Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama State Open Championships along with many other junior tournaments across the South. An outstanding student at Ben Franklin High School, Bill could have attended any school in the country and ultimately decided to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois on a full scholarship. During his collegiate days, Bill played #1 singles and served as team captain. Utilizing his big forehand, quickness, and intelligence, Bill enjoyed numerous victories including one over Tim Gullickson. As a senior in 1971, Bill reached the finals of the Big 10 in the #1 singles position. After college and during medical school, Bill continued to compete earning the #1 ranking in Men’s Singles in Louisiana. A gastroenterologist in New Orleans, Bill has won both the Bocage and N.O.L.T.C Senior Invitational Championships multiple times. On several occasions, Bill has represented Louisiana in the Southern Senior Cup, the top adult tennis competition in the Southern Section.
Meg was also a highly ranked Louisiana junior player winning several junior events. She later became a member of the first women’s tennis team at L.S.U. in the early 1970’s. Since her playing days at L.S.U., Meg has since remained active in tennis as a player, but also as a leader in the sport. She served two years as President of the Houston Ladies Tennis Association before becoming the first female President of the prestigious Houston Racquet Club where she was instrumental in turning the HRC into one of the top tennis facilities in the country. While at the HRC, Meg led a successful effort in providing a helping hand to New Orleans area tennis players displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
The top ranked Louisiana junior, Drew was a two-time Louisiana State High School Doubles Champion for Isidore Newman High School, and in 1976, he led the Greenies to a #2 national finish. Drew thereafter signed with L.S.U. after being recruited by Ohio State, Texas A&M, Illinois, Tulane and Clemson. In 1977, he became the first freshman in L.S.U. tennis history to capture an S.E.C. Singles Championship. An All-S.E.C. selection in 1980, Drew reached eight S.E.C. singles and doubles finals (indoor and outdoor) over his college career and finished at L.S.U. ranked second in career wins with 90 victories for the Tigers. Relying on his aggressive serve and volley game, Drew’s victories also included three Sugar Bowl titles and a USTA National mixed doubles title. After playing professionally for a year, Drew enrolled at L.S.U. Law School and while a senior in 1983, he defeated four then current L.S.U. tennis players including L.S.U. All-American Fernando Perez to capture the Louisiana Men’s Claycourt Championship. Drew, a lawyer in Lafayette, continues to compete and has been a member of three USTA League National Championship teams.
The Louisiana Tennis Patrons Foundation is the governing body for the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame. The Louisiana Tennis Patrons Foundation’s purpose is to promote the instruction, development and the playing of tennis. The Hall of Fame reception and dinner for Chanda Rubin and the Meyers family is open to the public and is scheduled for 7 p.m. on January 28, 2012, at The City Club in Lafayette.