Kenny Thorne

To say Kenny Thorne’s list of accomplishments during his tennis career is impressive would be an understatement. His list includes the following: ranked among the highest junior players in the country; finalist in the East Coast Classic; two time VHSL state singles, doubles and team champion at Godwin; 1986 USTA Indoor National Amateur Champion; All-ACC for four years while at Georgia Tech; held the record for most career victories in GT history when he graduated; 1988 All American; played professionally for seven years on the ATP tour, winning seven titles and along the way defeating four players ranked in the top ten in the world (Richard Krajicek, Wayne Ferreira, Mark Philippoussis, and Todd Martin); played six times at Wimbledon; the French Open, the US Open, and the Australian Open reaching a career-high #67 in the world in doubles and a career-high #121 in the world in singles; head coach and Director of Tennis at Georgia Tech since 1998; most career coaching victories in GT’s tennis history; 1999 and 2017 ACC Coach of the Year; and 2011 ITA National Division I Coach of the Year.

Kenny’s family moved to Richmond the summer before his junior year at Godwin. He immediately took the Mid-Atlantic Region by storm, winning several MATA championships. He won the Richmond City Junior Singles Championship in 1983. Then as an 18-year-old, he took on Virginia’s top adults at the Virginia State Open losing only to the eventual state champion, 7-5 in a third-set tiebreaker. He returned to the State Open the following year and reached the finals against the #253 player in the world. In one of the most thrilling state finals ever held, Kenny had match points before succumbing 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

According to his peers and coaches, Kenny was the hardest-working player in the RTA’s Junior Development Program. He was a constant presence on the courts at Raintree and his hard work was an inspiration to all the junior players around him. One of his fellow RTA participants also noted that “Kenny is a great tennis player, but he is an even better person.”

The Richmond tennis community was blessed to have Kenny Thorne here to inspire future generations of players. His outstanding tennis career has made us proud. We are honored to welcome Kenny Thorne to the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame.