© 2019 by Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame

AKEL, RICHARD – Tennis

AKEL, RICHARD – Tennis – Clemson University – 1980-1983: Akel started playing tennis at the age of 10. He remained undefeated in the state of Arkansas and was ranked No. 1 in every age group since his 14’s age group. He won the consolation bracket of the Southern 16’s Closed twice, and in his first year of the Southern 18’s Closed. His second year at the Southern 18’s, he won the singles title. Richard received a scholarship to Clemson University, where he played No. 4 singles as a freshman, helping lead his team to a No. 5 national ranking. During his time at Clemson he was ranked in the Top 10 in Doubles and the Top 20 in Singles. In 1983, Richard turned pro, climbing to a ranking of 345 in singles and a ranking of 182 in doubles. Although he retired from the tour due to injury in 1985, he managed to play every Grand Slam tournament at least once. He was inducted into the Arkansas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

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