Pickleball Magazine 2-6 - Page 88

A CONVERSATION WITH 2016 NATIONAL AND US OPEN SINGLES CHAMPION MARCIN ROZPEDSKI BY DEAN MANGIONE, USAPA DISTRICT AMBASSADOR M arcin Rozpedski, 2016 National and US Open Singles Champion, is the Sports Director of the Racquet Center at the Lakes Country Club in Palm Desert, CA. Marcin was a former Davis Cup Tennis Player for Team Poland in the 1990s and has successfully overseen a smooth transition at Lakes Country Club with the addition of permanent pickleball courts into the mix of racquet sport facilities. Marcin, 41, resides in the Coachella Valley with his wife and three sons. He was born in Poland and was given his first tennis racquet at age 6 by his mother. By age 14, he was ranked in the top 10 by the Polish Federation Youth Tennis Association. At that time, speaking no English and armed with only $300 in cash and an athletic travel visa from communist Poland, Marcin moved to Miami, FL, 86 alone. By age 19, he was ranked number one in tennis in Poland and a winner of the Polish Tennis Nationals. Shortly after, while playing tennis for the Polish Federation in Nigeria, Marcin contracted malaria and had to spend the next two months in the hospital. As a result, he lost his professional tennis sponsorships and his conditioning. Marcin recovered, and at age 20 he signed up for the College of the Desert community college tennis team in Palm Desert, but was soon noticed by UCLA and offered a full tennis scholarship. Marcin made the change from competitive tennis to pickleball three years ago, and won the 2015 Nationals Open Division Men’s Singles. TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 888.308.3720 OR GO TO THEPICKLEBALLMAG.COM