A Giant Among Us

Well known and outstanding American senior tennis player/organizer, Larry Turville is again battling the cancer that has invaded his body.  Kelli Turville suggests those who know and care about him may want to reach out at this time.

How To?

Kelli suggests that, since Larry cannot speak very well at this time, written communications would be best.  So, here are some choices:


101 Racquet Club Rd

Asheville, NC  28803



Text Messages:

(239) 207-6604

You could also leave a comment/story here.

“Thank u for your support and kindness during this difficult time.”

The Turville’s on court wedding

Michelle (Kelli) Turville 

If you text message, please remember to add you name (since messages sometimes just come across with a phone number as an identifier), as I did with mine…

Larry. Just letting you know I am thinking about you; and the honor it is to be called your friend.  You are a GIANT (in more ways than height) in the men’s tennis world and we all appreciate everything you have done to make our lives better.  Your impact on the game – and on individuals like me – will last for years and years.  Thank you for sharing your effort, your knowledge, and your positive spirit with us all.  George W.

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link.

18 thoughts on “A Giant Among Us

  1. Larry,
    Please know that you have so many friends thinking about you and sending good thoughts your way. Wishing you the best.

  2. Hope you can win this battle. Stay strong in your struggle. I will pray for you . Leon Kennedy

  3. Larry,

    Although we haven’t seen each other in quite a while I read George’s blog and have followed some of your story. I will pray for your healing and the comfort of God to be near you.

    Although there are many tennis stories about Florida’s Turville family, there are two that I want to mention. One I just can’t get out of my head. One of the reasons it stays with me is because I have recently moved from Jacksonville to Sarasota, which is where the story occurred. I know Sarasota may have some negative memories for you but it’s a memory that is singed in my mind as I was in the 12 and under at the time. For those who don’t know the story, while playing a 14 and under match in about 1965 or 1966, Larry chased a lob over his head (it must have been a pretty good lob to get over him) and collided not only with the fence but also the hard metal gate. As you can imagine this collision was won by the fence as Larry ended up with a compound fracture to his arm. There were no heroics as Larry wasn’t able to finish the match.

    The second memory or thought I have of you is more remembering your organizational skills. Not only have you been a great organizer for senior tennis but you also organized the WATCH circuit back in the 1970’s which later developed into the Satellite Circuit and is now the Futures Circuit. So because of you, Armi Neely and Mike Sassano (and I’m probably leaving out some others), up and coming young players who are starting their climb to the ATP Tour have a pathway to play. That means that each of us who played the pro tour owe you a debt of gratitude for creating the path to help us get there. Thanks.

    May you have peace and be comforted in these trying times.

    Best regards,

    Brian Gottfried

  4. Larry:

    My prayers are with you, my friend ! You can do this !! You have been a role model for me for many years, as you have been for others. I wish I had known you sooner and maybe you could have fixed some of my many problems…..including, as Stan Smith told me, you have the worst radical western grip I have ever seen!! Pulling for you !!!

  5. You are on all our minds my friend! Keep playing hard and think about all of us short guys our here pulling for you!

  6. This is my favorite Larry Turville story: My friend Paige Hiatt and I were going to play our very first Cat 1 tournament, 55’s, at Indian Wells. We arrived a day early and were out practicing when we saw these two guys hitting to each other. We asked if they’d like to play some doubles and after conferring briefly they said sure. We were at 2-2 when it started to getting dark and all of a sudden it was 6-2 and we shook hands and walked away, my friend and I somewhat dazed as to how fast that set ended. The next day we found out who Larry Turville and Neal Newman were. They had just gotten back from winning a World championship in Turkey! Pretty damn nice of them to play with us! I’ve always been proud of those two games!! Thoughts are with you, my friend!

  7. Hi Larry! We had a fairly large group of Senior (very!) tennis players over at Phil Landauer’s club on Saturday and every single one of us talked about you and how much you have meant to this sport over the years. Several of the group had played the WATCH circuit back in the day, and we all appreciate you and our friendship with you. Scoot

  8. Larry, if I wanted to book a lesson with you in January, do I need to come to Asheville?
    It can get pretty cold there, near Black Mountain.
    Or, could we schedule for Southwest Florida?
    How much is the cost of the lesson? I’d better start saving up. I’ve got $40 now.
    I read somewhere that cancer cannot handle a “kick serve to the backhand” very well.
    Give that a try !
    – My best to you! Wendall Walker

  9. You very won many battles on the tennis courts. Susie and I are praying you win this battle. God bless.

  10. Larry, my prayers are with you in this important ” match “. Attack with your most positive spirit and you will be able to add another important victory to your record. Thank you for everything you have contributed to Senior Tennis. Although I am 15 years older than you, I have appreciated watching your skills during the multi-age tournaments as a proud fellow North Carolinian and Super Senior competitor from Pinehurst. God bless !

  11. Larry, thank you for all you have done for senior tennis. We are all pulling for you, and God be with you.
    Albert Lyle

  12. My partner, Dean Corley, played you in the semis of the 70’s in Pinehurst in 2019. We are in the 75’s so we were a little older. After you and Neal cleaned our clocks I found out what a great player you are. Actually I already knew it but you confirmed it. It was a pleasure losing to you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you to win this match.

    Michael Stewart

  13. Larry, I miss seeing you on the tennis court and enjoying the many rounds of fun golf we played with our “tennis buddies” (not great golfers)….the day we nearly won a set from you in doubles at Laurel Ridge CC was memorable until you decided to turn up the heat….my best to you and Kelli with prayers for your recovery….your friend, Don Stephenson…..

  14. Our group out here in the Bay Area are thinking about you with prayers and thoughts!

  15. Tennis family,
    Thank you for your heartfelt messages of goodwill, and we are trying to get better everyday.
    Best wishes
    Larryand Kelli

    Larry and Kelli, we are with you! George

  16. Larry…I miss the days we would sit in the Adult Comp committee and come up with improvements for national tournaments…which led to you, Steve, Jerry and I starting the Dunoff Cup. Of course you led your Florida team for one of those Cup wins. And, we met our goal of growing the sections involved and having National taking it back over (2919) as the Men’s Intersectionals. Get better Larry…you are in our thoughts.

Comments are closed.