Keller mother-daughter duo aces national tennis scene

MaryAnn Rompf and mom Mary. (Photo by Bill Rompf)

The mother-daughter duo of Mary and MaryAnn Rompf of Keller, well, they romped over the competition at the recent USTA National Grass Court Mother-Daughter Championship at the famed Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

The Rompfs, seeded third, lost just eight games in their four matches. They defeated Corinna Bode and her mother Catharina Ausfahi in the final round 6-4,6-1.

“Winning a national championship is always incredibly rewarding, especially when the sport of tennis has been your whole life. Winning one with your daughter is a dream come true – very special,” said Mary, who is a senior professional at Birch Racquet and Lawn Club in Keller.

“It is very special to be able to do something – especially in sports – with my mom,” said MaryAnn, who now lives in Nashville. “Winning national titles is a lifetime dream and especially so with my mom, and having my dad there to cheer us on.”

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Mary and MaryAnn had previously won this national championship in 2013 and 2015. In 2015, they also won the USTA Mother-Daughter Clay Court National Championships and were ranked No. 1 in the nation that year. These were all during MaryAnn’s junior tennis days, when she was 14 and 16 years old.

They were unable to play during MaryAnn’s five years of playing college tennis at Wisconsin and Furman because of collegiate match events. MaryAnn prepped for college at the renowned St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Florida, known for having arguably the best high school tennis program in America.

“So to once again be able to play – and especially to win again – was a great thrill and honor for us,” Mary said.

Mary was a national champion at the University of Southern California in 1985 when the NCAA tournament was played in Oklahoma City, where she grew up, and was a four-time All-American while at USC. She was previously ranked 98th in the world in doubles and has won over 50 USTA championships. She has played in all four major Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open).

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MaryAnn has won six USTA gold ball national trophies, five silver and four bronze.

MaryAnn’s father, Mary’s ex-husband  Bill Rompf, played tennis at Stanford from 1968-72. He then built one of the nation’s most successful junior tennis academies in Oklahoma, producing 45 national champions in the 1970s and 1980s. He was also the director of tennis at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1998-2010, where Mary was the head professional.

Bill brought the Mother-Daughter Grass Court National Championships to the Hall of Fame and ran it for 10 years before it moved to Chestnut Hill. Mary and MaryAnn have been playing together in the event since MaryAnn was 10 years old, with the exception of the five-year break.

Bill also runs the Bill Rompf Junior Tennis Foundation, actively raising money and providing scholarships to deserving and promising junior tennis players from Oklahoma City on an annual basis.

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“Both my parents introduced me to tennis almost at birth and it has been a perfect sport for me, building character and toughness both on and off the court all of my life,” MaryAnn said.

Mary and MaryAnn plan to participate in the USTA National Clay Court Mother-Daughter Championships (which they have won previously) in November in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“We are anxious to once again play this event and, of course, hope we can win it,” MaryAnn said. “But mainly, we’re glad just to be playing together and having my dad there to coach us. He is our biggest supporter and fan.”

Now that 24-year-old MaryAnn is out of school, Mary said, they plan to play together as much as possible. In fact, they have their sights set on reaching a milestone of being the greatest mother-daughter team of all time.

“The team that has been most successful in Mother-Daughter Nationals is Louise and Lauren Cash, having won the Mother-Daughter division (mother 60 years and younger) and the Senior Mother-Daughter (mother over 60 years) several times,” Mary said. “They were our biggest competition; we met in the finals so many times over the years.

“I’m a few years away from the senior event, but we hope to play in these championships for many years to come,” said Mary, who is 57. “There is also a Super Senior division where the mother is over 70 years old.”