Don’t miss the Carroll County home show this weekend!

Tennis tournament remembers avid player


Janie Konigsberg's parents gave her a tennis racket in 1960 when she was 5 years old. She wound the remaining 33 years of her life around tennis.

The first Janie Konigsberg Memorial Tennis Tournament, which was scheduled at the Westminster City Playground tennis courts Saturday, recognized the approximately $5,000 worth of tennis equipment and clothing that her mother donated to the city in September 1994.

Ms. Konigsberg died of complications from juvenile diabetes two years ago at age 38.

Seven players had registered for the tournament by Friday. Entry was limited to youths ages 13 to 18.

"Tennis was her love and Westminster was her love and she wanted [the equipment and clothing] donated to Westminster, where she taught and played," Helen Konigsberg said.

Ms. Konigsberg, a certified tennis instructor and racket stringer, taught tennis in Howard County's recreation program in the early 1980s, then moved to Finksburg in 1984.

"When she came to Carroll County, tennis was practically nonexistent," her mother said. "She wanted to bring tennis to Carroll County."

Though Carroll County was home to two summer tennis tournaments and two indoor tennis facilities before she moved to Carroll, Ms. Konigsberg started summer tennis camps and a junior tennis league, taught tennis through county recreation programs and started and directed tournaments. She also videotaped her students' matches and invited the students to her home to watch the videos.

Mrs. Konigsberg and her husband, Robert, were avid tennis players who introduced the game early to their children. Ms. Konigsberg's brother Richard also enjoys playing, his mother said. But Ms. Konigsberg had exceptional ability and interest.

Ms. Konigsberg was undefeated in singles play in four years at Milford Mill High School, where she graduated in 1973. She continued playing at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., where she compiled an undefeated singles record.

She played on the professional tennis circuit after graduating from college.

The circuit took her around the United States and abroad, which meant she got to see a lot of public restrooms, Mrs. Konigsberg said.

Ms. Konigsberg was inspired to write about restrooms. The result was a book called "The Johns We've Known," written by Ms. Konigsberg and edited by her mother.

Mrs. Konigsberg said her daughter was as enthusiastic about photography as about tennis.

Ms. Konigsberg frequently gave away photos she had taken, her mother said.

"She had a gentle, sweet disposition," her mother said.

Prizes for Saturday's tournament were drawn from the collection Mrs. Konigsberg donated to the city.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad