Players to Watch – Marcin Rozpedski
One of the most recognizable names in the sport of pickleball, Marcin Rozpedski is a native of Warsaw, Poland where, at an early age, excelled on the tennis courts. At the age of 15, knowing he needed to hone his competitive skills in the United States, Rozpedski settled in at the world famous Van der Meer Tennis Academy on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Over the next five years, he developed into an elite player, one that was good enough to draw the interest of tennis dignitaries in Poland. In 1994, Rozpedski traveled back to his home country and captured a national title. His stellar play also catapulted him onto the international scene with a spot playing on the Polish Davis Cup team. However, playing Davis Cup against Nigeria in 1995, Rozpedski contracted malaria and soon thereafter his days as a professional tennis player were over.
But his love of the sport and physical determination sent him back to the United States and enabled him to earn a full tennis scholarship to UCLA in 1999 and play for legendary coach Billy Martin. As a Bruin, his love of California quickly grew and he eventually would reside in Bermuda Dunes, near Palm Desert where Rozpedski is currently the Sports Director at the Lakes Country Club, teaching tennis and of course, pickleball.
Rozpedski was first introduced to the sport of pickleball almost five years ago and instantly took to the sport and emerged as a force on the courts capturing numerous national singles titles including the 2015 USAPA Championship and Tournament of Champions crown. In 2016, the awards kept mounting. Defending his singles titles at the USAPA Nationals and Tournament of Champions, he also won in singles at the US Open and would win in doubles in 2017 at the Tournament of Champions. In 2018 at the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships, Marcin took home a bronze medal along with playing partner Daniel Moore in the Men’s Open Doubles bracket. “As a former professional athlete, pickleball has given me an opportunity to compete at the highest level. I am truly amazed how this incredible sport with a funny name has escalated in the last few years with popularity, tournaments, recreational play and even professional play. I truly believe that one day this sport will be included in the Olympics.”
During a three-year stretch from 2015-2018, Rozpedski’s singles record was an incredible 74-2!