San Diego County Tennis – Southern California Tennis News Tennis News, Events, Community Activities, Tournaments Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:13:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tournament Spotlights Spring 2018 Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:53:52 +0000 Read more »]]> Adult Tennis Tournaments

Sanctioned by the USTA in San Diego, the Hendrickson Wheelchair Classic returns for the 19th year on May 19-20 at Balboa Tennis Club. Eighteen different divisions (Open/A/B/C) will compete including Men’s and Women’s singles and doubles, plus Quad singles and doubles. Entries are due by May 13. The event is open to USTA members. For complete information via USTA TennisLink (Tournament #650004318) or click here.

The USTA National Senior, Super Sr., Ultra Sr. Father / Son & Mother / Daughter Hard Court Championships will be held June 8-10 at Claremont Mudd Scripps Colleges in Claremont, Calif. Six different divisions (with age guidelines) will combine parents and their children in competitive national competition. Entry to this tournament is open to all USTA members and must be submitted by Sunday, June 3. For complete information, visit USTA TennisLink (Tourn. ID #651768218) or click here.

Junior Tennis Tournaments

Junior Team Tennis will hold its Spring Sectional Championships at the Great Park in Irvine (and throughout Orange County) on June 2-3. SoCal’s brightest young talents will compete at various levels. For more information, contact Junior Team Tennis Manager Ken Grassel at

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Family Spotlight: The Svajda Clan From San Diego Mon, 02 Apr 2018 19:05:03 +0000 Read more »]]> It’s a fun family affair when USPTA Pro Tom Svajda heads to the courts at Pacific Beach Tennis Club in San Diego. For years, he has trained adults and juniors of all ages at this beautiful site next to Mission Bay. He also trains his two sons on a daily basis with a unique formula for success.

Trevor Svajda, Zachary Svajda and Uros Petronijevic


So what makes this San Diego-based teaching professional so different? He has opted to give his two sons, Zachary and Trevor, a different look at tennis development. Both are home-schooled and spend their mornings on the court developing their games primarily outside of the USTA Junior Tennis Tournament offerings. Zachary, 15, and Trevor, 12, have opted to focus on training, fitness and a lot of practice sets with top players in lieu of tournaments most weekends.

The results are trickling in as Zachary, a 9thgrader, recently reached the quarterfinals of the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships with coach and partner Uros Petronijevic, the former No. 1 player from the University of San Diego. Zachary and Petronijevic were seeded 5th and defeated teams from UC Davis, USD and Oregon State University. They eventually lost to a top team from USC.

Petronijevic, an All-America selection from Serbia, led University of San Diego men’s team to four straight West Coast Conference Championships from 2014 to 2017. He now shares his experience and insight with the two Svajda boys. He is teaching tennis part time at Pacific Beach Tennis Club and has future plans to travel with the boys for ITF events.

“It sounds great to play in ITF’s but the truth is that it’s hard work,” Petronijevic said. “I’ve told Zach stories about the tour but until he experiences it, he won’t understand. The other possibility is college tennis but that is still in the future.”


USPTA Pro Tom Svajda at Pacific Beach Tennis Club

Trevor trains with local male and female college players to hone his skills. He has plans to add more USTA tournaments into his schedule similar to his brother.  For the moment, however, the Sajvda family is happy with their tennis lifestyle.


“The boys are getting their education and great tennis from local players,” Svajda said. “They’ve only played a few tournaments recently to allow them the opportunity focus on improving. We’re enjoying tennis, and as long as the boys are having fun we will keep   going. It’s a different way to do things but it works for us. ”

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San Diego Celebrates Tennis Night at Petco Park on June 30 Mon, 02 Apr 2018 19:02:37 +0000 Read more »]]> Tennis and baseball are a perfect pair!

All are welcome to join the San Diego Tennis Community for Tennis Night to see the Padres play at Petco Park in San Diego on Saturday, June 30, against the Pirates.  Tickets are available through Balboa Tennis Club. Perks include receiving a Trevor Hoffman 500th Save Commemorative Bobblehead and a postgame laser show.

For ticket information, contact Geoff Griffin at, or go to There will be a $2 donation for every ticket purchased to benefit the San Diego District Tennis Association Wounded Warrior Program.

For groups of 10 or more, contact Meagan Maroney at (619) 795-5358 or email



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San Diego Christian College Men’s and Women’s Teams in the Hunt for Conference Championships Thu, 29 Mar 2018 17:30:12 +0000 Read more »]]> The San Diego Christian College women’s team recently defeated Arizona Christian College, 6-3, thanks to “Team Sarah.” The freshmen duo of No. 1 Sarah Schaerer from Switzerland and No. 2 Sarah Urbanek from Germany helped the Hawks to their 4-0 record in the Golden State Athletic Conference this season. San Diego Christian College is 7-5 overall, and are the defending GSAC Conference Champions.

With the season coming to a close, San Diego Christian College Women’s Coach Jim Bodor has encouraged his team to keep playing solid tennis. The Hawks previously lost, 6-3, to Arizona Christian College in an earlier match to even out their meetings 1-1 this season, and were thrilled with this victory.  The San Diego Christian men’s team defeated defending GSAC conference champion Arizona Christian College, 6-3, in an upset victory. They are now 6-5 overall, and 3-1 in conference.  


Schaerer and Urbanek, also nicknamed “Team Sarah,”are excited to be living in San Diego and experience life in the United States. Both enjoy playing on California hard courts  in the sunshine.

“I grew up playing on outdoor clay and indoor carpet,” said Urbanek, from Hamm, Germany. “It’s nice to have a consistent bounce on the hard surface and I’m glad I don’t have to think about sliding.”

Other observations from “Team Sarah” include playing sports at the university level, which is not available in their respective countries. San Diego Christian College offers athletic scholarships as part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) association that promotes teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, fairness and doing one’s best regardless of the outcome.



“Back at home we play on our own,” said Sarah Schaerer. “Here we play for our team and we are part of something really great. There are people who care about you. It’s like having a family in America.”

San Diego Christian College hosts Hope International University on April 7 at Lake Murray Tennis Club in San Diego. The GSAC Tournament will be held on April 19-20 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

“Every match is so critical,” said Bodor, also the San Diego Christian College men’s head coach. “We have a shot at a repeat (conference) title but much depends on what happens with the next few weeks.”

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INDIAN WELLS: In defeat, Nakashima wins Indian Wells fans Wed, 07 Mar 2018 01:30:56 +0000 Read more »]]> Near the end, someone at courtside said rather apologetically, “He’s young.”

Brandon Nakashima (USTA SoCal/D.Nash)

But this was not simply a flippant observation of 16-year old Brandon Nakashima, the San Diegan and top rated national collegiate recruit. It was as much a compliment to a young man who showed some fight in what could have been a lopsided affair on the main stage at Stadium 2 at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Tuesday.

Faced with a daunting task – the 27-year old Canadian Vasek Posposil, a former Wimbledon doubles champion – Nakashima was an automatic crowd favorite. In front of a sizeable audience, the first round Qualifying match turned heavily in favor of Posposil, who raced out to a comfortable lead in the first set. With a combination of punches ranging from electric service aces to powerful forehand winners, Posposil secured the opening set at 6-0, leaving the young Nakashima to return to the sideline in search of a feasible answer.

After losing the seventh straight game, Nakashima broke through with the first of his own, and the Indian Wells crowd roared with approval. Combining serve and volley with accelerated groundstrokes equivalent to his experienced opponent, Nakashima held his own all the way to a 5-4 lead in the second set, as the crowd voiced its support with cheers of “Let’s go Brandon” heard throughout.

Posposil regrouped, however, retooling his game for a quick tiebreaker highlighted by excellent serves, closing out a first round victory, 6-0, 7-6(3).
Still, in the jazzed arena, the story was Nakashima. His tennis career still unfolding, the youngster is sure to return to this stage again and again, with years of experience in his favor.

Also in Men’s action, former UCLA Bruin Mackenzie McDonald notched a straight set win over Glendale’s Alex Sarkissian, and Marcos Giron (Thousand Oaks) is due on court later this evening.


The women’s Qualifier continued on Tuesday, beginning with Ashley Kratzer coming off a rousing victory over the top seed. Her second round opponent, fellow American Sachia Vickery, began with Kratzer (Newport Beach) continuing the dominant play that worked to her benefit a day before. But once Vickery turned the tide, Kratzer suffered again from untimely errors. Unable to regain momentum, Kratzer fell in straight sets.

The men’s Main Draw was announced this afternoon, including a first round match between Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe) and 20-year old wild card Reilly Opelka. SoCal’s Jared Donaldson (Irvine) will meet a to-be named qualifier, while Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) faces off with Daniil Medvedev of Russia. The celebrated American Frances Tiafoe meets wild card Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina) and Poway’s Bradley Klahn meets Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in the opening round. The #18 seed Sam Querrey also enjoys a first round bye.

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San Diego JTT Spring Season Kicks Off with Coaches Meeting at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club Tue, 27 Feb 2018 21:25:12 +0000 Read more »]]> The Spring Junior Team Tennis season started with a gathering of about two dozen coaches who share a meal, learned new rules and offered feedback to JTT San Diego Area Coordinator Conan Lorenzo recently at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Lorenzo, also the Director of Tennis at La Jolla Beach and Tennis, ran the meeting with his usual generosity and good-natured leadership style. He was joined by Ken Grassel, the Manager of JTT for Southern California. The two offered the following information.

  1. Jan 24: Registration Begins
  2. Feb 18: Deadline to Create Teams
  3. Feb 25: Last day to register players; season begins
  4. May: Season Ends
  • Blackout dates are the following Sundays: USPTA Day, Mother’s Day and Easter. It will be up to the coaches to determine if they can have the match or not on those 3 days noted above. If both coaches can reschedule the match for another day, that would be fine. BNP Paribas Open weekends are NOT blackout dates.
  • T-Shirts: New Balance and San Diego Aviators will be helping with shirts this season. Please Contact Borja with NB at If you would like to get the San Diego Aviators Logo on the shirt, Jim Ault is willing to help with partial payment. Please email Jim at:
  • 10U Orange Ball Division will be using correct sidelines for singles this season and moving forward. Therefore we need lines for each baseline and also each sideline. We are doing this to keep in line with USTA rules and regulations for 10U orange ball.
  • Time Changes: We will be allowing time changes for clubs who have a lot of teams. Therefore look at the schedule closely to make sure you see the correct start time as not all clubs will be at the same “11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:30pm and 5:00pm” start time possibly. We are growing with teams and therefore small time adjustments may need to be made.
  • Same scoring: We will keep the same scoring format as what the website indicates. However, if both coaches agree to a deviation of incorporating “ads” or “no ads” that is just fine, however the format of 8 game, best 2 of 3 and so forth needs to stay the same due to “score entry” into the USTA site.
  • USTA Points for Play and UTR: The 18U will start to get their results inputted for UTR results, which is a plus.
  • Net Generation Equipment:  SCTA Tennis Service Representative Karen Ronney spoke on Net Generation updates, 10U programs equipment purchases and SCTA Net Generation school’s tennis programs. For information, email
  • 14U same scoring: We may see the 14U 3.5 have best 2 of 3 sets with a tiebreaker for the 3rd played at Sectionals. Ken G. will look over the concept and see if it can be applied based on # of courts, hours and # of players.
  • Divisions: 10U to 14U: 10U cannot play in the 14U unless they have gone through the youth progression. A 10U can play on a 12U team though if they have a rating applicable to the level.
  • Setting the Tone: Make sure Assistant Coaches set the tone right when talking to parents and players at the beginning of the matches. See this site for what is expected of all coaches when doing a line-up, speaking to players/parents and more:

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San Diego Coach Receives the Eugene Jung Multicultural Award Tue, 27 Feb 2018 21:14:22 +0000 Read more »]]> Coach Stan Jefferson knows what it takes to reach high levels of athletic success and he has helped many players achieve the same. He has been coaching for over 30 years and has made a huge impact on the Southern California tennis community. For his efforts, he received the  Eugene Jung Multicultural Award recently from the Southern California Tennis Association.

Jefferson is a USPTA professional and he works with diverse multicultural students at Mountain View Sports and Racquet Club at Martin Luther King Park in Southeast San Diego. He also teaches recreational classes at Miramar College. He has created a culture of inclusion for all players of all races who want to learn the game of tennis. He offers training to students in group settings where many different levels work together. Through this, he builds a mentoring system that has worked for many years . Top players inspire younger ones by displaying a strong work ethic, dedication and motivation.


“The younger players see what it takes to be top-ranked in So Cal or nationally,” said Jefferson, a  A standout player at Texas Southern University. “It takes some of the mystery out of the path to success. They are directly part of the process. “

Jefferson’s sets his expectations high for all players in his programs. In fact, athletic success runs in his family. His brother is John “J.J.” Jefferson, the former great Chargers wide receiver, who made Pro Bowl appearances in each of his three seasons with the team. J.J. was the 14th overall pick in the 1978 draft and was a key part of the “Air Coryell” offense. He led the NFL in touchdown catches as a rookie.

Stan, a talented athlete like his brother, picked up tennis at age 14 but worked hard to earn a scholarship at Texas Southern University. He was the team captain three of the four years.

“I played No. 6 singles,” Jefferson said. “I was pretty good but I wasn’t the best player. The reason why I was named captain was because of my work ethic. Coach knew that I would get up early and get my team going on morning runs. I learned that hard work counted for a lot.”

Said Texas Southern University teammate Mark Edmonds: “Stan works on their tennis and their minds. He knows there is a window of learning and he gives them as much information as possible in that critical time. He sees the obstacles that need to be overcome and he keeps their heads straight with the right aspirations.”

Jefferson transferred that same drive and determination to succeed from competing to coaching. In 1981, Jefferson moved from Texas to Tierrasanta, the latter a lush, hilly and quiet neighborhood of San Diego. He worked in a sporting goods store, and did not expect to become a coach.

“I thought that coaching was something you did when you couldn’t become a professional player,” he said.  “It proved you weren’t able to succeed in tennis. I was wrong. Being a coach is a different type of success. You can have a great impact on kids in a much better way.”

Three decades later, Jefferson has helped hundreds of kids learn the game and several have earned college scholarships as well as sectional and national rankings. Top players were Tiffany Filipovich (South Dakota State) and Francis Filipovich (Idaho State University ), Jwany Sherif, Shayee Sherif, Lawee Sherif, and Siem and Winta Woldab.

“I fully understand my role in their success,” Jefferson said. “If a kid has a chance to reach his or her goals it depends on me to create the right environment. You can’t be going thru the motions and you can’t wing it. You have to provide the right kind of practice and training.”

Jefferson is a no nonsense coach with a big heart. He is one of the reasons for Siem Woldab’s success. Woldab is first generation American-born to immigrant parents from Eritea, East Africa. He was named to the 2017 USA National Junior Team and reached the semifinals of the USTA Boys’ 16s Nationals at Kalamazoo last summer. Jefferson offered Woldab two training sessions per day last year and that made all of the difference.

Coach Stan Jefferson and Siem Woldab

“We worked out before school at (6 to 7:30am) and again after school,” said Woldab, now a junior at Helix High. “I want to go pro. I know it will be hard but I have the drive. I am willing to do what is necessary.”

Jefferson believes a player’s success is dependent on the environment created by the coach. He is also realistic about helping parents and players establish goals and expectations.  He has heart to heart talks with parents to let them know that if tennis is not a top priority then he or she is not a match to becoming a great player in Southern California or in the nation.


“Playing once or twice a week is not going to do it and parents need to understand that,” Jefferson said. “That’s okay though because it helps us set other goals like making a high school team. It’s important to allow them to make the choice because the have to do the work either way.”

For those with drive and determination, however, Jefferson is willing to go the extra mile.

“If a coach is not trying to produce a world class athlete then you won’t get one,” Jefferson said. “You have to believe in the potential of each athlete, and help them reach their dreams and aspirations. How much work, dedication and motivation they bring to the court us up to them. When they walk onto the court to perform, my job is done. At that point, it is up to them.”






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Spring Wheelchair Schedule Tue, 27 Feb 2018 01:33:41 +0000 Read more »]]> The Wheelchair & Adaptive Tennis schedule is getting busy with multiple wheelchair events on the horizon.

If you’re ready to get out there and hit, consider some of these upcoming SoCal tournaments!

April 7-8
5th Annual West Coast Wheelchair Tennis Classic
Warner Center Tennis in Woodland Hills, CA
USTA TennisLink: #650015318
contact: Jerry Russell 818-429-4435

April 29
Whittier Up/Down
Palm Park in Whittier, CA
Free event, Prizes for all Participants
To reserve your spot email:

May 19-20
Hendrickson Tournament
Balboa Tennis Center in San Diego, CA
USTA TennisLink: #650004318

June 2-3
Southern California Sectionals
Lakewood Tennis Center in Lakewood, CA
USTA – tennislink 651721618

June 21-24
Angel City Games
L.A. Tennis Center at UCLA

June 30
One Day Beginner’s Clinic and Fast 4 Tournament
Biola University in La Mirada, CA
Further details TBA
Dee Henry 562.822.8597

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UCLA Takes TOC Section Championship Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:53:48 +0000 Read more »]]> At USTA Southern California, Assistant Director of Adult Tennis Madeline Segura is the face of Tennis On Campus. After a raucous weekend in San Diego for this year’s Sectionals, Madeline found time to decompress after a wild weekend and provide a glimpse at the TOC experience that led to UCLA and Cal Poly SLO in a battle for Sectional bragging rights…

I could not have asked for a better weekend for the Tennis On Campus Section Championships. A small contingent of SCTA staff and volunteers arrived midday Friday at San Diego’s Balboa Tennis Club to prep the site. The sun was shining and the courts were busy as we started setting up. Dozens of players drilled and rallied throughout the 25-court facility. Members relaxed and watched Tennis Channel in the Club Lounge. Facility staff chatted with passersby near the reservation desk. It was the typical Friday afternoon at Balboa. Despite the activity, there was a casual and routine calmness in the air. I knew, however, that in less than 24 hours, Balboa would feel like a completely different place. The grounds would be filled with more than 250 club tennis players, friends, and family. The place would be buzzing with excitement and fiery competition.

Saturday morning came and so did the hordes of Tennis On Campus enthusiasts. 14 schools and 24 different teams took to their courts. The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego – deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster. As adoring fans settled into their viewing areas, off we went into pool play. With three teams in each pool, their finish in pool play decided their respective placement into bracket play Saturday afternoon.

The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego. Those teams were deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster.

For most of Saturday, the energy around the grounds was high-spirited and busy. When the teams weren’t battling on court, they found themselves in a haven of activity – posing for crazy team photos, snapping selfies for tournament contests, purchases TOC swag from the NetKnacks booth, and playing intense games of giant Jenga or water pong.

Once pool play ended, teams advanced into brackets: Gold for each pool’s first place finisher. Silver for each pool’s second place finisher. And Ruby for each pool’s third place finisher.

Heading into Gold were UCLA, Cal Poly SLO, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, USC, University of San Diego, and San Diego State.

Into Silver went UCSD-B, UCI-B, UCLA-B, UCLA-C, Pepperdine, USC-B, UCSB-B

UCR, Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly SLO, Cal State Fullerton, USD-B, LMU, Pepperdine-B headed to Ruby.

The sun began to set as the first matches of bracket play went to court. The atmosphere had an edge to it that was absent during the day. In the Gold Bracket, three bids to the National Championships were at stake and all eight teams wanted them.

After the first round of play, the tournament’s four seeds remained. UCLA would play UCSD and Cal Poly would play UCI. All four teams competed at the 2017 National Championship, which at this point, seemed like a distant memory. It was there that UCI and UCLA finished 2nd and 3rd in the nation respectively. So, as our final four Gold Bracket teams headed into the semi-finals, all four knew that just one more win would ensure their spot back at the National Championship.

It was UCLA and Cal Poly SLO that came out victorious. They were slated to face each other in the Southern California final for the third straight year. In the past two contests, Cal Poly came out on top. However, it was UCLA that was better prepared for battle this year. The Bruins took the Gold Bracket trophy, dropping only one set and finishing 25-16.

UCI and UCSD dueled for the third and final Nationals bid. In the end, the Tritons claimed the W beating UCI 30-8.
In the Silver Draw, UCLA-B took down UCSD-B in the final. That win earned them paid entry to the 2018 Spring Invitational, which will take place in March in Surprise, Az.

Cal Poly-B won the Ruby Bracket, which earned them a case of balls and a gift card for the team.

Though competition ended Sunday afternoon, it did not mark the end of the Tennis On Campus season. There were still several events for students to look forward to as they left the courts at Balboa Tennis Club. USD will host their first section tournament at the end of February. A handful of schools will compete at the Spring Invitational in Surprise, AZ in March. And of course, for UCLA, Cal Poly, UCSD, and SDSU (who earned their own bid to Nationals from their 2nd place finish at the 2017 Spring Invite) are heading into a busy training season before Nationals.

The 2018 Tennis On Campus National Championship will run April 12-14 at the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, FL. Follow our teams on Twitter (@ustasocal) as they represent Southern California on the grandest scale this spring!

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Fun and Fierce Competition at the TOC 2018 Sectionals Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:12:05 +0000 Read more »]]> Fun and Fierce Competition at the Tennis on Campus So Cal Sectionals in San Diego

After a successful junior tennis career, Carissa Bernhardt of San Diego decided to focus on academics when she attended San Diego State University.

Now a sophomore, she’s back on the court competing for SDSU in its Tennis on Campus program recently at the TOC Southern California Sectional Championships at Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego.

Bernhardt, a two-time CIF San Diego Section Doubles Champion, is in her second TOC season. She helped her team qualify for USTA TOC Nationals on April 12-14 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

“I like TOC because it’s competitive but it doesn’t have the same time requirements as a Division I team,” Berhnardt said. “It’s a good balance.”

For Bernhard, however, Tennis on Campus is a family affair. Her brother, Christopher, will be representing the University of Arizona at the upcoming TOC Nationals. Christopher, architecture major, is the captain of his team.

“You make a lot of friends from all of the other schools,” Bernhardt said. “The tournaments are great because you get to see them all at the same time. I am super excited to go to nationals with my family.”

A total of 13 different schools sent 24 teams to compete in the recent Southern California Sectional Championships. The top 3 finishers qualified for Nationals. UCLA beat Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the final, and UC San Diego clinched third over UC Irvine. San Diego State University qualified at the 2017 Spring Invitational. Other participating schools included the University of San Diego, USC, Pepperdine, Claremont College, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara.

SDSU qualified for TOC Nationals in April.

Off the court social activities were plentiful with fun photo props, water pong and a giant game of Jenga. While waiting to play teams mingled and enjoyed lunch on a beautiful San Diego weekend.

“The competition was as fierce as always in So Cal,” said TOC Tournament Director Madeline Segura. “There was a different kind of buzz throughout the grounds this year.

Whether the teams were on the court or battling in an intense game of water pong, there was great energy the entire weekend.”

Special thanks go to Balboa Tennis Club for hosting the event. Great appreciation to Balboa Tennis Club Director Colleen Ferrell, whose kindness and hospitality made it a fantastic experience for all. For more event photos, please go to  Good luck to the four teams who will represent So Cal in April.

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USPTA San Diego Convention Offers Stellar Line Up for March 4 Tue, 13 Feb 2018 05:33:04 +0000 Read more »]]> Registration is open for the USPTA San Diego Division Convention on March 4 at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Coach Wayne Bryan headlines the program with a presentation and free clinic for kids. The event is from 8am to 3:30pm and the registration fee is $50 for USPTA members (before February 22), and is $60 after that date. The fee is $87 for non-members. Any pro that brings eight or more kids to the clinic will receive a registration fee waiver.

Adding a new twist to the USPTA agenda is free kids clinic from 7 to 9am led by Coach Bryan. Kids will have an opportunity to play and then watch great college doubles matches at the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships on Court 1 at the same club.  This is the second oldest tournament in the United States featuring today’s top college players.  Then, the kids are welcomed to attend Wayne’s presentation from 10:30 AM to noon, as well as watch more doubles.

Cari Buck, the Vice President of the USPTA National Board of Directors and the Director of Marketing for the Southern California Tennis Association, will be the keynote speaker. She is an expert in her field, and is well-versed in the USTA’s Net Generation brand of tennis.

The USPTA Convention platform offers the following:

  • 7 to 9am- Free Clinic
  • 8am- Registration
  • 8:30 to 9:30am – College Coaching and Drills with Marcelo Ferreira
  • 9:30 to 10:30 – Solutions to Teaching Doubles with Stan Oley
  • 10:30 to Noon – Dead Ball Feeds, Drills and Games with Wayne Bryan
  • Noon to 12:30pm – Awards Lunch and Keynote Speaker with Cari Buck
  • 1:30 to 2:30pm- Racquefit – The Tennis-Body Connection with Dr. Greg Rose
  • 2:30 to 3:30pm- Wilson Advisory Staff- Jake Martin, Wilson Rep

For more information, contact Conan Lorenzo at USPTA San Diego Convention Brochure

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San Diego Junior Team Tennis Realizes Huge Growth and Participation in 2017 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 19:38:15 +0000 Read more »]]>  

14 Advanced National Champions Team Top Gun 2013 RPTC with Conan Lorenzo

The fantastic growth of the USTA’s Junior Team Tennis (JTT) program is a source of pride for many in the San Diego area. Looking back in 2017, the numbers indicate that players and parents are catching on to the benefits of this great program. The statistics tell the story and they say something is going very right in San  Diego JTT.

Leading at the JTT helm is UPSTA Coach Conan Lorenzo, the San Diego Area Coordinator for the Southern California Tennis Association. He stepped in 5 years ago, and that has made all of the difference. There are currently over 80 teams competing in with approximately 1,500 players in the various divisions, levels and age groups.

“The reason I asked to jump in to help with USTA San Diego Junior Team Tennis was mainly due to seeing other areas flourish in Southern California while we were in the back seat,” Lorenzo said. “I felt our division could do a better job with participation while also giving our other sections more competition at sectionals for team tennis.”

One remarkable change  change in the JTT offerings is the use of junior ratings at all levels and expanding Red, Orange and Green divisions. There has been 100 percent growth in Orange Ball and Green Dot JTT participation. Also, the numbers of teams have doubled from the previous year.

“I think we are seeing more coaches get on board with the Red, Orange and Green Dot tennis,” Lorenzo said of the JTT boom in San Diego. “Specifically, the Green Dot players are adapting to this level. As a result, this trickles down to coaching. I believe more pros are using Red, Orange and Green Dot balls in training, matches and tournaments. I think this is terrific for San Diego.”

“Just like any startup program with organizing player levels, there is an adjustment period,” Lorenzo says of the learning curve around player ratings. “We had a few bumps and bruises and it took time to figure things out. Now that the computer has a lot of results to help rate the players more accurately, we are seeing our matches much closer in scores which makes each competition even better!”

Congratulations to all of the San Diego teams for winning their respective divisions below. They advance to the So Cal Sectionals in Palm Springs next month.

Division: 10-and-under Orange Ball and Green Dot Teams

  • Barnes 10U Orange Ball Teams
  • La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club 10U Green Dot Team
  • CTA 10U Green Dot Team
  • RPTC 10U Green Dot Team

Division: 12U Teams of 2.9 Intermediate to 3.5 Advanced

  • Westwood
  • La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
  • Barnes Tennis Center
  • On Point Academy

14U Teams of 2.9 Intermediate to 3.5 Advanced

  • Omni La Costa
  • La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
  • RPTC

Division: 18U Teams of 2.9 Intermediate to 3.5 Advanced

  • RPTC Teams
  • On Point Academy
  • Coronado


U10 Greet Dot Champs La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club

18 Advanced NexGen and 10 Sat Flying Aces



Omni La Costa 14U Aces



La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club Aces




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Pete Brown First Serve Tournament a Success for San Diego High School Players and Coaches Tue, 26 Dec 2017 18:08:17 +0000 Read more »]]> Hundreds of high school players enjoyed the boys’ and girls’ Pete Brown First Serve Tournaments in San Diego. The two events were held in the spring and fall respectively, and they were designed to jumpstart high school tennis by offering positive competitive experiences to players ranked below No. 150 in the USTA Southern California final tennis rankings in the previous year.

“The First Serve Tournament allows players to get to know each other better before the season starts,” said tournament organizer Coach Don Ackerly of Valhalla High School. “It also gives coaches to a chance to get a feel for potential lineups.”

Patrick Henry High

In the girls’ First Serve Varsity Division, congratulations went to first-place San Dieguito High, and the finalist was Our Lady of Peace Academy. The Junior Varsity Division was won by Rancho Bernardo High, and finalist was Patrick Henry High. Kudos to the boys’ Varsity Division champion La Jolla Country Day, and the Junior Varsity Division was won by Rancho Bernardo High.

Rancho Bernardo High

In total, over two dozen teams competed in the First Serve Tournaments. The fun dual match format hosted with three singles players and three doubles teams listed in order of strength. Each team member plays the corresponding athlete from the other, for example player No. 1 vs. No. 1 and No. 2 vs. No. 2 etc. Each match consists of a six-game proset, with a set tiebreak at 5-5, using no-ad scoring. The winner is the team with the most matches won. In the event of a tie, the team with the most sets won gets the nod. If there is still a tie, the victory goes to the team with the most games won. Players may compete in singles or doubles throughout the day, but only singles or doubles in a given match.

Special thanks to Coach Don Ackerly, Varsity Coach Ron Marquez of Cathedral Catholic High, and Head Junior Varsity Coach Shannon Ackerly of El Camino High for their efforts to make the Pete Brown First Serve Tournaments a huge success in San Diego.

The next Pete Brown First Serve Boys Tournament will be held on February 24, 2018 at Valhalla High School, and possibly Granite Hills or Grossmont High Schools in San Diego. For more information, contact Coach Don Ackerly at

El Camino High competed in the First Serve Tournament

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CIF San Diego Section City Conference Fall Sports Wrap Up Brings Good News for High School Tennis Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:11:08 +0000 Read more »]]> The California Interscholastic Federation San Diego Section fall wrap-up sports meeting offered updates and changes for next year. Over 100 coaches attended event recently held at Madison High School. It was mandated for all fall sports coaches, including girls’ tennis. The meeting was led by CIF-San Diego Section City Conference President Scott Guisti and supported by various league representatives. 

Cathedral Catholic High Head Tennis Coach Ron Marquez led the group of San Diego area tennis coaches and shared information on all aspects of high school girls’ tennis. He highlighted the process behind tennis Power Rankings and how they affect league and team groupings as well as placement in CIF Division competition.

“Power Rankings are basically a points system that takes into account a lot of things such as wins and losses, the strength of schedule, and matches won in post-season play,” Marques said. “It will change every year based on the previous season’s results.”

Changes in place for girls high school tennis in the fall 2018 include limiting the Power Rankings based on the previous three years of play versus four or five years. Other upcoming changes in the City Conference include:

  • All San Diego City Conference coaches and teams will be using Google Docs for future communication.
  • Match times for team duel competition may change based on new start times for various high schools. For example, a delayed first period from 7:30am to 8:30 or 9am, will change when athletic practices and matches can begin.
  • Additional playoff matches will be offered for 3rd and 4th place in league championships.

“The bottom line  is the City Conference is striving to stay current with changing school systems, academic requirements, and sport and scheduling issues,” Marquez said. “All suggestions are considered by the Athletic Council, and if approved, they are posted in the Blue Book.”

For more information about the San Diego City Conference contact However, all rules are covered in the City Conference Blue Book for all sports including tennis at:




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SCTA’s Community Tennis Development Workshop Creates New Traditions in Orange County Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:24:10 +0000 Read more »]]> The Community Tennis Development Workshop was a smashing success held recently at Bill Barber Community Park in Orange County. The one-day event was sponsored by the Southern California Tennis Association and it offered coaching education, resources and tennis support to approximately 40 participants.

Melanie Bischoff, the Director of Community Tennis, said the Community Tennis Development Workshop has been offered for about a decade in Southern California. The conference was previously located at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden but was moved due to construction at that site. When the SCTA was searching for a new venue, City of Irvine Tennis Director Steve Riggs immediately offered accommodations at City’s offices and Bill Barber Community Park. Also, the seminar was restructured from a two-day to a one-day seminar.

“It was a pleasure for the City of Irvine to host the CTDW,” said Riggs, also incoming member of the SCTA Board of Directors in 2018. “We feel it’s important to give back to the tennis community and one great way to do this is by hosting tennis education seminars. We look forward to helping out again in the future.”

The CTDW morning kicked off with a comprehensive On Court Net Generation Training led by USTA National Coach Karl Davies. The three-hour session offered an in-depth look at the USTA’s Net Generation Red Ball program for beginners focusing on tennis progressions, easy games, and activities with a fun flair.

After lunch, the SCTA staff led a “Welcome to Net Generation” program headlined by USTA SoCal Director of Marketing Cari Buck, and Tennis Service Representatives Karen Ronney and Aisling Bowyer. They informed of Net Generation resources, programs, teaching support and a vast array of coaching guidance for 10-and-Under Tennis. The workshop was designed to assist teaching pros, coaches, teachers, park and recreation leaders, and those associated with Community Tennis Associations.

Additional sessions included a historical look at the development of tennis in the African American communities led by representatives of the American Tennis Association. Other offerings were breakout focus sessions led by local experts.

In addition to the tennis education workshop, lunch and dinner, the CTDW had its first awards presentation. The First Serve of Santa Ana was named the “Community Program of the Year”, and the group received a plaque and recognition for its efforts. They said the fundamental concept of First Serve was to teach tennis to kids, and encourage older players to mentor younger ones. This program develops responsibility, community spirit and leadership skills in youth. First Serve said it credits their successful model to tennis legend Vic Braden, who provided assistance in their earlier years of operation. Other award winners were Beth Kuney for Volunteer of the Year, Mark McCampbell received an award for Coaching Excellence of the Year, and Braemar Country Club was named Community Partner of the Year.

“The workshop is an opportunity for Community Tennis Association (CTA) members, park and recreation professionals, teaching pros, facility personnel and community tennis advocates to get together to learn and to continue to find ways to grow the game,” said Evan Smith, USTA SoCal Manager of NJTL, Diversity & Inclusion. “This is also a great way to network, meet new people and build friendships. It’s one of the highlights of the year in Community Tennis at the USTA.”



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Advocacy Support Determines the Fate of Pacific Beach Tennis Club in San Diego Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:16:08 +0000 Read more »]]> The future of Pacific Beach Tennis Club and Mission Bay Park in San Diego is at stake and hundreds of concerned local citizens showed up recently at a city planning meeting to hear the update. The Pacific Beach Tennis Club (PBTC) is slated to be demolished and rebuilt in a nearby location. Other affected sport venues include the Mission Bay Golf Course, baseball and soccer fields, a natural reserve, water sports, and many other park and recreation offerings.

These community recreational jewels are at the center of the great debate, which are defined by the Mission Bay’s De Anza Revitalization Project. The city’s decision will change the existing footprint of the tennis club and many other community interests. Phil Tan, a director on the PBTC board, has been informing the city planners of the tennis club’s preferences since 2016.

“We are seeking an increase in the number of tennis courts as well as the addition of pickleball courts,” Tan said. “We also need adequate parking to host tournaments, leagues, camps, and other events.  We are also requesting that the new facility is built prior to removing the existing facility so that there is no disruption of activities.”

The almost three-hour community event was held recently at Mission Bay High School and it ended with the city’s vote to support of a plan that will move the current club to the northeast corner of Mission Bay. The footprint appears to provide nine lighted tennis courts with two parking spaces allotted per court. However, missing elements include a club, an entertainment area, and possibly a storage area for tennis.

The Pacific Beach Tennis Club is currently an eight-court facility with lights for evening play. It hosts a small clubhouse with racket stringing services, a community tennis club that offers leagues, mixers, lessons, junior programs and clinics. Three outstanding teaching professionals call PBTC home – USPTA Pros Steve Adamson and Tom Svajda, and Uros Petrojenivic, who all provide lessons, clinics, camps and tournament play for all ages and levels.

The confusing part of the city’s proposal is representatives said nothing in the plan is fixed. All elements are subject to change depending on future environmental and water studies. Also, all other plans might be investigated despite the vote. Several concerned citizens suggested a vote was premature pending the results of these studies. After a long discussion, however, the city voted and the meeting was closed with little public agreement.

Bottom line? The fate of Pacific Beach Tennis Club is a story to be continued through 2018 and 2019. Since there are many other stakeholders and interests competing for the club’s space, it is important for tennis advocates to have their voices heard whenever possible in the future.

“This is a great opportunity to help the planners envision a tennis facility that serves a wide community,” Tan said. “Pacific Beach Tennis Club and all tennis enthusiasts need to let the city know how we feel. That’s our only chance.”

For more information, go to http://www.deanzarevitalizationplan.

To get involved or provide suggestions for promoting a great public tennis facility in the heart of San Diego, please contact Phil Tan at







Special thanks go to Phil Tan and Bruce Hunt for contributing to this report.

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Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club Wins USTA’s Outstanding Facility Award Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:10:30 +0000 Read more »]]> Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club (RPTC) was one of twelve nationwide tennis facilities recently awarded USTA’s  Outstanding Facility Award. RPTC club members were present recently to accept the honor at the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando including Board President Patsy (PJ) Greenwald and Executive Director Michael Donahue. This is the second USTA recognition for RPTC, which earned Honorable Distinction in 2009.

The public facility in North County San Diego was nominated for this award for many reasons including the beautiful condition of the club, landscaping, maintenance and upkeep, quality of programming, excellent instructors, overall court use, adult and junior classes, leagues, tournament offerings and much more.

Last year, RPTC hosted over 15 USTA Junior Team Tennis (JTT) squads and has a junior membership that is very involved in USTA local and national competition. In 2014, RPTC’s 14s Advanced Junior Team Tennis group won the National Title.  In adult tennis, the 3.5 level 55-and-over team captained by Vicky Benito went to nationals and finished second in that division. Another component that USTA looks for in deciding winning tennis facilities is how staff and volunteers support and encourage the game of tennis.

“Thanks to members who volunteer to work with our juniors, I think we have one of the best junior facilities in not only San Diego, but in the country,” said PJ Greenwald. “We have the most giving, caring and nicest group of tennis players in San Diego.”

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USTA Adult Leagues Thrived in San Diego 2017 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:07:42 +0000 Read more »]]> It was an incredible year for USTA Adult Leagues in San Diego. Top honors were earned by nine teams recently at the Southern California Sectionals, and they qualified to represent So Cal at USTA Nationals.

Congratulations to Rancho Bernardo Summit, who became the 6.0 Mixed Doubles National Champions. Big high fives go to the Tierrasanta Tennis Club Tri-level Ladies Team captained by Debbie Fitzgerald. They won the Southern California Section Championships in Claremont, CA. The team format combines players at the 4.5, 4.0 and 3.5 levels competing as a team against players at the same level. Tierrasanta’s win was the first season San Diego teams competed in this league.

Final four honors went to the 3.0 level ladies teams from StoneRidge Country Club, and the 9.0 level 55-and-over ladies team from Rancho Valencia. Great performances at the national event were logged by the 4.0 Coronado Men and 4.0 Coronado Ladies, as well as the Del Rayo Downs Ladies. In 55-and-over division, the North County ladies teams swept all levels including 6.0 Stone Ridge Country Club, 7.0 Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club, and the 8.0 Kit Carson Park.

Upcoming Events:

South Area Playoffs will be hosted at Barnes Tennis Center in January. Also the Winter Season will kick off in 2018 from January to March offering USTA Mixed Doubles 18-and-over division and the USTA Adult Men’s and Women’s 40-and-over category. For more information, please contact USTA San Diego League Coordinator Randie Lettington. at

 Special thanks to Ali Ordonez, the SCTA Adult League Coordinator, and SCTA San Diego Area League Coordinator Randie Lettington for contributing to this report.


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USTA Offers Multicultural Grants and Financial Assistance for Juniors in 2018 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:42:44 +0000 Read more »]]> The USTA is offering many financial assistance opportunities to assist players of minority and multicultural backgrounds next year. They will be in the form of Individual Player Grants, Excellence Player Grant and Essay Grants. All applications are available online.  If eligible, please apply.

Multicultural Individual Player Grant for National Competition & Training: These grants provide funding to competitive junior players aspiring to achieve national and/or international rankings. Funding will be based on participation in specific USTA sanctioned tournaments in 2016. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round and have a history of strong national tournament results. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully prior to submitting your application. The application due date is February 2, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For more information, please click here , and go to this link for Grant Application Instructions.

Okechi Womeodu Scholar Athlete Grant: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Okechi Womeodu, who otherwise would have had a very promising future, both on and off the court. Rewards players who work to excel as much in the classroom as in sports. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round, have a history of strong national tournaments results and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The number of grants available are : 1 grant (African-American male). The application due date is January 20, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For the application,  please click  here.

Althea Gibson Leadership Award: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Althea Gibson, the first African-American Grand Slam champion, who paved the way for millions who followed. Rewards players who work to excel in leading others both on and off the court. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (African-American female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Click here to download the application.

Pancho González Scholar Athlete Grant: In honor of Pancho Gonzalez, the Mexican-American icon who won two U.S. Championships men’s singles titles and whose dedication to the sport of tennis brought together fans from all walks of life. We look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click here to download the application.

Asian-American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant:  In honor of the achievements of Asian-American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click  here to download the application

Native American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant: In honor of the achievements of Native American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018.  Please click here to download the application.

Multicultural Excellence Program Grant: USTA Diversity & Inclusion would like to offer support to programs which are helping our best young players reach the highest level of national junior tennis. We will help offset expenses to any full-time program which offers travel to assist a team or two or more players to compete in the main draw of singles at any USTA sanctioned events. The application due date is through 2018. Please click here to download the Grant Report Form.



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San Diego Wounded Warrior Campaign Revving Up for its 2018 Program Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:32:05 +0000 Read more »]]>

Wounded Warrior Tennis is here to stay and working toward a successful 2018 campaign thanks to several San Diego Area clubs and organizations. The Wounded Warrior program, sponsored by the San Diego District Tennis Association, credits its success due to the collaborate help from Balboa Tennis Club, Coronado Tennis Club, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Morgan Run, and Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club. These clubs have been critical to the program’s success by providing financial and in-kind support through donations and fundraisers.

The Wounded Warriors are currently in the process of raising $70,000 for the 7th Annual National Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp which will be held May 6-12, 2018 at Balboa Tennis Club.  Sixty Wounded Warriors of all ages and from over 20 states are expected to attend.

The program was established in 2009 and was designed to use tennis as a means of physical and emotional rehabilitation and community reintegration for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from across the country. This program is unique in the country and has received national recognition for its excellence and impact from the USTA and Department of Defense.  Over 1000 Wounded Warriors enjoy weekly tennis clinics at Balboa Tennis Club and Naval Medical Center San Diego, as well as annual week-long tennis camps for Wounded Warriors from across the country, which are run by volunteer tennis pros and enthusiasts from across San Diego.

A hallmark of this program is that all the tennis clinics and camps are free to the participants because most do not have the means to otherwise participate.   Per person costs associated with the camp can exceed $1,000. Through grants and donations from San Diego tennis clubs, businesses, and community support organizations, we have been able to cover all costs including airfares, lodging, meals, tennis equipment and instruction and social events at the camps.

“We invite you and your club members to become a part of this shining example of how the San Diego tennis community is taking care of our military families,” said Steve Kappas. “Please consider hosting a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program at your club, taking up a collection of tennis supplies, or making individual financial or in-kind donations. Our Wounded Warrior tennis players will greatly appreciate your help!”

For more information on Wounded Warrior tennis or how to donate to this great program please go to, where there is a quick and easy online donation option.  You may also contact Steve Kappes, the District’s Director of Military Outreach, at  or call 619-948-4596.

Special Thanks to Steve Kappes and the SDDTA for contributing this story.

  ]]> 0 The PTR Offers Coaching Education Opportunities in Southern California Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:11:17 +0000 Read more »]]> Registration is open for Professional Tennis Registry workshops in Southern California for coaches who wish to progress in coaching education.

On December 16 & 17, a 10 & Under Certification will be held at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo. The clinician is Julien Heine and fee is $202. The workshop covers the following:

  • Creating a coaching environment in which young children can learn to play quickly while having fun
  • Communication and organization skills for coaching 10 & Under players
  • Structure and content of tennis lessons for 10 & Under players: athletic skill, technical and tactical, game and competitive development on the RED, ORANGE and GREEN court
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 10 & Under players
  • Serve, rally and score as quickly as possible
  • Appropriate team and individual competition for different age groups
  • Information for working positively with parents

An 11 to 17 Certification is offered at El Camino Country Club on January 27 in Oceanside.  The  clinician is Marc Stingley and the fee is $227. The Elements of the Workshop are:

  • Communication and organization skills for coaches working with 11 to 17 year olds both in groups and as individuals
  • Lesson structure and content for different ages and gender: athletic skills to reinforce technical and tactical skills, game and competitive development
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 11-17 year olds
  • How to develop leadership qualities in young people
  • Conducting successful camps
  • Appropriate competition in singles, doubles and team formats
  • Information for working positively with parents

For information on all of these workshops, go to

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USTA’s College Knowledge Inspires Players and Parents Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:11:58 +0000 Read more »]]> What does it take to get a college tennis scholarship? Outstanding answers came from tennis professionals at the recent College Knowledge Workshop held at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. The event was sponsored by the USTA and organized by USPTA Pro Amanda Fink, a former tour player and ITA All-America pick. The goal was to hear from the professionals about many types of tennis opportunities at the collegiate level including NCAA Division I, II & III schools, USTA’s Tennis on Campus program, NAIA opportunities, the importance of fitness, and the benefits of Community College tennis.

Over 50 coaches, parents and players attended the free workshop. It was a great opportunity to ask key questions to expert panelists including USC Assistant Women’s Coach Chris Wootton, San Diego Christian College Women’s Coach Priscilla Jensen, USD Assistant Men’s Coach Rich Bonfiglio,  San Diego City Men’s and Women’s Coaches Brandon Lupian and Jami Jones, Andrea Tyndall of Athletic Evolution, and Madeline Segura of USTA’s Tennis on Campus (TOC).

Fink opened the workshop by sharing her personal story of how tennis helped her in college and beyond, as she now holds a prestigious teaching position at the Santaluz Club in San Diego. She works with high school athletes on and off the court.

“Parents this is your chance to get real answers from some of the best,” Fink said. “You can ask the coaches questions in general but can’t specifically ask about your child.” General information that was shared includes the following:

  • Women’s NCAA Division I and NAIA programs offer full scholarships where Division II schools typically offers partial rides to female athletes. Men’s Division I and II colleges usually offer partial rides. Men’s and Women’s Division III schools can’t give athletic aid.
  • Community Colleges are great opportunities to get an almost free education and play college tennis while in pursuit of an Associate Degree or transfer to a four-year school.
  • USTA’s Tennis on Campus (TOC) is a USTA Program at 25 colleges across the country, and they offer great tennis at a high levels while not being a varsity sport. Perks include great competition and travel. Scholarships are not needed to play TOC.

“The level of commitment is the biggest difference between Division I, II and III schools,” Wootton said. “Tennis is a fulltime job in Divisions I and II. In Division III, academics come first. “

All coaches on the panel agreed high school athletes making the transition to college need to learn how to find balance in their lives. Organizational skills and learning to live away from home are big adjustments.

Questions included: What is the recruiting process to identify players? All agreed they look at a combination of USTA rankings, UTR ratings and TennisRecruiting ‘s star system.  However, there are additional factors.

Jensen said  her NAIA program in San Diego can offer scholarships and it is typically for those suited to those seeking a smaller private school. “We are looking for that unique individual who has tennis skills plus the right personality to make it a perfect fit,” Jensen said.

Jones, the San Diego City College Women’s Coach, suggested Community Colleges are great options for many student-athletes. “It’s the perfect time for recent graduates to grow as individuals and players in lower pressure atmosphere.”

Segura is the Assistant Director of Adult Tennis at the Southern California Tennis Association. She said TOC is a step down from NCAA varsity tennis yet a step up from recreational club tennis. They are student run programs that are lively and social. Practices are held during the week and players participate when it works into their schedules.

Another angle of preparing for college tennis includes fitness, which is an area of specialty for Andrea Tyndall, a strength and conditioning coach based in San Diego. She has worked with other high profile programs such as Tennis Australia.

“If tennis is your toolbox, fitness is a massive part of your program,” Tyndall said. “If you can’t get to a ball it doesn’t matter how good you are.”

Other tips came in the form of how to contact coaches, when players can expect responses, questions to ask coaches, and  the importance of creating players’ resumes. One reality changer included player behavior off the court.

“I’m looking for good character,” Bonfiglio said. “A tennis team is a culture. We are looking for players who really like tennis. I know that sounds silly but it’s not always the case. Some players have a long list of accomplishments but there are over the process by the time they get to college. We want players who will take it upon themselves to get better. That reveals a high level of character.”





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