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NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER

MEET OUR PROS

Whitney Kraft - Director of Tennis

Whitney Kraft

Whitney brings more than 25 years of tennis experience to the National Tennis Center. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, where he was an All-American singles player in 1982 and was inducted into the FAU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. As a tennis player, Whitney was a four-time National Mixed Open Champion and was the USPTA International Over 45 doubles champion in 2006. His tennis industry affiliations include serving as District President of the USPTA and District Director for the USTA, as well as City Liaison for First Serve of Broward County (Fla.). For the past eight years he has served as Tournament Director for both the USTA Boys’ 14 Clay Court National Championships and the USTA Open National Clay Court Championships.

Rod Bailey

Rod Bailey

Rod grew up in Macon, Ga., where he excelled on his local tennis high school team. He received a full tennis scholarship to the Georgia Military College, where he played No. 1 for two years. Rod is certified to teach tennis by the USPTA and works with all levels and ages providing tennis instruction. Before coming to the National Tennis Center, he worked at the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Fla., and the New Canaan Racquet Club in Connecticut, and he was the head teaching professional at the Healy Pointe Country Club in Macon for seven years.

Cathie Delaney

Cathie Delaney

Cathie has been teaching at the National Tennis Center since 1989. She grew up in Port Washington, N.Y., and attended C. W. Post–Long Island University, where she played No. 1 singles. After college, she played on the USTA Penn Circuit tour from 1986 to 1988 before becoming certified by the USPTA as a P1 teaching instructor. In addition, Cathie has been selected by the Tennis Industry Association to participate in the Cardio Masters Programs and is an instructor for 10 and Under Tennis classes, junior development classes and daytime group lessons. Along with her other teaching duties, she coordinates the daytime playing leagues during the fall-spring months.

Cynthia Dewi

Cynthia

Cynthia was born in Indonesia and competed as a member of the Indonesian National Tennis Team, participating in numerous international junior and women’s events in both Asia and Europe. She graduated from Widya Mandala University in Indonesia in 2001. Cynthia was a national champion in the USTA National Indoor Women’s Doubles and silver ball in Mixed Doubles in 2008. She has been teaching at the National Tennis Center since 2005. She has also been working with the New York Junior Tennis Leagues (NYJTL),  serving as a High Performance coach.

Nouri El Hajjar

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Nouri was born in Morocco, where he learned to play tennis. He is certified both by the PTR of Tennis Teachers and Coaches and by Tennis Dynamics. He has been teaching all age groups at the National Tennis Center since 2006. He is active in instructing players and developing their skills in 10 and Under Tennis and the School Tennis programs. He enjoys working with children and takes pride in helping them improve their tennis skills. He strongly believes in teaching high-quality basic techniques and methods. He keeps current by studying the tennis industry developments advocated by top-rated coaches and incorporates these teachings into his daily instructions. He brings to his students a love of the game and advanced instruction, which have resulted in his students’ achieving significant improvement and the ability to successfully compete within their age groups.

Bora Gerceker

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Bora was born in Ankara, Turkey, where he won singles and doubles national championships in different age groups and was ranked in Top 4 in Turkey between 2005 and 2007. He also represented Turkey in Davis Cup competition in 2006 and 2007. Bora has an ITF Level 2 certificate (Coaching Top Advanced Players) and Turkish Tennis Federation Level 4 certificate (Head Coach). In 2008, he worked for the Turkish Tennis Federation as an assistant coach for Fed Cup and Davis Cup. In 2009, he was a captain of Turkey’s Fed Cup Team. He graduated from Hacettepe University in Turkey with a degree in geological engineering.

Reiko Giffords

Reiko Giffords

Reiko has been an instructor at the National Tennis Center since 1998. She is certified to teach tennis by the USPTA/USPTR and is a certified wheelchair tennis instructor. When not teaching tennis, Reiko works in the Programs Office, where she organizes and coordinates junior and adult tennis programs, adult weekend tennis camps, adult round-robin daytime tournaments and seasonal mini-camps. Reiko played college tennis growing up in Kiryu, Japan. She is fluent in English, Japanese and Korean.
 

Ilyar Khammadov

Ilyar

Ilyar was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. As a part of the Uzbekistan National Tennis Team, he participated in various international junior and men’s tournaments in Europe and Asia. At the age of 18, Ilyar entered professional training in Louis Bruguera’s tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain. He graduated with honors in finance from Auburn Montgomery University, where he was on the NAIA national championship title-winning tennis team in 2006. Ilyar specializes in developing players of different ages and abilities. He is known for implementing conditioning routines and Cardio Tennis to benefit players’ overall performance on court. Besides English, Ilyar speaks Russian and Spanish.

Elliott Pettit

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Elliott joined the National Tennis Center us as the 10 and Under Tennis Lead of Programs and Camps. Elliott comes from Eaton Rapids, Mich. A graduate of Ferris State University, he played on the men’s tennis team and received his degree in Professional Tennis Management and Marketing. He is a USPTA Certified Professional Level 1 as well as a PTR Certified Professional Level in Junior and Adult Development. In addition to USPTA and PTR, Elliott is also USTA Sports Science Level 1 and CPR certified. He served as the Third District Director of the Western Michigan USTA section as well on the Junior Competition Committee. He has teaching experience from all across the United States in Academy, Commercial and Private club settings and is very excited to bring his extensive 10 and Under Tennis background to the NTC.

Jimmy Russomano

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Jimmy grew up in Glen Ridge, N.J. He studied Comprehensive Science at Villanova and spent one year playing water polo and three years as a Strength and Conditioning Intern with the men’s and women’s basketball programs. He coached a youth swim team and credits his staff’s implementation of a “dry-land” fitness program with the improved  health and performance of the team. He interned at Michigan State University as a Strength Coach working with the football, hockey, men’s tennis and basketball teams. He completed graduate studies at the University of Illinois as a graduate assistant Strength Coach working with the basketball, swimming, baseball, and men’s gymnastics teams. He is certified as a Level 1 Sport Performance Coach by USA Weightlifting and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the NSCA. He is excited to develop stronger, faster and healthier tennis players at the NTC.

Aki Takayama

Aki Takayama

Aki has been teaching tennis at the National Tennis Center for 15 years and is a USPTA/USPTR-certified professional. An ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Director and a certified High Performance coach, she was a Girls’ 12 and under national coach for three years. In addition, Aki received the prestigious USPTA Heroes award for accomplishments with wheelchair tennis in 2005 and the USTA Service to People with Disabilities award in 2008. Aki graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in fine arts.
 
 
   

Justyna Wereszka

Justyna

Justyna Wereszka, a native of Katowice, Poland, received a master's degree in education from St. John's University in 2008, and served as the graduate assistant coach of the St. John's Division I women's tennis program. Justyna was ranked as one of the top juniors players in Poland. She received her master's degree in education and journalism from Silezian University in Poland and began her career as a teaching pro in her hometown. Justyna currently volunteers for the Polish-American Sports Association and competes in open tournaments. She is USPTR and USTA certified coach, and enjoys teaching 10 and Under Tennis, along with juniors and adults of all abilities.

Agnes Wiski-Pagnotta

Agnes Wiski_150

As a player, Agnes was No. 1 in the Eastern Section and a Top 10 national junior player. In addition to her success as a singles player, she also holds many national doubles titles. She received a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee, where she gained valuable experience playing collegiate tennis. She continued her tennis career by competing on the  professional level, obtaining a WTA ranking. She serves as a PTR and USPTA P1-certified teaching professional as well as a certified High Performance coach. Continuing her education, she became certified in Sports Science Levels 1-3. She works at the National Tennis Center with the High Performance, Tournament Training and Adult programs and also runs the Fitness program for junior tournament players. She is the Director of the Competitive Training Center program for highly ranked juniors in the 12s Metro Section.

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