Pro Staff

Joao Pinho

Head Tennis Professional

Rio de Janeiro, Brazi

Joao “Jay” Pinho is our Head Tennis Professional and has been working at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2016. He is a former NCAA Division I player and Coach who has developed multiple junior National Champions throughout his career. Joao is a USPTA Master Professional and a PTR Master of Tennis in Performance, and is regarded as one of the top junior development Coaches in the country. Jay has spoken at numerous Conferences and Workshops, including the USPTA World Conference and the PTR Symposium. A two-time USPTA Middle States Professional of the Year, Pinho was also named USPTA Middle States Rookie of the Year, and U30 Pro of the Year, and was a recipient of the Norman Brammell Service Award; due to his contributions to tennis in the region.

He is a graduate from Utah State University, in Marketing and HR, and received his MBA from The University of Toledo, in Marketing, and completed a specialization Degree in Sports Marketing & Management from the UCLA Anderson Business School. Recently, Jay completed the Director of Racquet Sports program from the University of Florida. Joao is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is an avid fan of his soccer team, Vasco da Gama

Nouri El-Hajjar

Red Ball Specialist

Casablanca, Morocco

Nouri El-Hajjar is our Red Ball Specialist and has been working at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2006. He is a USPTA and PTR Certified Professional as well as a USTA Net Generation Coach. Prior to joining the USTA, he coached at the Haworth Country Club in New Jersey and at the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Tennis in Massachusetts. While coaching all ages, Nouri is recognized for his innovative technique with youth development. His Red Ball program was voted the best Tennis Program in the World by Tennis Whizz in January 2014 and has been highlighted in the New York Metro Parent Magazine. Nouri’s structured goal-oriented classes provide for the accelerated results in an enjoyable environment, where drills are individually tailored to each student’s personal ability. Additionally, Nouri creates Play Days so that our young players can start playing matches at an early age.

To promote passion for the game, Nouri regularly participates in the community outreach programs of the USTA foundation. He truly enjoys contributing to the Arthur Ashe Kids Day, AMEX Fan Zone, and the Queens Day during the U.S. Open; inspiring thousands of children to play and to develop a love of the game. When not teaching, Nouri is passionate about strengthening his industry knowledge by attending workshops and training sessions with top Coaches and bringing that information back to the court. Nouri is originally from Casablanca, Morocco.

Justyna Wereszka

Orange Ball Specialist

Katowice, Poland

Justyna is our Orange Ball Specialist and has been working at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2012. She received Master's Degree in Education from St. John's University, and served as the Graduate Assistant Coach of their Division I Women's Tennis Team. She studied Education and Journalism at Silesian University in Poland and received her Master's in Polish Philosophy. Justyna was an Elementary and High School teacher for couple of years and also began her career as a Teaching Pro in her hometown.

Justyna was ranked as one of the top junior players in Poland and is certified in High Performance Training, Cardio and Fitness. She is a PTR and USPTA Certified Professional, and enjoys teaching 10 and under tennis, as well as juniors and adults of all abilities. Justyna is originally from Katowice, Poland and, in her spare time, she skis, travels, reads books as well as enjoys art and culture.

Petros Georgiou

Green Ball Specialist

Flushing, New York

Petros is our Green Ball Specialist and has been working at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2012. Petros is a certified USPTA Professional and has Certifications for 10U and Cardio Tennis. He has been playing at the NTC since he was eight years old, and currently coaches all age groups and classes ranging from ROG through tournament-level juniors and adult classes. He brings to his students a lot of knowledge and personal tennis experience from playing at very high levels as a junior. He attended St. John’s University and was born and raised in Flushing, NY. He is fluent in both English and Greek.

Leo Correa

HP Specialist

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Leo Correa is our High Performance Specialist since 2017. With an extensive career in both tennis and beach tennis, he was a nationally ranked junior before moving to NY to study Business and play for St. John’s University. There he helped the team to win the Big East Conference Title. After earning his degree, he moved to France to play club tennis and ITF Futures for six months. He possesses ITF, PTR, USPTA and Emilio Sanchez Certifications.

As a tour coach he experienced travelling with ITF junior players to Europe and Africa and helped several of them achieve athletic scholarships in various Colleges. He also served as a hitting partner for both Max Mirnyi and Fernando Verdasco during the 2007 US Open Tennis Championships. Leo speaks Portuguese and Spanish and is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Shane Rampersad

Tennis Professional

Brooklyn, New York

Shane is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2018. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He is a USPTA Certified Professional and a Net Generation Coach. At the NTC, he teaches ROG, teens, high-performance juniors, and adults from beginner to advanced level. Shane’s competitive background gave him experience in helping others achieve their goals.

Shane always brings inspiration and passion to every conversation and lesson he has with his students. He believes whether it's a private or group lesson, if his student isn’t working hard then s/he won’t maximize his/her potential. On Shane's days off, he likes to hang out with friends, string racquets, and have a nice relaxing day.

Alex Bessarabov

Tennis Professional

Long Island, New York

Alex is Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2016. He started playing tennis at the age of twelve and went on to make varsity during his freshman year in high school. While playing at Farmingdale State College, the men’s tennis team went on to become Conference Champions in 2011-2013. Alex was voted 2010 Rookie of the Year and 2012 Championships MVP. Alex is a USTA High Performance Certified Coach, as well as a PTR Professional, and 10U Certified. Alex was born in Belarus, but grew up on Long Island, NY.


Rod Bailey

Tennis Professional

Macon, Georgia

Rod has been a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2008. Originally from Macon, GA, Rod grew up playing tennis throughout the south. After competing as a top player in Georgia, he attended Georgia Military College on a full tennis scholarship. His experience includes working at both the New Canaan Field Club in Connecticut, and the Doral Golf Resort in Miami. Rod has over 20 years of teaching experience and is a USPTA Elite Professional and a Tester. In his spare time, Rod enjoys producing electronic music and putting trance music mixes together.


Dhruthi Tatachar

Tennis Professional

Mysore, India

Dhruthi is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2021. She started playing tennis when she was six years old. Born and raised in India, Dhruthi holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and was ranked No.1 in Asia in the U-14 category, apart from being ranked No.1 in the U-12, U-14, U-16 categories and was ranked No.2 in the Women’s category in India. She was based in Nice, France where she trained at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy for three years. More recently she trained at Academia Sanchez Casal in Naples, Florida.

Dhruthi was on the Pro Tour with a career high ranking of 500 in Singles and 250 in Doubles. She has won Gold Medals for India in Singles and Mixed Doubles at the Youth Common Wealth Games held in the Samoa Islands in 2015. Her love for the sport and for being on the tennis court led her to Professional Coaching.

John Warren

Tennis Professional

Teaneck, New Jersey

John is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2021. He learned the game under Arthur Carrington on his way to becoming a USPTA Elite Tennis Professional, and has also been a student of Althea Gibson. During his more than twenty-five year career in tennis, John has been an NCAA Division I coach, and has worked with several ATP and WTA players. As a player, he is a former NCAA member of the Hampton University Men’s Tennis Team. John is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey, where he was a Varsity Tennis Team captain in high school.


Michael Badu

Tennis Professional

Kumasi, Ghana

Michael is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2022. Originally from Ghana, West Africa, he started playing and competing at a local tennis club at the age of eight. Michael started coaching in Boston, MA, in 2000 and has been a Pro in various tennis clubs since them. Michael enjoys working with all ages and skill levels and has worked with players from red ball to college level.

Michael was part of the Davis Cup Team in Ghana, in 1997, as an assistant technical and biomechanical coach. He competed in the USTA 5.0 and open tournaments and won singles and doubles championships within the New England Section. When Michael is not teaching tennis, he likes to hang out with family, playing soccer and fishing. Michael is a Certified USPTA Professional and ITF Level 1 Coach.

Robert Childers

Tennis Professional

Shreveport, Louisiana

Robert is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2021. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, he started playing and competing in tennis at the age of nine. Robert is a retired professional educator having served 23 years as a high school teacher and tennis coach. He has been coaching tennis for 25 years and has been a member of the USPTA for 18 years. Robert has developed players form foam ball all the way through Division I College. On the club level for adults, he has successfully coached USTA teams to local, State, and Sectional titles. “Having fun and giving the best lesson possible while making the learning process enjoyable is always the goal. I really get excited about player development and teaching the game of tennis for all ages and levels of play”. On his spare time, Robert enjoys traveling with his wife Zhana, cooking, playing tennis with friends.


Anders Johansson

Tennis Professional

Halmstad, Sweden

Anders has been a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2018. As a native Swede, Anders has had tennis as his passion since the days of Bjorn Borg. Playing national tournaments as a junior, he soon expanded into teaching, umpiring, and stringing. Anders moved to NY in the mid-90s and worked for the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce after graduating with a degree in Economics from the University of Vaxjo, in Sweden. Anders is USPTA and PTR Certified as well as Master Racquet Technician (MRT) with the USRSA.


Valeria Torres

Assistant Tennis Professional

Sunnyside, New York

Valeria has been sharing her passion for tennis with children at the NTC since 2016. The sport has been a big part of her life since she first joined her high school tennis team as a freshman, eventually rising through the ranks to be named Team Captain. Valeria believes in striking the right balance between serious moments and fun, to ensure that kids in her classes not only enjoy themselves, but are able to benefit from tennis as much as she has.



David Parra Neuton

Tennis Professional

Bogota, Colombia

David Parra-Newton is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2022, and teaches all ages, from beginner to advanced. David was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Florida, at the age of twelve, where he grew up playing tennis. David's coaching career began after graduating College in 2015 and he developed a great passion for it. He seeks to provide top quality knowledge to his students and inspire them to be the best they can be. David believes that a good coach is someone that sees beyond your limits and guides you to greatness.


Malachi Brown

Assistant Tennis Professional

Norfolk, Virginia

Malachi is an Assistant Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2021. He began playing tennis at the age of ten and began teaching by the age of twelve, under his Coach's mentorship. He attained top ranking in Virginia in the boy's 15 singles during his time in high school and continued to play in tournaments until College, where he attended Ithaca College for Music Composition and Cello Performance. While at Ithaca, he managed to find time to participate in his club tennis team which he eventually began coaching while also being involved with the volleyball and table tennis teams. He believes in focusing on technique in a pedagogical way so that his students can eventually learn how to immediately fix any issues on their own. In his free time, Malachi enjoys composing for various artistic projects and organizations, and performing in concerts on cello, creating small films, and acting in theatre productions.



Gustavo Alcayaga

Tennis Professional

San Juan, Argentina

Gustavo “Gus” Alcayaga is a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2021. He was born in San Juan, Argentina and later raised in Freeport, New York. As a junior, Gus was coached by Daniel Burgess and then professionally by Carlos “Picha” Lando who introduced him to Alberto Mancini and Gabriel Markus as a sparring partner. Gus continued his tennis career as Director of Player Development with the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL). He received the USTA/Eastern Club Service Award and the Member Organization of the Year Award as Director of Tennis at Bronx International. Gus served on the USTA/Eastern Junior Competition Committee as well as the USTA/Eastern/Metro Board and was the USTA/Eastern Junior Team Tennis Coordinator. He has coached both juniors and adults through all levels of the game and was fortunate enough to win the USTA National Championships in both categories as a Coach. He also was Junior Program Director, Tournament Training Director at The West Side Tennis Club and New York Tennis at Great Neck, respectively.


Steven Forte

Tennis Professional

Lagrangeville, New York


Steven has been a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2019. He started playing tennis at the age of five. Born and raised in Lagrangeville, NY, Steven moved to the Bronx the summer before his freshman year of high school and started teaching tennis at his neighborhood park. Steven went undefeated his entire high school career, with a perfect 47-0 record which culminated in his team winning the NYC Division B Championship. Steven was a quarterfinalist at the 2019 NYC Mayor’s Cup. He attends Lehman College where he is majoring in Exercise Science with a specialization in exercise and movement. When not on court, Steven takes care of Rocky, his pet dog.

Tolbert Oringi

Tennis Professional

Kampala, Uganda

Tolbert has been a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2018. He started playing tennis in Uganda at Kampala Country Club and eventually played singles and doubles on the Davis Cup Team for Uganda in 1999/2000. Tolbert then played at NCAA DI Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Texas. He is USPTA Certified and ITF Level II Coach, as well as ITF Officiating Certified. He possesses many years of teaching experience, having worked at other Clubs such as Randi Mani Tennis Academy, John McEnroe Tennis Academy, and Sportime. Tolbert also served as the Assistant Tennis Director at Beden’s Brook Country Club in Princeton, NJ.


Tom Tvedt

Tennis Professional

Staten Island, New York

Tom has been a Tennis Professional at the USTA BJK National Tennis Center since 2011. He was the 1st singles player and Captain at the Wagner College Tennis Team on Staten Island, NY, where he also obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration. After, Tom managed and taught at the Staten Island Community Tennis Center and serve as a Captain for the NYJTL Summer Tournament Team. Tom is a USPTA Elite Professional and has worked on various tournaments hosted at the NTC. Tom currently resides on Rego Park, NY.