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Meet the Pros

Luke Jensen - Director of Racquet Sports
Luke Jensen is a former American professional tennis player. Born in Grayling, Michigan, Jensen has had a profound impact on the game of tennis, both on and off the court.
A 1985 graduate of East Grand Rapids High School, Jensen reached the second round of the US Open just before enrolling at the University of Southern California, where he earned All-America honors in 1987 and 1988. Jensen won the 1983 Michigan High School State Singles Championship and earned high school All-America recognition. The following year, Jensen was the top-ranked ITF junior singles and doubles player in the world, teaming with Patrick McEnroe in doubles.
Jensen’s professional resume includes 10 ATP Tour doubles titles, plus victories against Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier. Jensen and his brother, Murphy, won the 1993 French Open doubles title and reached a career-high doubles ranking of World No. 6 in November 1993. He was also a member of the 1991 and 1992 Davis Cup Teams. His ambidextrous play, and ability to serve the ball with either hand at 130 miles per hour, earned him the nickname “Dual Hand Luke.”

Jensen compiled a 106–57 record in seven and half seasons as the head coach for the women’s tennis team at Syracuse University. Jensen worked at the Forbes Five Star Sea Island Resort as Touring Pro, Tennis Director and Tennis Emeritus. He also currently works for ESPN since 1994 as a tennis analyst. Luke conducts numerous charity, seminar and tennis clinics around the world each year, in addition to his involvement with the Jensen-Schmidt Tennis Academy for Down Syndrome.
 
 
Akemi Kinoshita - Associate Director of Racquet Sports
Akemi is a former top 100 WTA tour player. She played in every Grand Slam tennis tournament for several years before her retirement after the 1991 US Open. Akemi has a doubles tour title as well as All Japan National titles in doubles and mixed doubles. She played collegiate tennis for Pepperdine University in California. She holds a USPTA certification as well as a USPTA certification in wheelchair tennis.

 

Guillermo Oropez - Head Tennis Professional

Guillermo competed in the US Open & Wimbledon and won several satellite events. He attained a world ranking in the 100’s having memorable matches with John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Ilie Nastase and Vitas Gerulaitis. He is certified by the USPTA and was USPTA Volunteer Coach of the Year. He is a USTA clinician and CTC coach.

 

Program Coordinators

Jamie Bonter - Program Coordinator, Senior Professional

Jamie has been USPTA certified since 2004. In that time she coached tennis on Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Florida and in Seattle, Washington. While in Seattle, she served as the Manager of the Nordstrom Tennis Center at the University of Washington for the Division I Women's and Men's Husky Tennis Teams. At UW, Jamie was an integral part of both athletic programs, coordinating team and tournament logistics for the Huskies' home events. In additon to her love for tennis, she grew up playing competitive soccer as a youth Olympic Development Soccer Player and was a four year starter in college. Jamie is a Net Generation Provider through the USTA and holds certifications in Cardio Tennis and CPR through the Red Cross.

 

Gregory Diliberto - Program Coordinator, Staff Professional
Gregory was born and raised in Queens, New York. He has been playing tennis since the age of 5 when he began training at the USTA National Tennis Center. He recently graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Biology and a specialization in Pyschological and Brain Sciences. Gregory started working for the WSTC Summer Camp in 2013. In the summer of 2014, he became the transportation coordinator for the camp. Now, he holds an administrative coordinator role for our junior program. Gregory is also certified to administer First Aid, CPR and AED.


Senior Professional Staff 

Brett Bothwell

Brett, a former ranked Junior, was captain of the tennis team at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago where he attained a Bachelor of Architecture. He came to NY in 1988 to work for the noted architect Philip Johnson, and subsequently started teaching tennis in 1990. Over a 20 year period, primarily teaching at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, he merged his design-engineering-tennis passions to develop numerous patented racquet designs and to refine his teaching techniques. In 2012 he launched BOLT Sports, featuring racquets with spring-suspension technology - Zipstrips. For more information on BOLT racquets go to www.boltadvance.com. Brett is USPTA certified.

 
Lauren Leo

Lauren is currently the Head Tennis Coach of a Division I NCAA college. Her previous coaching experience included Director of Tennis at Hofstra University, Head Coach of Women's and Men's Tennis at Adelphi University, Head Coach of Women's Tennis at Hunter College. She serves as an USTA/Eastern National Coach. While growing up, she played at the National and International level as a ranked junior. She played collegiate tennis at the University of San Diego as well as St. John's University. Lauren earned a Master's degree in Physical Education and she is USPTR and USPTA certified.


Ali Kayyam Naj
Before moving to New York in 1980, Kayyam played professionally for Guyana and trained at Harry Hopman Tennis Academy in Florida. In the 1980's he achieved a New York State ranking in the top 20 annually.  Kayyam played in "The Satellites" at the same time as teaching advanced juniors and adults. He also was the tennis director for Premiere Tennis Summer Camp. Starting in 1990 he started working for East River Tennis Club. After East River closed, he taught at Tennis-Port for five years before becoming one of our Senior Pros in 2009. 

 

Professional Staff

Gabriella DeCarvalho
Gabriella, a Forest Hills resident, learned to play tennis at The West Side Tennis Club at the age of 5. She attended Loyola University in Baltimore where she played Division I tennis for all four years with Coach Rick McClure. Gabby graduated from Loyola in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and graduated with a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from The City College of New York in 2016. She also dedicated her time in teaching both nationally ranked and non-ranked junior players ranging form 4-16 with the City Parks Foundation. Gabby began to coach at The WSTC in 2013.
 

Amaury Piantini
A native New Yorker, Amaury has been playing tennis since the age of 13 years old. He started playing in the South Bronx under the instruction of current club member Steven Schott. As he progressed in his development he became a top ranked junior in the boys 18 doubles, and men's open divisions in 1997. Amaury also made the Junior Team Tennis Nationals under the guidance of Gus Alcagaya. He has been teaching tennis since 2000. Amaury has a great drive towards the sport, and enjoys helping with the development of players.

Adam Slifkin
Adam played collegiate tennis at The State University of New York College at Oneonta. While playing for the Red Dragons, he was a four year starter in singles and doubles. Adam grew up in Westchester, NY but he also spent some of his youth in California. He was a junior ranked player in the 16-18 age bracket in Southern CA. Adam taught tennis in North Carolina and now here at The West Side Tennis Club. He currently resides in Forest Hills, New York.

Jeramy Solema

Jeramy is a product of the West Side Tennis Club's Junior Program. Since being in the program at the age of 15, he went on to play at Division II Chesnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. Jeramy was awarded the 2011 Coach's Award as a freshman and was named a co-captain his junior and senior year. He recorded over 40 wins during his collegiate career, while earning his B.S. in Biology. He is currently working towards a Master's Degree in Exercise Science at Long Island University. Jeramy is PTR certified as well as CPR/AED certified. 

 

Okan Tuncay

Okan is a native of Turkey where he was a ranked junior player. He was a two-time champion of the Under 12 Turkish National Tournament. He has played in ITF tournaments in Turkey. Okan holds a degree in Physical Education and Sports College from Cukurova University where he was a four-year tennis champion. He has coached University level players, served as a sports consultant to high level athletes and worked for the WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul. He is fluent in Turkish and English.        

 

Administrative Staff

Alex Haber - Weekend Manager, Executive Assistant