Our Tennis Pros
Tennis Coach and OPTA Ambassador
Richard won twenty national junior titles (a record at the time) and the Easter Bowl and the Orange Bowl in 1968.
A four-time All-American at Trinity University (1969-1972). NCAA Doubles runner-up 1971 and NCAA Singles Champion 1972. Member of NCAA Championship Team 1972. Wimbledon singles semi-finalist 1974, US Open mixed doubles champion 1975, French Open singles semi-finalist 1978, US Open singles quarter-finalist 1976,1977, and French Open mixed doubles champion 1984. Qualified for WCT Finals 1976, 1977, 1978 (runner-up in 1977). Member United States Davis Cup Team 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979. Ranked #8 in the world in 1977. US Open 35-and-Over doubles champion 1987, 1989, 1990 US. Open 45-and-Over doubles champion 1996, 1999, 2000. Wimbledon 45-and-Over doubles champion 1997. Career victories over Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Guillermo Vilas, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase, Vitas Gerulaitis, Brian Gottfried, Harold Solomon, Eddie Dibbs, Roscoe Tanner, and Raul Ramirez, among others…Inducted: Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990, Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996, Trinity University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, USTA-Eastern Hall of Fame in 2001, and San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame 2020. Intercollegiate Team, USPTA Elite Level Pro. Completed IPTPA Pickleball Certification Program.
Director of Adult Tennis
A native of Spain, Aritz started playing tennis at the age of six. He was part of the Barcelona University team, attending the national championship in 2015 while studying Sports Science for 3 years to help gain knowledge to apply to his coaching career. At age 16, he started his coaching career and obtained certification to teach in Europe with the L2 Spanish Tennis Association. In these formative years, he coached and traveled with some nationally ranked junior players nationwide. He moved to the United States in January 2016, first living in Arizona before settling in Charlotte.
Aritz worked at Blakeney Racket Club for 4 years, helping kids and adults achieve their tennis goals. In 2018, Aritz co-founded Time Value Of Tennis, one of the leading tennis youtube channels, helping thousands of students worldwide improve their game through online tennis instruction. He was part of the Tennis Con 2019 and 2020 and The Online Tennis Summit 2020, tennis online conferences with over 30 thousand attendees, on the speaker lineup with world-renowned coaches like Nick Bolletieri and Rick Macci. USTA Safe Play Approved.
Director of Junior Academy
A Native of Mexico, Eduardo Villagomez was ranked #1 in the country in the 10s, 12s, 15s, and in doubles in the 16s and 18s. He traveled to Europe to play in the junior circuit, which included the French Open. Eduardo came to the United States on an academic scholarship to play tennis for Louisiana State University, where the team reached the #1 ranking in the country. He also had a win over the Bryan brothers and was a team captain for the LSU team.
Eduardo graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1999 and earned a master’s degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York. While working as an architect for 10 years, he continued to travel in tournaments, play in exhibitions and help with clinics at Topspin Racquet Club in Columbia, SC, Wild Dunes Tennis Resort in Charleston, SC, and Towpath Tennis Club in Akron, OH.
Director of Beginner & Intermediate Junior Tennis
Alex grew up in Mooresville, North Carolina. He started playing tennis at the age of four, having learned from his father, Rodrigo Cagide. Rodrigo was #1 in Mexico for 18’s before moving to the US to play collegiately for Campbell University. Alex has played tennis his whole life and was a multi-sport athlete who played one year of collegiate baseball for Wake Tech, a JUCO, in Raleigh, North Carolina. After an injury, he got back into tennis, where he trained in North Carolina under Bruce Hawtin.
Alex started his tennis coaching career at Porter's Neck Country Club in Wilmington, NC. He then moved back to the Lake Norman area in 2015 to be the head tennis pro at North Stone Country Club and assistant head tennis coach at Lake Norman High School. He then became the tennis director of Statesville Country Club before heading down to Charlotte to join the Olde Providence Tennis Academy family.
Evgeny was ranked as one of Russia's top 10 junior players for several years. Evgeny was named Athlete of the Year in Achinsk, Russia (surpassing his Olympic participant peers). He was the number one player for Gardner-Webb University (D1) for four consecutive years. During that time, Evgeny was named 1st Team All-Conference in Singles and Doubles for both the Atlantic Sun and Big South Conferences. Evgeny also achieved All-Academic Player recognition for Gardner-Webb University in the Big South Conference. Evgeny was nominated Male Athlete of the Year at Gardner-Webb University in 2010. Evgeny then played on various ITF Pro Circuit events before being injured.
As a coach, Evgeny was a sparring partner for several ATP and WTA players that were ranked between 400 and 1000 in the world. Evgeny assisted the Tennis Coach for Gardner-Webb University for both Men's and Women's teams and was an associate Head Coach for Gardner-Webb University Men’s Team. Evgeny coached Ludmila Vasyileva to her world's highest WTA ranking of # 613 (from 850). Evgeny has been coaching juniors and adults for over a decade.
Director of the Junior Intermediate Program
Born in Miami, Marcello started playing tennis at the age of four and began competing at just seven years old. He trained with Rick Macci (who coached five number-one players, including Serena Williams and Andy Roddick) and Colon Nuñez (who played on the ATP tour from 1974-1980 and played for Ecuador for seven straight years on their Davis Cup team). Marcello was ranked #1 in Florida. He later moved to Charlotte, where he continued to play tennis. He competed in many regional tournaments achieving a #1 ranking and a top 50 in multiple age groups.
A native of Venezuela, Jesús started playing tennis at age 11. Before college Jesús was ranked top 5 in the nation for ages 16s and 18s. While at Barton, he helped his team win a conference championship and reach the round of 16 national championship in 2018, where he was ranked top 30 in NCAA Division 2 Doubles. Jesús’ career in coaching began at age 15 when he was an assistant coach at the ATEC academy. He went on to coach in multiple camps, and later, Jesús managed the tennis program of Lake Wilson Racquet Club.
Director of the Elite Academy at OPRC
Luka was born in Slovenia and started playing tennis at the age of 5. He spent 13 years on the ATP tour, competing in all 4 grand slams. He reached his highest ranking of 172 in 2009. After retiring from professional tennis in 2013, he started coaching junior tennis players in Austin, Texas. Since then, he’s been helping junior players achieve their goal of playing college tennis. Before joining OPRC, he was at Austin Tennis Academy, where his students achieved rankings in the top 50 in the Texas section and earned spots at Universities such as Rice, Brown, DBU, and Wesleyan.
Liz comes to OP after spending the last twenty-one years teaching at the Wellington Tennis Center in Wellington, Florida. Liz is a first-generation American and grew up in Yonkers, NY.
Liz has played tennis her whole life. She was a ranked junior player in the USTA-Eastern Section. She played high school tennis and received a scholarship to play four years of Division 1 tennis at Fordham University in New York. She has taught the game since she started helping out in her dad’s programs as a teenager. Over the years, she has been on the teaching staff at some very prestigious clubs, including Westchester County’s Bronxville Field Club, Siwanoy Country Club, Westchester Country Club and Manursing Island Club, T Bar M Racquet Club in Dallas, and, most recently, the Wellington Tennis Center in Florida.
Liz is an Elite-Level Pro certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association. She is certified to run Cardio Tennis Clinics and will offer these clinics at OP. In addition, she will be involved with the OPTA program and available for private lessons and clinics for anyone interested in getting on the court with her. Liz is also certified to teach pickleball. She is a very special lady; we are thrilled she has joined the OP staff.
Fun Family on Liz: Her father grew up in Portugal, and her mother grew up in Brazil. Liz comes from a famous Brazilian tennis family. Her mother was a ranked player there, and her uncle (her mother’s brother) was the number one-ranked player in the country. He played worldwide; his best results included a semi-final showing in the United States Championships (precursor to the US Open) in 1963, and a quarter-final finish in 1967. Liz’s dad was a famous bullfighter in Portugal, but he got into tennis while visiting Brazil. At one time, he was even the Brazilian Davis Cup Coach. He became a very successful teaching pro in the New York area after emigrating to this country in 1964.
Assistant Director of Elite Academy Program
Justin started playing tennis at the age of 3. His coach from 3-13 was Juan Nunez, a former Grand Slam-winning coach. Justin then spent the remaining years in Florida training at the USTA training center and with his uncle Billy Wilkinson, a current WTA tour coach. As a player, Justin was top 50 in the nation in each age group. After juniors, he attempted to play Futures and Satellite Tour before he ended up getting injured.
As a coach, Justin has spent time in Florida as a hitting partner for various of Billy Wilkinson’s WTA players (Johanna Konta, Yanina Wickmayer, Heather Watson, and others). Since moving back home to Charlotte, he has been developing juniors in the area for the last 7 years.
Adrian has almost 30 years of experience as a tennis instructor, spending several years teaching in Switzerland and New Zealand before settling in Charlotte 24 years ago. He is passionate about teaching young children and juniors and introducing new players to the game. He has coached numerous state championship teams in Junior Team Tennis over the years. Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Adrian played tennis and rugby throughout his youth and adulthood. USTA Safe Play Approved.
Breno is from Porto Alegre, Brazil. He has over 17 years of playing experience and over 4 years of teaching experience. Breno recently graduated from Gardner-Webb University (Division 1), where he played in the top 3 positions during his career there. He has traveled the world playing tennis tournaments since he was 16. Breno won a professional M15 doubles title in Cancun, giving him an ATP ranking of 1300. Over the past 4 years, he has taught private and group tennis lessons. In addition, Breno also has a degree in International Business and a Master’s in Business administration.
Ataide (Nino) Suca
Ataide (Nino) was born in Mozambique, where he spent his Junior career becoming one of the top juniors in the country. He was in the first-ever Davis Cup team from Mozambique in 2014 and, years later, was nominated to be the captain of the 2019 Davis Cup team that reached the final stage to qualify for Group 2. Nino was also the National Champion in Mozambique for two consecutive years (2006 and 2007)! Nino traveled worldwide playing tournaments for the National Team and was nominated to play for the ITF team in Africa in 2002.
After his Junior career, Nino was offered a scholarship to attend college in the US, where he played for Barton and Shaw University for 4 years. Before moving back home, Nino lived in the US for 11 years, where he coached full-time at a high level, and currently, Ataide has 10 years of coaching experience at the top level. He continues to work with the Mozambican National Team, where one of the best players is in the top 160 in the world (ITF) and a top 4 U14 in Africa.
Juniors Tennis Coach
Katie will work with juniors on weekday evenings and weekends. Growing up training in Florida and Tennessee, she traveled and competed in many high-level USTA tournaments. Katie played #1 Singles and #1 Doubles in high school. She was awarded 2014 Tennessean Girls Tennis Player of the Year after leading her team to win back-to-back state championships.
In high school, she was ranked #94 in the U.S., was recruited to play Division 1 tennis at Brigham Young University, and competed in the West Coast Conference. These experiences have given her technical skills and a deeper understanding of the importance of discipline and hard work in achieving success. Katie has coached at various country clubs in multiple states, teaching private and group lessons to juniors and adults of all levels. In addition to coaching, Katie works at Dell Technologies in their Finance Department.
Yoan was born in London, England, and started playing tennis at the age of 6. He competed in national tournaments in England in the 12's, 14's, 16's, and 18's, consistently maintaining a national top 50 ranking. Yoan also competed in international European events, where he reached a ranking of 400. At 18, Yoan obtained a scholarship to play collegiate tennis for Queen's University of Charlotte, where he won all-conference team doubles and helped his team win the SAC conference.
With over 15 years of competitive tennis under his belt and 4 years of coaching, Yoan has in-depth knowledge about the game's competitive and technical sides. He has worked with both juniors and adults at all levels. Yoan brings enthusiasm and professionalism to the court.
Pro Tennis Coach
Paolo is originally from Italy, started playing tennis at 4 y/o, and was a top junior player sponsored by the Italian federation through under 12-16. Played in international tournaments in Europe before coming to the US where he played for Queens University of Charlotte. Earned All-Conference Awards such as Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference. Paolo graduated in business and mathematics and started working in finance/accounting. While working in corporate, he was coaching part-time helping young players to transition from juniors to college. Managed to help players earn scholarships to the University of Michigan, Wisconsin, and USC. He is now fully dedicated to tennis working full time for OPTA.