Not all juniors, successful or not, eventually turn pro due to all sorts of reasons. One of those main reasons is not having the resources to help elevate the junior's game so he or she is able to compete with best of the best. ELITE Tennis is one of those resources that are available for coaches and players to help navigate the pro scene. It's a tennis journal that boasts top contributors such as Stan Wawrinka's coach and former No. 2 player Magnus Norman and Grigor Dimitrov's former coach Roger Rasheed.
In the spirit of the USTA National Championships that are underway, Tennischannel.com did a Q&A with Robert Davis, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ELITE Tennis. Davis has 28 years’ experience as a professional tennis coach. He has served as Technical Director and National Coach for Peru, Panama, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and currently, Davis is the Technical Director for Sport Singapore Department of Tennis Strategic Operations. . On the ATP World Tour, Robert has coached Aisam Qureshi for 16 years. Robert Davis serves as the Global Professional Tennis Coaching Tennis Association (GPTCA) national president for Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Singapore.
Tennis Channel: How did you get involved with the sport? Are you a former tennis player?
Robert Davis: No, I am not a former player but here is a brief bio. I worked as a contributor to the ATP World Tour for many years. Combining writing with coaching was very natural and I had the access to the players and coaches. Also, being involved with the GPTCA was the introduction to ELITE.
TC: What is ELITE Tennis, and who does it serve? Who is your key audience?
RD: ELITE is a confluence of great tennis minds. Where coaches and teachers “meet” to discuss and share their philosophy on developing tennis players, teaching technique, building programs, the latest in nutrition and physical conditioning, and personal journeys that inspire others to continue onwards when all looks lost.
Number one is for those coaches who are keen to take a player from the juniors to the ITF circuits and onwards to the ATP and WTA tours. Additionally, we are getting interest from US collegiate coaches and club professionals. Also, we are also seeing a lot of enthusiasm from parents of players who want more information so they can make better educated decisions.
TC: What was the inspiration behind it?
RD: We felt that there was a need for a publication that was devoted to competitive tennis play. Specifically, a How To Manual for the progressions from juniors to the professional tours. Our objective is to share the knowledge and experience of proven coaches who have guided players on this most incredible of journeys which is the professional tennis tour. Also, before a player can be developed from the juniors to the professional ranks, he or she will need to be taught good technique, movement and training habits. The importance of a good tennis teacher cannot be understated.
TC: Can you name some of the big-name coaches who are regular contributors, and how did you manage to get them involved?
RD: Ashley, just Tennis Channel does with television by getting ‘household names in coaching’ we are doing with print. We not only have active tour coaches like; Magnus Norman, Pat Cash, Dusan Vemic, Des Tyson, and Roger Rasheed involved, but we also have Chuck Kriese, Scott McCain and Hugo Ekker who are contributing. We take a lot of pride in having a veteran coaches and tennis teachers that share their philosophies with ELITE. And then we have parent coaches like Nikolay Mirnyi involved and now Dmitry Tursunov who as you know has a very unique insight to the tour. By having past and current players share their testimonies, we hope that these ‘journeys’ might help others facing in similar situations. You never know you might have a positive influence on when you share your experiences from the tennis tour. It could be a player or parent, or even someone outside of tennis.
TC: How is your magazine different from any other tennis magazines out there today?
RD: Content! Content! Content! ELITE is a meat and potatoes publication, Ashley. Our mission is to be the WSJ or the Harvard Business Review of tennis coaching. No celebrity fluff. Furthermore, just like you have an inside man with Justin, our strength is also access. Through our network of coaches and their players we have access to behind the scenes stories that others cannot get. There is so much valuable information and interesting stories being discussed in the locker room, or in the gym, and the player’s lounge and restaurant. Plus, we are not into celebrity sighting.
Before a player can be developed from the juniors to the professional ranks, he or she will need to be taught good technique, movement and training habits. The importance of a good tennis teacher cannot be understated. That is why we have contributors like Inaki Balzoa, Hugo Ekker, Scott McCain and now, Doug MacCurdy. All have a strong background in tennis teaching technique. In brief, if through the pages of ELITE we can educate through communicating different philosophies, respect the sacrifices of veteran coaches and teachers who have helped others and inspire someone who might be dealing with self-doubt; then we can say- Mission Accomplished!
TC: How can people subscribe to Elite Tennis? What comes with the subscription?
RD: Just go to www.EliteTennis.org and subscribe to a digital or paper edition. Elitetennis.org has all the subscription details and benefits.
About Robert Davis
Robert Davis has 28 years’ experience as a professional tennis coach. He has served as Technical Director and National Coach for Peru, Panama, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and currently, Davis is the Technical Director for Sport Singapore Department of Tennis Strategic Operations. . On the ATP World Tour, Robert has coached Aisam Qureshi for 16 years. Robert Davis serves as the Global Professional Tennis Coaching Tennis Association (GPTCA) national president for Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Singapore.
As a photojournalist, Davis’s assignments have taken him to the warzones of Afghanistan as an embed journalist, sailing in the Banda Sea and motorcycling the mountains of Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. He has been a regular contributor to the Bangkok Post, Phnom Penh Post, Jakarta Post, Asian Geographic, PASSPORT, Southeast Asia Yachting Magazine, and ASIA NEWS NETWORK.
Currently, Robert Davis is working on two books; “Doubles Inc: Inside the World of Professional Men’s Doubles, the Rise and Fall of the Super Teams and the Creation of the Greatest Team in the History of Tennis.” And, “Travels With A Tennis Racquet.”