Martin van Daalen
Born in Colchester, England, and raised in the Netherlands, Martin van Daalen has been coaching for over 35 years. After becoming a national coach and director of women’s tennis in Holland, he worked for a long period of time with top juniors and professional tennis players at Saddlebrook Resort in Florida, coaching Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Jennifer Capriati, Mary Pierce, and Jared Palmer. He worked as a national coach for the USTA for over 11 years, developing many top juniors, college players and professionals. Many of them are still playing on the ATP and WTA tour today. In 2013 and 2014 he worked as Director of Player Development for the Finnish Tennis Federation. He has published three books, Teaching Tennis Volume I, II & III, and is a regular contributor to International Tennis Magazine as well as a member of the PTR Board of Directors.
Director of Programming & Special Events
Miami Beach Tennis Academy is thrilled that Filip has become a full-time member of our team, after completing his internship with us. Filip played undergraduate tennis for Lindenwood University in St. Louis. He was named to the All-MIAA honorable mention list, received MIAA individual sportsmanship recognition and was one of three Lion student-athletes to be listed as CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees. Filip recently received his MBA from Barry University. He is originally from Apatin, Serbia.
Joel is one of our seasoned tennis pros who's worked at Miami Beach Tennis Center for almost 15 years! He started playing tennis as a junior in the Dominican Republic where he was ranked in the top 5 for 18 year olds. In his free time, Joel loves to surf and go dancing.
Amer, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, was ranked top three in the state of Alabama for three consecutive years as a junior, and was a top ten ranked USTA Southern Section player in the Boys’ 12s, 16s, and 18s age divisions. He attended Division I, Troy University, where he received Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Honors in Singles in 2020 and Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Honors in both singles and doubles in 2021. Since graduating from Troy University with a BA in General Business, Amer has coached players of all ages and levels.
Tennis & Pickleball Professional
Muha, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, earned a ranking of 72 in the ITA rankings as a member of the University of Alabama at Montgomery tennis team. Muha has expansive experience teaching pickleball - he works with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and their sports teams around the world.
With more than 15 years of experience, Luchy started her tennis career in the Dominican Republic reaching the top 10 of the 18U division. She began teaching adults and children in 1990 at the Dominican Olympic Center, and came to the US in 2006. Luchy works with all levels of tennis players on strategies to improve their game. She has a lively, high energy style and can often be found on court singing and dancing with little ones. Luchy is the perfect mix of fun and tennis for any player!
Pierluigi (Gigi) Neri
Tennis & Head Pickleball Professional
A native of Bologna Italy, Gigi is a graduate from Limestone College in South Carolina where he played on the tennis team. Gigi is MBTA's head pickleball professional. He describes himself as "an Italian guy living in the States with a passion for economics, finance and crypto."
Tennis & Pickleball Professional
A recent graduate from Georgia Gwinnett College, Debora gained a full scholarship in tennis after making it to the top 40 in Austria. With her scholarship she achieved 3 National Championships. "I have found that nothing satisfies me than developing new relationships, sharing my 16-years experience and passion for tennis with others, and contributing to a learning and safe environment for future athletes."
Thibu (Ti-bow) is originally from Rennes, France. He played for the University of Alabama at Montgomery, where he helped lead the Warhawks to the program's first appearance in the Gulf South Conference Tournament Championship match and the NCAA South Regional. Thibu also earned a spot on the 2023 Academic All-District Men's Tennis Team.
Associate Director of Player Development & Academy Manager
Born in Valencia, Venezuela, and raised in Spain and Miami, Laura Vallverdu reached number 500 in the WTA rankings as an 18 year-old. She then went on to become an important piece of the University of Miami Women’s tennis program from 2006-2010. She collected 131 singles victories for the Hurricanes and was a five-time ITA All-American. She became the only two-time NCAA Singles semifinalist in program history. Vallverdu finished as the national runner-up in 2009 when she was a junior and then concluded the 2010 season ranked #4 in the country. Vallverdu was the recipient of the 2010 Honda Sports Award, which named her the best women’s tennis player in the country. She graduated from Miami in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in business, later earning her master’s degree in Sports Business in 2012. Vallverdu helped the Hurricanes to a stellar 135-50 (.730) record, six Sweet 16 berths, three top 10 finishes and two Elite Eight appearances. Vallverdu, who aided Miami to its first ACC Championship title in 2013, has mentored seven Hurricanes to a total of 11 ITA All-America honors, as well as guided eight players to 15 total All-ACC accolades. Vallverdu has joined our team after being the Associate Head Coach for University of Miami’s women’s team for eight years. In 2013, Laura helped Miami to its’ first ACC Championship title and she recently was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in the class of 2020. Laura's extensive knowledge of college tennis gives her invaluable insight into the process of recruiting and how to guide both parents and players.