Martin van Daalen
Director of Programming
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 two books, Teaching Tennis Volume I & II, and is a regular contributor to International Tennis Magazine.
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.
Senior Tennis Professional
Julio began his training at the prestigious Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, better known as the Caribbean Wimbledon. His drills, strengthening exercises paired with a transparent, clear and easy to follow teaching technique make him one of the most sought after coaches in the area.
Santos de Aza Chalas
Senior Tennis Professional
Santos began his tennis career as a professional athlete. From 1986 to 1989, he reached the 2nd highest competitive ranking in his home country, Dominican Republic. He was an instructor at The Casa De Campo Hotel and Resort, and in 1996 was the Assistant Director of the Junior Tennis Program at The Trumbull Racquet Club in Connecticut. In 2012, he became the Assistant Director of Tennis at The Quaker Ridge Golf and Tennis Club located in Scarsdale, New York. He relocated to the South Florida area in 2014, taking a job at The Diplomat Golf and Tennis Club in Hallandale, Florida. We are thrilled to have Santos on our team!
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!
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.