MARIO LLANO

CO-OWNER COACH AND DIRECTOR AT RHODE ISLAND TENNIS ACADEMY

Director/CoOwner of Rhode Island Tennis Academy. Mario Llano is a member of the USTA and a USPTA P-1, and PTR certified pro.  A former two-time NCAA All-American (Southwest Baptist University, where he was inducted into the SBU Hall of Fame), and Junior National Champion (U18) in Colombia. Mario previously served as Director of Tennis at The Lawn Tennis Club at The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport for 8 years. Mario has twice been honored as Junior Development USPTA New England Coach of the Year, for his role in developing players in the likes of Whitney Laiho (national U18 #1), Lazo Kukhalashvilli (Orange bowl Champion U12), And Jared Donaldson (highest ranking at ATP #44). In addition, Mario’s students have won over 20 State titles. Mario’s latest venture is to Join forces with Nestor Bernabe and Providence Tennis academy. Together we are the new Ri Tennis Academy, and we are looking forward to grow Rhode Island’s tennis to new hights.

NESTOR BERNABE

CO-OWNER COACH AND DIRECTOR AT RHODE ISLAND TENNIS ACADEMY

HISTORY

Nestor has ran and operated the Providence Tennis Academy for the last ten years. Upon arriving in Rhode Island in August 2008, Nestor began working with the state’s best players helping attain NINE Rhode Island High School State Singles titles (Alex Geremia 2008, Jesse Frieder 2010, Rebecca Curran 2009 and 2010 and Aleksandra Drjlara 2012 and Zack Johnson 2015, Julia Pezzuco 2016, Girls Singles 2017, Candice Ballarin 2018) and TEN Rhode Island High School Players of the Year.

His experience has helped the tennis community in Rhode Island bring new levels of participation, enthusiasm, and competitiveness. In 2010, Nestor helped guide Jared Donaldson (former Top 50 ATP) to his next step in junior and professional tennis by organizing his journey to train in Buenos Aires, Argentina with his former coach Pablo Bianchi of the Bianchi Tennis Academy. Since the summer of 2010, Nestor has organized and coached the Providence Spartans USTA Under 14 Advanced Junior Team to TEN Rhode Island State Champions. The Providence Spartans completed the 2013 season as USTA National Runner-ups at the USTA National Junior Team Tennis Championships in Casy, South Carolina. The 2012 USTA New England Regional Finalist also reached the USTA National Junior Team Tennis Championships where they finished in 13th place. In 2011 the summer team qualified for USTA New England Sectional Championships and finished third.

BEFORE Providence Tennis

Nestor worked for two years as Assistant Junior Director, Summer Camp Director and a National Travel Coach at Solaris Tennis Club at the Stamford Indoor Tennis Academy. Training over 100 USTA New England sectional ranked players and 50 nationally ranked players as well as guiding THREE to ITF (International Tennis Federation) level rankings. Nestor spent three years as college Assistant Coach from 2008-2010 as the Brown Men’s Tennis Assistant Coach where he was part of five All-Ivy Selections, one NCAA ranked singles player (Jonathon Pearlman) and four ranked NCAA doubles teams. As the recruiting coordinator, Nestor brought in one of Browns best classes in 2010 with a class ranked #21 in the country on tennisrecruiting.net. In 2013-2014 Nestor joined the Fairfield University as Assistant Coach for both men’s and women’s programs.

PRE-COACHING

As a highly ranked junior and college player who earned NCAA All-American First Team in 2003, Nestor was named to the Sonoma State University Hall of Fame in 2008. After graduating from college, he played on tour for four years earning both ATP singles and doubles rankings from 2003-2007. At the 2004 U.S. Open, Nestor was practice partner for Justine Henin an eight time Grand Slam Champion and 2004 Athens Gold Medalist). Currently a USPTA, PTR and iTPA Member, Nestor has also completed the USTA High Performance and USTA Sports Science Programs as well as completing the PTR Master of Tennis Performance Program. He serves on several USTA and USPTA boards and committees and is the USPTA State President for Rhode Island.

CERTIFICATIONS

USPTA ELITE Professional-1 (2006), USTA High Performance (2008), USTA Sports Science (2008),PTR Master of Tennis Performance (2012), PTR Junior Development Professional U10 (2011) and 11-17 (2013), iTPA Tennis Performance Trainer (TPT) Certified

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

ATP Ranked Professional (2003-2007, Singles and Doubles), NCAA All-American (2003), USTA New England Board Member of Junior Team Tennis (2011-2015), USTA New England Board Member of Tournament Committee (2015-current)

AWARDS

2017 USPTA Southern New England Pro of the Year, 2013 PTR State Member of the Year, 2012 USPTA New England Pro of the Year, 2008 Sonoma State University Hall of Fame

ALEX CHAVEZ

COACH JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT AND ADULT ACADEMY

Played high school Tennis 2003-2006. Studied sports management at Lockhaven University 2006-2010. 

Worked as top assistant at Tennis Rhode Island west Bay 2011-2013.

Worked at Providence Tennis Academy 2013-2019

Head of junior Development at the Adirondack Club in 2016

PTR PROFESSIONALLY  Certified In 10 and under tennis, 11-17 and adults

JEFF COTE

COACH JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT

A Rhode Island High School State Champion and NCCA Division-1 player (Western Illinois University & University of Rhode Island), Jeff Cote is in charge of private lessons to further develop all the talent at Ri Tennis Academy. Focusing on technique, footwork, speed, power, and energy, Jeff’s instruction has been instrumental in developing many of RITA’s budding talents.

KEVIN ERIKSON

COACH JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT

2008 Connecticut All State Doubles, Four Years of College Tennis – Junior and Senior Year Captain #1 Singles and Doubles, All Conference Every year except freshman, 8 years of teaching experience – 2 as Director of Dartmouth, Hitting Partner at Newport Hall of Fame Tournament

DAMON RAY

Fitness Director

Damon is a nursery thru eight grade PE Teacher at the Gordon School in East Providence. He has been involved in the Health and wellness industry for over fifteen years. Over the years he has worked in many different environments from highschool and middle school to one on one and group boot camps. Damon loves exploring new opportunities for growth while inspiring others to be the best version of themselves.