Carlos López Toledo, Cuba
Alejandro Rossie, Chile
Roberta Burzigla, Brazil
Arturo Navarro, Mexico
Franklin Masterful, Venezuela
Harry Hamilton, Costa Rica
Let us know if you want to get in touch with one of them and we'll pass your request on to them.
Meet Coach Carlos López Toledo from Cuba
Carlos Lopez Toledo is the General Director of EcoTenisCuba, a Leading Development Program of the Cuban Tennis Federation.
Questions for Carlos López Toledo
TCB: Your dad is a tennis coach, right? Did he get you into sports?
CLT: When my dad was a tennis coach, those who trained me for tennis were two coaches who when they were little my father taught them to play tennis and they obtained excellent national and international results. These coaches are called Lian León who now works at Tipsarevic Tennis Academia Cancun in Mexico and Ruden Lobaina works in Italy at Circolo Tennis Parma.
TCB: We understand you started playing at age six at the old Ferroviario Club in Havana. Did your dad teach there?
CLT: When I started to play tennis at this Club where now I am one of the main coaches with innovative projects to attract, promote, and increase participation, rescuing history, and tradition. Retain players and show them the benefits of tennis.
TCB: What do you prefer, teaching adults or children?
CLT: I prefer to teach tennis for all ages
TCB: Are you still teaching for free? If so, how does it survive?
CLT: The government pays me a salary to teach tennis to children from 5 years to 10 years in school sports. I teach the tennis for free to children, youth, and seniors.
TCB: What are your biggest challenges? What do you need?
We would like to have a fund to pay for any particular transportation when we carry out itinerant practices in parks, streets, schools, and old clubs in Havana and Cuba with the aim that tennis becomes an expert and exhibition sport in the country.
I would like to have a fund to use in my tennis salary that I teach for free to children, youth, and seniors.
I would like to have a fund to allocate it to children, youth, and older adults that I teach for free in feeding them, snacks and some collective lunches in restaurants.
I would like you to help me with implements, mini tennis net, balls, clothes, shoes, sunscreen, caps, vitamin supplements, whey protein, synths to mark the terrain, Garters, fools, Russian belt, TPX, beach tennis court marking tapes, blind tennis balls, paddles, and pickleball balls.
We would like you to help us make cartoons with our members' own faces and bodies in the different scenarios that we have carried out during the tennis exhibition practices.
We would like tennis-loving photographers to help us to create our tennis museum in Cuba.
We would like in the future to raise funds to build our tennis museum in Cuba.
TCB: Are you encouraging American tennis players and teaching professionals to come to Cuba? Why?
CLT: I encourage American tennis players and teaching professionals to visit our program because Cuba and the U.S.A. are very close. In the US, tennis is played throughout the country and it would be of great benefit to me and my members if they visit us because that is how we motivate ourselves to continue teaching and practicing tennis.
TCB: Can you recommend hotels near you for American travelers?
CLT: I don't know much about hotels. I have never been able to stay in a hotel in Cuba.
TCB: In what type of facilities can visitors play? What are the surfaces of the court?
CLT: There are many promotions on the internet that there are tennis courts in hotels, I really know about this topic.
TCB: Have you been to the US? If yes, where?
CLT: I have never left Cuba, much less have I visited the US. I would like to go to the United States to train with a USPTA certificate, participate in workshops, clinics, and exchanges with coaches and players.
I would like to visit the US and hold tennis exhibitions in parks, streets, schools, clubs, and academies.
TCB: What is the brand of racket you play with?
CLT: I have no sponsor, although I like Babolat and Wilson, I currently play with a Wilson who gave me two coaches.
TCB: Is there Pickleball in Cuba? Have you ever played Pickleball?
CLT: I have not played pickleball but I think if someone donates us two paddles and a ball our members could play since it is similar to the mini tennis that we do in parks and streets.
TCB: Thank you, Carlos. We hope a racquet manufacturer will come forward and work with you.
Meet Coach Alejandro Rossi Kaese from Chile
IHi, my name is Alejandro Rossi Kaese. I was born in Paraná, Entre Rios, Argentina.
I was 8 Years old when I started to play tennis and my parents introduced me to the sport. I Played, Regional and National Junior tennis tournament and had a national junior ranking in different ages, between 10 and 20 , from 12 to 18 years old.
I decided to go into teaching tennis when I was 20 years old. I started to help my coach in our club and I liked the work very much.
I work at Club de Golf Los Leones in the Santiago area, one of the best clubs in Santiago.
I like teaching tennis to both kids and adults.
What I like best about teaching tennis is introducing people to this sport , which is a life sport, and I like to coach and help players to get the best they can be.
It is quite easy to become a tennis coach in Chile. You have to do the ITF or PTR courses.
The Federación de Tenis de Chile denables us with ITF Teaching courses and other local and international workshops.
My biggest challenges are teaching my student to be the best they can be in tennis and as human beings
My racquet sponsor is Yonex and I play with the model Ezone 100.
Meet Roberta Amelia Burzagli from Brazil
Hi, my name is Roberta Amelia Burzagli. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil but I have Italian roots.
I was 6 almost 7 years old when I started to play tennis and I was introduced to the sport by my father who used to play social tennis.
My family was member at one of the biggest Clubs in São Paulo - Clube Paineiras do Morumby, and I started to take some tennis lessons there.
When I was 14, I went to Europe for the first time to play ITF junior tournaments and someone introduced me to a club director from Germany and that was the first year I started to play “Punktspiel” for the Braunschweiger Tennis u. Hockey Club.
That was the way most players found to get some money to play junior and pro tournaments at that time.
I played for that club for 7 years and stopped when I got injured. In 1993 I went to live in Munich where my German ex-boyfriend was working as an engineer in a computing company and that’s how I got involved in the computer world. I ended up there after graduating in computer programming but I came back to tennis in 1996ish.
Roberta with Jelena Ostapenko in 2012
Coaching Brazilian players winning Bronze at the 2019 Panamerican games
Banana Bowl 1991
Why I got into teaching tennis? Honestly, in the beginning I didn’t want to and I was involved in the computer world. But in 1995 when I came back to live in Brazil, a friend of mine asked me to give some of her lessons in a club she was working cause she needed to leave her actual job and she needed urgently to find someone. I said yes until she would fine another person. That club ended up offering me a job and that’s how I started teaching tennis.
You changed from teaching tennis and owning an academy to organizing events and coaching the Brazilian Fed Cup Team. Why the change?
At the start of my coaching carrier I was working with social tennis at a club and private lessons. That was the time when I built up the academy with 2 other partners, but in January 2002 the CBT (Brazilian Tennis Federation) asked me to travel with the junior Brazilian tennis players to the COSAT circuit and that’s how I started to be involved in competitive tennis again but this time as a coach. After that, COSAT offered me to travel with the junior South American players to Europe (some of those players at that time were: Juan Martin Del Potro, Santiago Giraldo, Veronica Cepede-Royg) and I also started to get involved as an assistant coach at the Brazilian Fed Cup Team.
In 2005, the ITF offered me to travel as a Touring Coach for the 18’s and under Grand Slam Development Fund junior teams and since then I work for the ITF. Now I’m the Head coach of this project.
I was nominated Captain for Fed Cup (Billie Jean King Cup) in the end of 2019.
With Jelena Ostapenko and Montserrat Gonzalez (picture by Charles Goodman)
Coaching a Fed Cup (Billie Jean King Cup) team is a lot of fun and as tennis is normally an individual Sport, but then when in a team it’s much more fun and playing for your country it’s so much excitement.
What I like best about my work? I think getting to know different people from different ages, from different parts of the world, different cultures, trying to understand different points of view and prospects... and of course I can’t forget to mention different food as well hahaha.
Working with many different tennis players, it’s always a new challenge. I like this sentence: As a coach it’s not about how many championship you’ve won (of course it’s a huge professional satisfaction) but more about how many lives you’ve impacted and influenced in a positive way!
Being so much involved in tennis, do you have time for a hobby?
I love nature, animals and I used to bodyboarding when I was young. I love the beach and animals. I’m almost a vegan for the animals.
1985 with Monica Seles at the Sport Goofy WorldCup under 12
If you could make one wish related to growing tennis, what would it be?
As I player unfortunately I didn’t have so many opportunities to grow at that time and I struggled to travel alone, long distances to play in Europe and so on...
Well, my wish would be to give players in the whole world the same opportunities. This is what the development department in the ITF led by director Luca Santilli together with the Grand Slam Development Fund projects try to do the entire year, and I’m directly involved in some of those projects. That’s why I put so much effort and all my heart into my job!
What is the brand and model of tennis racquet you work with?
I am sponsor by WILSON since I was a player and I love their racquets and their equipment.
Junior Brazilian team and Juan Martin Del Potro in Junior World Team Cup
Fed Cup Brazilian Team
For me one of the greatest moments in my professional career was watching Jelena Ostapenko wining the French Open in 2017. She was in the GSDF/ITF team in 2012 and she gave me an invitation to watch from her box the French Open finals in 2017! It was a incredible special moment I have to say.
Meet Arturo Navarro Guzman from Mexico
Hi, my name is Arturo Navarro Guzman. I was born in Mexico City and currently live in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur (Mexico). I was 3 years old when I started to play tennis. My brother coached me, and I played at the Club Casablanca satellite with friends. Then I started training more often, played junior tournaments, then I got a scholarship to play Division l NCAA at The University of Nebraska Lincoln, played some pro events, and after college, I started coaching.
After graduating from college with a Marketing degree, I was receiving some offers to work in industries that I had no interest in. My brother Ignacio teaches in Los Angeles and I always enjoyed helping him and seeing how others improve. During my last summer in college, my friend Felipe joined Peter Burwash International and he recommended me to join. I gave it a try and worked 11 years with them in 7 different countries, like in India.
In Bangalore, India I was the Technical Director of Tennis at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence. Some of my responsibilities included: organizing the program for all levels/stages, creating and implementing a holistic approach to the program, preparing yearly budgets, marketing for the program, develop a calendar of events, hiring coaches and train the whole coaching team as well as coaching performance juniors and pros.
Currently, In Cabo, I am teaching at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal and I am also a Licensed Real Estate Agent.
Do I prefer teaching kids or adults? I love teaching anyone who wants to learn. If I had to choose one, that would be professional players. Tennis is my passion and if I can help someone get a bit better and motivate them, then I am happy.
Is it easy to become a tennis coach in Mexico? I became a coach in the U.S., but I know that coaches can get training and have options to develop in Mexico too. It is great to see some former Mexican players trying hard to improve the level of our players and Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams. Whether tennis pros can get support from the Mexican Tennis Federation, I do not know enough about support policies from the FMT. But I know that most players are looking for sponsors to be able to compete. Some players have to play leagues to earn some money, teach on the side, or retire way too early due to lack of resources. Would be great to see more sponsors.
My biggest challenge right now is COVID like the rest of the World. Cabo is a tourist destination and travel restrictions are high at the moment.
Of all the countries I've been to for tennis, which one did I like best? This is a tough question, but I will choose Austria as it is the place where I met my wife Ulrike and because it is so beautiful. I had to learn to speak German to be able to work in Austria and to talk to my wife’s family. It was tough at the beginning; my wife was super patient with me and I also went to a German school for 6 months in Innsbruck. The train ride was 1.5 hours away from Kitzbuhel. My wife and I still use German to communicate.
What is the brand and model of tennis racquet I work with? It's a Wilson Pro Staff 97L and I love it.
Meet Franklin José Guevara Masterful from Venezuela
Hi, my name is Franklin José Guevara Masterful. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
I started to play at 11 years old, motivated by watching the opening of courts in the Military Circle of Caracas. There it began. My father was the head of the area.
Why I went into teaching? I've always been looking for my role in this life. I discovered that it was helping others by teaching. At 16 I began to train with a tennis coach. Today I have my own academy in Margarita, Nueva Esparta state of Venezuela.
Do I prefer teaching kids or adults? I focus on everything. Although now I work more with Tennis 10’s, I relate very well with all kinds of people. He used personal growth to bring tennis to the students and in my relationships.
What I like most about my work is feeling the connection with the students by assimilating what they really need to learn.
While studying at night high school, I worked during the day in that area. There I observed the classes of the coaches and practicing in the Fronton, on my own account I learned. Without receiving any training.
Is it easy to become a tennis coach in Venezuela? A little bit. With this pandemic, we have been very detained.
Right now, tennis pros can get support from the Venezuela Tennis Federation. There is enough training.
I have managed to specialize in applying self-help in tennis training. I go towards the mental issues from an early age.
The brand of tennis racquet is work with is Babolat.
Meet Harry Hamilton from Costa Rica
Hi, my name is Harry Hamilton. I was born in Staunton, Virginia but moved to nearby Roanoke, Virginia when I was 2 years old.
When I was just2-3 years old, I was getting tossed balls by my dad. He spent some years coaching tennis and was the one that introduced me to the game at an early age.
I trained and played competitive tournaments until I was 12-13 years of age. At that point, I shifted my focus to club and eventually high school soccer. It wasn’t until I was 21 years old that I rediscovered tennis.
I started working at the Wild Dunes Tennis Center on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina in 2003. I was originally hired to help take care of the 17 clay court facility. After a short period of time, I was drawn back into the game and began practicing and studying to become a teaching professional. I enjoyed the atmosphere at the resort, meeting new people and sharing passion for the game.
You went from South Carolina to Florida, New York, Hawaii, back to South Carolina, California, and now Costa Rica. All in the name of tennis. Where did you like working the best?
Tough question! I've enjoyed each place for different reasons. I’d say Florida and Costa Rica. Florida was an incredible opportunity to work under some of the best coaches in the world and Costa Rica is a dream location to set up a program and home base.
What was my recent trip to Africa all about? In 2018, I had the chance to meet some amazing kids at both a high school and elementary school. I ran a few clinics while I was there and made some amazing memories. I hope to go back again one day.
I enjoy teaching all ages. Anyone that enjoys playing and learning about the game.
What I like best about my work? I like that I get to meet and work with so many unique and amazing students and that I am able to watch them develop new skills and confidence while having fun.
What is the Harry Hamilton Tennis Experience in Costa Rica? And why Costa Rica?
The tennis experience here is in the jungle of Costa Rica with sounds of the howler monkeys nearby, coconuts, and clay courts. I chose Costa Rica for the nature and the opportunity to incorporate mediation, nutrition, and other well-being options.
Being so much involved in tennis, do I have time for a hobby? I enjoy surfing when I can find the time and learning more about growing food.
If I had unlimited resources, I would create tennis schools for lots and lots of communities that would support both the kids and parents to grow in their fitness, connection to one another, and overall well being.
My racquet? I just ordered a Wison Blade 98 that I’m excited to start playing with
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