About the Club | Pro Teaching Staff
A Winning Lineup of USPTA Pros.
Tennis Director | Eric Hechtman
Eric was born and raised in Miami. He was the #3 recruited player in the nation going into college and won the high school state championship 3 years in a row. He graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Political Science. He was the team captain for 3 years and he holds the record for the most wins all-time, in University of Miami history. He was the ACC Champion twice and all Big East Champion twice.
He is the hitting partner for Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Venus Williams and Serena Williams. Eric enjoys teaching all levels but specializes in fitness, technique and strategy at the intermediate to advance level.
-Eric was named USTA Junior Competitive Coach of the Year 2013 and one of his students, Chase Perez Blanco, was named the Junior Player of the Year 2013.
-Named USPTA District Pro of the Year 2016 for Florida.
Francisco Montana was born and raised in Miami. He was ranked #1 Florida USTA in every division (12’s-18’s) and was an 11-time USTA National champion as wellas being ranked #1 in America in singles and doubles as a junior. He graduated from Christopher Columbus Catholic Boys H.S. where he helped the Explorers to their first State championship in school history. In 1987 Francisco began his college career at Georgia where he was an All-American singles player. Francisco reached the semi-finals of the NCAA individual singles championships. He decided he was ready for the ATP Tour and reached a ranking of #4 in the world as a doubles team playing alongside Don Johnson. Francisco reached #100 in the world in singles ATP. He won 2 Masters-Series events in doubles, Monte-Carlo(1997) and Hamburg(1998). Montana qualified twice (1997-98) to the World Tour Finals (Masters). After retiring from the ATP, Francisco began coaching and was named 2006 USPTA Touring Coach of the Year.Personal coach to Alex Bogomolov and responsible for his progression from a world ranking of #878 to #97. Personal coach to Monica Puig and Lauren Albanese (ranked #1 in USTA G18s) Personal coach to Taylor Dent and guided him to a career high ranking of #18 in the world in singles ATP. Personal coach to Robby Ginepri and led him to a career high #15 in the world in singles ATP and a semi-finals appearance at the 2005 US OPEN. Francisco has 3 children who love playing tennis and he enjoys teaching all levels and specializes at incorporating proper technique to all of his students.
Chris grew up in Miami playing tennis in the Richard Dowling league and USTA events. He graduated from Miami Killian Senior High and completed his college education at Miami Dade Community College, where he received an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. Having three children, Chris understands the patience needed with juniors and beginners on the court. He also excels in communicating with adults on technique and strategy.
While an athlete and competitor in a number of sports, Jeremy’s fondest memories have been spent on or close to the tennis court. Even as a youngster, Jeremy rarely missed a chance to attend the formerly-named Lipton professional tennis tournament. He fell in love with the game and eventually played #1 for Miami Palmetto High, ranked among the top 60 in USTA-FL his senior season. He attended the University of Florida, graduating with a B.S. in Finance. After three years of hedge fund accounting, Jeremy was drawn back to the court full time by his strong passion for the game. He has been a hitting partner for touring professionals and still competes on a regular basis. He is a high-energy individual who lives to impart his enthusiasm to all of his students, from toddlers to seniors. Jeremy is certified by the USPTA as an elite level instructor.
Milangela Morales is a 33 year old tennis professional. She finished her junior tennis career in 1999 ranked #1 in Florida and #2 in the United States in the girls 18 and under division. She attended Sunset Senior High school and graduated in 2000. During her 4 years at Sunset, she assisted her tennis team to win 4 consecutive state championships, winning All-Dade and most valuable player of the year awards from 1997-2000. She played #1 position from 1998-2000 while being undefeated in singles and doubles all 4 years. Shortly after, she was one of the top recruits for many universities including UCLA, Stanford, UGA, and UT. In 2001 she turned pro and played on the ITF and WTA circuit for 5 years. She reached the top 300 in the WTA rankings winning challengers in singles and doubles. She trained with the USTA national team in Key Biscayne, Chris Evert Academy, and with Pat Echebery in Saddlebrook. After retiring in 2006, she began to work as a coach at Salvador Tennis Club developing elite junior players. She won the Grass Court National Open singles title in the Hall of Fame Club in Newport Rhode Island in 2009. She worked as a teaching pro in Fisher Island Tennis Club from 2007-2014.
Tom’s playing career was highlighted by a top ten ranking in the 35 and over division in the state of Florida. His coaching career includes training and teaching at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy as well as being Head Pro at the Courts of the Falls, West View Country Club and Montana Tennis Club. For 2 years he served as an assistant coach at the University of Miami. In addition, Tom has coached and traveled with several ATP tour players. Under Tom’s guidance Luigi D’Agord won 5 professional tournaments, which culminated with his playing at the 2009 US OPEN. Tom’s international experience includes being the director of tennis at the prestigious club Campestre in San Salvador El Salvador. Happy to be back in Miami Tom is looking forward with excitement to joining the coaching staff at RPTC.
Roeland de Kort
Roeland was born and raised in Aruba. He was the Aruba national champion for six consecutive years and the Netherlands Antilles champion for five years in a row. He was trained by the late great Harry Hopman and has worked extensively with the likes of Spain’s Manolo Santana and Venezuela’s Humphrey Hose. Roeland played his NCAA collegiate years at Southern Illinois University and has a Master’s degree in zoology. He spent twelve years working for the Aruban government as Director of National Parks and as an environmental policy advisor focusing on nature conservation issues. He has proudly worked with various Heads of State, including former HRM Queen Beatrix and the current King of the Netherlands, HRM Willem Alexander. Roeland is a PTR Certified Professional and has been teaching tennis for 32 years. He enjoys being on the court working with students of all ages and levels. He is high up on developing sound technique and great tactics and strategies.
Cliff was born in California and raised in Miami’s tennis community. Cliff spent his youth playing in the Richard Dowling league and USTA tournaments as a top 50 junior. He went to Christopher Columbus High School where he played varsity in both Tennis and Basketball for 4 years. He was a District champion in both singles and doubles. Upon graduating, he joined FIU’s Men’s Tennis until he moved to FSU in Tallahassee to continue his education. Upon his return to Miami, he became a Tennis Pro at Fisher Island from 1995-2005. After that, he was a coach at Palmer Trinity High School and ushered the team through District playoffs and to eventually become State Finalists. He has also developed multiple programs for both men and women, forming teams that successfully became USTA District winners and competed at the State level. His love and enthusiasm for the game of Tennis complements his ability to teach and motivate students.
Anna Larinova (Bastrikova) was born in Moscow, Russia. She graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism in 2007 with bachelors’ degrees in Physical Education and Sports as well as Sports Management. She has won many titles in both singles and doubles throughout Mexico, Belarus, Russia, Croatia, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. In the Pro Circuit, her career high for singles is #301 and #201 for doubles. In the past, she was a member of the Russian Junior Team where she was the European Champion in 2001 for 16 & Under and World Champion in 1999 and 2001 for 14 & Under and 18 & Under. She was also a finalist in the European Junior Individual Championship Doubles in 2003. More recently, Anna was a private coach for the Russian Junior Team as well as the Assistant Coach at Gulliver. She specializes in teaching fundamentals, strategy of the game and related fitness as well as motivating individuals to improve and succeed.
John is a graduate of St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. He has been a teaching pro in Miami for the past thirty-one years. John was a head pro at The Courts of Lazarus and The Marriott Hotel before coming to Royal Palm in 1990. John specializes in developing and fine-tuning fundamental skills.