The USTA has announced that USTA Player Development is expanding its training program at the National Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., hiring Erik Kortland as National Coach, Junior Development, to coach players in a new “Feeder Program” for boys and girls ages nine through 13.
“This is an exciting step for USTA Player Development,” said Patrick McEnroe, general manager, USTA Player Development. “Having an open pipeline to our training program at the home of the US Open gives us the opportunity to work with more talented kids at a young age in our mission to develop world-class American players.”
The Feeder Program is a year-round, merit-based training program designed to groom young students who aspire to become professional tennis players with the intention of having those players eventually progress into full-time training with USTA Player Development. The Feeder Program will hold the first of its two yearly open tryouts beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sat., Feb. 2, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Kortland joins USTA Player Development after six years of coaching Southern California’s top juniors as the head of player development at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. Previously, Kortland was a nationally-ranked junior, played NCAA Division I tennis at Loyola Marymount and California State, Sacramento, and played professionally in Germany and Poland.
The National Training Center-East is one of three national training centers operated by USTA Player Development in its mission to develop world-class American players. Among the Top 100 professionals training at the National Training Center-East are Varvara Lepchenko and Melanie Oudin, while Christina McHale previously trained there. Sloane Stephens, the 19-year old who defeated Serena Williams to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open, trains at the National Training Center-West in Carson, Calif., while Madison Keys, who reached the third round of the Australian Open, and Taylor Townsend, the world’s No. 1 ranked junior girl, are among the players training at the National Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.