The Dream Team
Feisal Hassan, Gigi Fernández, Dr. Mark Kovacs, Jeff Greenwald, Craig O’Shannessy
Feisal, FYB Director of Coach Education, is a USPTA and a RPT Master Professional. He is also a member of the Head/Penn Racquet Sports National Advisory Board and National Speaker’s Bureau and holds USPTA specialist degrees in Competitive Player Development, Facility Management, Sports Science and Little Tennis. He is on the USTA National Faculty for Youth Coaching, a TIA Cardio Tennis Trainer and co-chairs the USPTA National Education Committee and the USPTA National Testing Committee. He also served as co-chair for the USPTA National College Curriculum and the USPTA National Diversity Committees. He was also the Director of Certification & Testing for the USPTA Middle States division and was co-chair of the USPTA National Diversity Committee. He was a member of the USPTA Sport Science Committee and USTA National Youth Education Committee.
Feisal was also the Director of Coaches’ Education and Junior Davis Cup Team Coach for Tennis Zimbabwe.
Feisal was also voted in Tennis Industry magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list for being one of the top 40 men and women under 40 years old who have had and will continue to have a strong influence in the sport and in the business of tennis- both nationally and internationally.
Feisal serves as an instructional clinician for the “On Court with USPTA” series featured on the Tennis Channel and sold on DVD. Series episodes are titled: “Playing the Front Court” and “Decision making in Tennis”
Hassan writes and conducts seminars, workshops and clinics for international, national and sectional organizations and events. He has also written the book, “How to Handle Difficult Players and Conditions”. Feisal is currently working on his second book, “Doubles: Phases & Situations”.
In 2011, he was awarded the USPTA's most prestigious award, the Alex Gordon National Professional of the Year and the 2011 Racquet Sports Industry Champions of Tennis Award. This is the Racquet Sports Industry’s (RSI) most prestigious awards recognizing and honoring the people, businesses and organizations that are making a difference in the tennis industry. He was also a recipient for the USPTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame recipient Inaugural Class of 2012 and the 2012 USPTA George Bacso National Tester of the Year.
Previous accolades include the USPTA Industry Excellence Award in 1999, 5-time Division Tester of the Year, 12-time USPTA Division/State Pro of the Year, and 9-time national Top-10 point holder in the USPTA’s Career Development Program.
Craig is widely recognized as the world leader in teaching tennis tactics and is the strategy analyst in 2015 for Wimbledon and the Australian Open as well as the ATPWorldTour, WTATennis and the New York Times.
Craig has researched thousands of matches using his unique Dartfish Match Tagging software to unlock the secrets of our game and uncover the patterns and percentages that really matter. He teaches this knowledge through his website and also on court with players at all levels of the game.
Craig started coaching on the pro tour 20 years ago and recently helped direct Kevin Anderson from outside the top 150 in the world into the top 50 in around 12 months. In 2011 he resurrected the career of Rajeev Ram who was 28 years old and languishing at 272 in the world. Within twelve months Craig had Rajeev back inside the top 100 enjoying his first top 20 win of his career. Craig has coached on center court at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open and passes along the learning from his pro tour experiences to juniors just beginning their life-long journey in our wonderful sport.
Craig began his coaching career in 1991, working with world-renowned tennis management company, Peter Burwash International (PBI) in the Woodlands, Texas. Craig was voted runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 1992, and was part of the globe-trotting PBI Tennis Show, performing in California, Guam, Seoul, Jakarta, Bali and Oman in the Middle East.
Craig moved back to his homeland of Australia in 1995 to open the O’Shannessy Tennis Academy at the Wodonga Tennis Center — Australia’s largest tennis facility with 52 courts (30 grass/22 clay). It quickly developed into one of the leading academies in the region, attracting players from New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. In 1997, Craig guided Andrew Bronneberg to victory in the Australian National Junior Grasscourt Championships in singles and doubles.
Craig also worked with Canadian, Vanessa Webb, who won the 1998 NCAA Women’s Singles Championships while at Duke University. Craig then coached Andrew and Vanessa as they transitioned to the pro tour. Craig returned to the U.S. in 2001 to direct the junior academy at the T Bar M Racquet Club in Dallas, Texas. Craig also continued his work on tour with tour players Jeff Salzenstein, Andrew Ilie, Amer Delic, Brendan Evans and Ansley Cargill. At Wimbledon in 2011, Craig directed #262 Melinda Czink, from Hungary, to a first round, straight-sets victory over world #10 Samantha Stosur, of Australia.
Gigi Fernández is the first female athlete from Puerto Rico to turn professional, the first Puerto Rican athlete to win a Gold Medal (Represented the US Olympic Team), and the first to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (2010).
Fernández was recognized primarily as a doubles specialist during her professional career. She won a career doubles Grand Slam with 17 Grand Slam women's doubles title – six French Open, five US Open, four Wimbledon, and two Australian Open winning at least one Grand Slam title every year from 1988–1997, except 1989, and for three straight years winning three of the four Grand Slam doubles titles in the same year (1992–1994). She won 14 of her 17 Grand Slam titles partnering with Natasha Zvereva; their partnership is the second most successful doubles pair in Grand Slam history after Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver in the Open era.
In mixed doubles, Fernández was the runner-up in three of the four Grand Slam mixed doubles events in 1995 (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) partnering with Cyril Suk. Fernández captured 68 career titles in women's doubles and reached the World No. 1 doubles ranking in 1991 and attained the No. 1 ranking again in 1993, 1994 and 1995. She won a total of 69 doubles titles during her career.
Fernández represented the United States at the Olympic Games in 1992 (Barcelona) and 1996 (Atlanta). She teamed with Mary Joe Fernández (no relation) to win the women's doubles gold medal on both occasions. The first gold medal was won against the home team of Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario with the King and Queen of Spain in the audience. The two medals are front and center on Fernández's desk, along with a car license plate that reads "DBL GLD."
Fernández represented Puerto Rico when San Juan played host to the Pan Am Games in 1979. Just 15 during the games, Fernández won a bronze medal. In 1982 at the Central American-Caribbean Games in Cuba, she teamed up with Marilda Juliá to win doubles gold and won a silver medal in the singles as well. She represented Puerto Rico at the 1984 Olympics.
Fernández was also on the United States team that won the Fed Cup in 1990. In singles, Fernández reached as high as World No. 17. She also won two top-level titles and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1994 (ranked 99 becoming the lowest-ranked grand Slam singles semi-finalist at Wimbledon) and the quarterfinals at the US Open in 1991 and 1994.
Fernández retired from the professional tour in 1997. By far the most successful tennis player in the history of Puerto Rico, Fernández was named Puerto Rico's "Female Athlete of the Century" in 1999.
Dr. Mark Kovacs
Mark Kovacs, PhD, FACSM, CTPS, MTPS, CSCS,*D, USPTA, PTR, is a performance physiologist, researcher, professor, author, speaker, and coach with an extensive background in training and researching elite athletes. He runs a consulting firm focused on optimizing human performance by the practical application of cutting-edge science. He is a consultant to the ATP, WTA, USTA, and NCAA. Dr. Kovacs also is the director of the Life Sport Science Institute and associate professor of sport health science at Life University. Heovacs Kovacs has worked with hundreds of elite athletes and more than two dozen top professional tennis players, including John Isner, Robby Ginepri, Ryan Harrison, and Sloane Stephens.
He formerly directed the sport science, strength and conditioning, and coaching education departments for the United States Tennis Association and was the director of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute as well as an executive at PepsiCo. He is coauthor of the book Tennis Anatomy (Human Kinetics, 2011).
Dr. Kovacs currently is the executive director of the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA), the worldwide association for tennis-specific performance and injury prevention. He is a certified tennis performance specialist and a master tennis performance specialist through the iTPA. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and both a USPTA and PTR certified tennis coach. Dr. Kovacs is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2012, he was the youngest-ever recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award.
Kovacs was a collegiate All-American and NCAA doubles champion in tennis at Auburn University. After playing professionally, he performed tennis-specific research and earned a master’s degree in exercise science from Auburn University and a PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Alabama.
Jeff Greenwald, M.F.T. is an internationally recognized sport psychology consultant, author and licensed family therapist. He was named Athlete of the Year at UC Santa Barbara in 1988 and went on to become a world-ranked player on the ATP Tour in singles and doubles. He was also formerly the No. 1 world and U.S. ranked ITF men’s 35 player, and is winner of two senior ITF World Championships. Jeff has been the mental coach for numerous top professional, college and junior tennis players around the world for the past 15 years. From 1993-1995 Jeff coached top junior players as the Director of Junior Development at the Uhlenhorster Hockey and Tennis Club in Hamburg, Germany. He has been a certified tennis professional by the USPTA since 1996 and currently serves on the Speaking Bureaus for both the USPTA and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Jeff has spoken across the world at numerous tennis clubs, associations, universities and corporations. He also was an adjunct faculty member and supervisor at JFKU for graduate students in the sport psychology program. He served as a consultant for the USA High Performance coaches program from 2005-2010. He earned his B.A at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has been in private practice since 1998. He holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical psychology with a specialization in sports psychology. He is author of Amazon’s best-selling double-CD audio, Fearless Tennis and The Best Tennis of Your Life.