Tennis Tuesday is New York Empire’s content series features some of the game’s greats and New York’s finest tennis coaches, administrators, and fans. This week we spoke with Ari Roberts, Tennis Director of MatchPoint Tennis and USTA Eastern Regional President.
- You are the Tennis Director of MatchPoint Tennis, USTA Eastern Regional President and amtennis coach. What is your favorite part about being involved in so many aspects of tennis?
I started playing tennis at the age of 12 when my dad first brought me out onto the courts. I worked very hard throughout my teenage years and made varsity as a freshman in High School at Monroe-Woodbury. My senior year in high school a few JV players asked if I would teach them lessons, and MatchPoint Tennis began. I went off to Ithaca College and every summer I would come home and my business would grow. I soon had a summer camp and four pros working for me.
- How did you get involved in tennis, and what led you to coaching the game?
I graduated Ithaca and was planning a career in Airport Management, but the thrill of coaching and the passion I had for it was to much to turn away. I continued teaching on public courts until 2010, when we opened the MatchPoint Tennis Complex in Goshen, New York. When the complex opened I was approached by USTA Eastern to offer some of their great products(Leagues, Tournaments, Schools, and JTT). I was on board as this was a win win. I was then asked by the section to coach Zonals in 2012, which I still do and really enjoy. I have won Zonals in 2015,2018. I was the Jr World Team Tennis Coach in San Diego from 2012-2016, and I currently coach in Arizona at the 12s National Team Tournament winning the Gold Ball last year. In 2015 I was put on the Regional Board of Directors, and was made Regional President in 2016 of the Southern Region of the Eastern Section. Being involved in all aspects of tennis has given me creative ideas to grow the game within the southern region including: creation of the first junior board, highlighting sportsmanship, and creating newsletters highlighting the great things going on within our region.
- As the Tennis Director of MatchPoint Tennis, what type of programs do you offer for kids?
MatchPoint offers programming for juniors from the beginner to the national level competitor. From group practices to private lessons from our highly skilled professionals. We offer the programming to get your child to the next level and beyond.
- Last year, you and tennis fans from MatchPoint Tennis joined us for a New York Empire match. Watching the traditional format of tennis on the ATP and WTA tour, how was your and your groups experience watching the only professional co-ed tennis league?
Our junior programs at MatchPoint are all team based. The harder one person practices and works, raises the level of everyone else. Seeing the New York Empire complete in a team format when Tennis is normally geared to an individual was great for our team to see.
- Why is Tennis important to you and your community?
We currently are in several of the local school districts teaching tennis, this is vital to growing the game and starting at the grassroots level.