Claudio Pistolesi, GPTCA National President-India, Ireland & Japan

Rome-born Claudio Pistolesi, who started playing tennis aged three, is a former player and coach. Pistolesi was crowned the 1985 ITF Junior World Champion, when lifted the Orange Bowl, finished runner-up at the Italian Open and European Championships, and was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros and US Open. He played on the ATP World circuit for more than 10 years, reaching a career-high World No. 71 on 17 August 1987. He had impressive wins during his career defeating World No. 2 Mats Wilander at 1988 Monte Carlo and No. 6-ranked Kent Carlsson at 1989 Nice. In 1996, Claudio started coaching on the professional tour with Japanese player Takao Suzuki and was Monica Seles' practice partner for two years. For the past 13 years, Claudio has coached a large number of players on the ATP World Tour and WTA circuits, including Simone Bolelli, Michael Berrer, George Bastl, Attila Savolt, Davide Sanguinetti, Robin Soderling, Ai Sugiyama, Anna Smashnova and Mara Santangelo. All of them reached their best ranking under Claudio's supervision. Since 1997, he has written monthly columns in Italian magazines, 'Il Tennis Italiano', 'Match Point', 'Tennis Oggi' and daily newspapers like 'L'Unita', 'Il Tempo', 'La Gazzetta Dello Sporte'. He is also a television commentator of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Rome for the national TV channel MediaSet.

Giorgio di Palermo, GPTCA Communications Director

Giorgio di Palermo, one of the founders of B1PR sports communication and PR agency, currently serves as the European Player Representative at ATP World Tour. He earned a Law degree from the La Sapienza University in Rome in 1989 and joined the ATP in 1996, working as a Tour Manager through 2008, traveling to around 25 tournaments per year. In 2007, he was promoted to Director of Player Relations, where his responsibilities expanded to include the players’ retirement plan and officiating liaison. He also worked for the Italian Tennis Federation at Challenger and Davis Cup events.

Alberto Castellani, GPTCA President & National President of the GPTCA

During his more than 30 years activity as a professional high-level coach, Albert Castellani has taken part in more than 300 Grand Prix, ATP events, challengers, Grand Slams and Super 9 tournaments, from which he got credits and official passes. As a Technical Director of the Unione Italiana SportperTutti (UISP) Tennis League, Alberto directs the training courses for tennis teachers and coaches and oversees the USIP’s Scientific and Technical Committee. For over 15 years, he has been a faculty member of the Physical Education Department at the University of Perugia, with an emphasis in sports psychology, technical theory and teaching for individual sports, and in the specialized degree course for Sciences and Techniques of the Sporting Activity. As an International ATP Coach, Alberto is a member of the Coach Association of the ATP, and elite group of 40 coaches around world. He graduated as a tennis teacher at the National School for Teachers of the Italian Tennis Federation and registered in the Official List of Teachers.

Tarik Benhabiles

highest ATP-ranking on June 8, 1987 when he got listed as the number 22 player championship at Roland-Garros, and it ended in 1992. He never won an ATP title, but he reached two finals. He lost to Vitas Gerulaitis at Treviso in 1984, and he lost to Ronald Agénor at Genova in 1990. Benhabiles was a member of the French Davis Team national team, but he played only one match, a 1987 doubles match against South Korea. He ended his professional player career in 1992, when he was 27. His career singles record was 69–107.After he retired, Benhabiles began a coaching career, first working with Nicolas Escudé until 1997 and then relocating to the United States to coach a young Andy Roddick. He built a strong relationship with Roddick and helped guide him After Roddick, Benhabiles coached Richard Gasquet (until January 2004), Tatiana Golovin (in 2006), Benjamin Becker, Ivo Karlovic and Vania King.

Brenda Schultz-McCarty

Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (born 28 December 1970) is a Dutch tennis player. She married Sean McCarthy, a former American football player at University of Cincinnati, on 8 April 1995. Brenda Schultz' career high was in 1996 when she reached World No. 9. She reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1995. She retired from tennis in 1999 with longstanding injuries. She came out of retirement in 2005, playing Fed Cup and WTA tournaments in 2006. In July 2006, Schultz-McCarthy claimed her place as the fastest server in WTA history, recording a 130 mph (209 km/h) serve in the first round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open qualifying tournament, held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Venus Williams previously held the women's record set in 1998 of 127 mph (204 km/h) in a match in a quarter-finals win against Mary Pierce in Zurich. Serena Williams would tie the record in 2008.


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