The Tennis Congress® is a community of passionate players and professionals committed to achieving their personal best, helping each other, and raising the bar for adult amateur tennis player development worldwide. Our innovative world-class education and training events help adult tennis athletes fulfill their dreams and enrich their lives. In the process, we contribute to a better world by leveraging our influence and networks in support of positive social and environmental impacts.
Our Values and Mission
The Idea Behind The Tennis Congress
The Tennis Congress® was designed for amateur adult tennis players of all ages and levels (beginners through highly advanced) who are passionate about improving and reaching their personal best.
The idea is simple but new: to give adult non-professional players an inspiring, intensive, in-person opportunity to learn from the world’s top experts about all aspects of training necessary to advance to the next level (technique, movement, strategy, fitness, injury prevention, and mental conditioning)—using both on-court training and innovative and dynamic off-court techniques.
Importantly, the agenda and curriculum for Tennis Congress events are designed to address the priorities the individuals who take part. Our innovative, rigorous, and holistic approach combines both on-court and off-court learning to accelerate learning. Faculty members with expertise in everything from stroke mechanics to strategy to sports psychology to nutrition use video, whiteboards, movement drills, fitness equipment, and other modern tools and techniques.
Whether you are relatively new to the sport or are seriously advanced, each Tennis Congress event offers an unparalleled opportunity to enhance your own capacity to fast-track your progress.
Operating Responsibly, Giving Back
In addition to our goal of enriching lives through unparalleled world-class tennis education and training, The Tennis Congress strives to make positive contributions to a better world. In our daily operations and at events, we work to reduce waste, offset our carbon emissions, and support vendors adopting environmentally sound best practices. We partner with outstanding charitable foundations to explore new avenues to activate the tennis community in support of high-impact projects that benefit people and the planet.
Tennis Congress programming is overseen by a combination of industry leaders and nonprofessional players united by their passion for excellence.
P.J. Simmons, Founder, is a self-professed Tennisaholic who didn’t start playing until relatively late in life—despite being infatuated with the sport since his youth. His passion lies in helping other adult players accelerate their progress towards their personal best while enjoying the journey and enriching their lives in the process. He is also an ACE-certified personal trainer (CPT), an iTPA Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS), and ISSA-certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. P.J. chronicles his own experiences trying to become a better player on the blog, “The Road to 4.5 Tennis.” He is the very proud recipient of the 2016 PTR/Tennis Industry Association “Commitment to the Industry” Award.
P.J. strives to bring the same energy, enthusiasm & impact to the adult recreational tennis community that he has brought to the global sustainability arena for nearly two decades. He is co-founder and Chair of the Corporate Eco Forum — one of the world’s preeminent networks for senior executives from about seventy Fortune 500 companies with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. He has also held senior positions at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Clinton Global Initiative. His publications include the highly acclaimed The Green to Gold Business Playbook. P.J. is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
🇺🇸 P.J. Simmons
Director, Special Events
Sarah Flesher is TC Director of Special Events and the founder of Endurance Project Management (EPM) is a boutique project management firm that specializes in developing, implementing, and evaluating social impact programs. EPM works with visionaries who have innovative ideas but need support to translate those ideas into executable and sustainable programs. The firm specializes in planning, program design, and project management, we can take your idea from the start to the finish line.
Sarah is an endurance athlete who thrives in the physical and mental challenges of competition. A natural problem solver and solution seeker, she excels while navigating challenging projects, streamlining processes and procedures all while maximizing underutilized resources. Her background in business-finance, nonprofit management, and philanthropic oversight provides for a unique approach to every task.
Prior to founding EPM, Sarah worked as an Operations Advisor for Arabella Advisors in Washington, DC where she led a multi-departmental team towards the identification of challenges, developed solutions, and improved operational and financial services to more than 70 projects. Additionally, she supported Arabella’s founder and subsequently greatly enhanced the firm’s ability to track and report on new business. She spent a year living in South Africa and Namibia as the Namibian Program Coordinator for Grassroot Soccer. Her work focused on HIV/AIDS programs that utilized soccer as a delivery mechanism for HIV/AIDS prevention education. While in graduate school Sarah worked fulltime as Financial Counselor at 21st Mortgage and coordinated Knox Kicks; a soccer camp for children with refugee status.
Sarah holds a MSc degree in communications with a minor in public health from the University of Tennessee and a BSc degree in business administration with a minor in media arts from Eastern Oregon University. In her community, Sarah serves on the Advisory Committee for the Georgia Literacy Commission, is an Advisory Board Member for the TWMB @ Work program at Hands on Atlanta, is a provisional member of the Junior League of DeKalb and volunteers extensively in her community.
🇺🇸 Sarah Flesher
Tennis Congress Director of Film and Video Production
Amy Lundy, Director, Tennis Congress Films, is a sports journalist and content producer for multiple television and digital platforms. Amy’s reporting and writing has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, ESPN.com, CNN, and The Golf Channel. She has received several journalism and producing awards including an Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. An avid amateur player and team captain, she enjoys all aspects of learning, competing and community-building in the sport of tennis. She’s also the proud mother of two young tennis players and serves on the Board of Directors of the charitable, education-based Oyebog Tennis Academy in Cameroon, Africa.
🇺🇸 Amy Lundy
Tennis Congress Director of Performance and Fitness Education. Executive Director, International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA). Former All-American and NCAA doubles champion.
Dr. Mark Kovacs, Tennis Congress Director of Performance and Fitness Education, is a renowned performance physiologist, researcher, university professor, author, speaker and coach with an extensive background training and researching athletes at all levels. He serves as both the Executive Director of the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) and Director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Dr. Kovacs’ work has helped improve the way the physical aspects of tennis are trained throughout the world, and he has personally tested and trained hundreds of world class athletes in numerous sports. He formerly directed the Sport Science, Strength & Conditioning and Coaching Education departments for the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Dr. Kovacs is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and abstracts in top journals and was the Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Strength & Conditioning Journal. He is on the editorial board for multiple journals including the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and has presented workshops, keynote addresses and well over 100 presentations on four continents.
Along with his academic and scientific background, Dr. Kovacs is also a coach and former professional athlete. While originally from Melbourne, Australia, he was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion in tennis at Auburn University. After playing professionally, he completed his graduate work at Auburn University and earned his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from The University of Alabama. Dr. Kovacs is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) through the ITPA, a certified Health/Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine, a United States Track and Field Level II Sprints Coach and Certified Tennis Coach.
He has published five books on topics ranging from dynamic stretching to recovery. Mark has organized a number of medical and sport science conferences aimed at improving the education of medical professionals, coaches, athletes, parents and sport administrators. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Plagenhoef Award for sport science achievement (youngest ever recipient); in 2012 he was the youngest ever International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award winner.
🇦🇺 Mark Kovacs, PhD
PTR Master of Tennis. Two time ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) doubles champion. Achieved NAIA #14 Doubles Ranking.
Gary Innes serves as Project Director for the NetGains Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Tennis Congress that taps the power of tennis as a catalyst to transform lives and create positive social and environmental impacts.
Gary is also the co-founder of Serves You Right (SYR), which is committed to improving tennis experiences for clubs, teams and individuals. SYR specializes in club management, program development and group events/retreats.
He was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa where he competed as a junior before coming to the United States to play college tennis at Walsh University. After graduating, Gary started coaching and directing tennis programs throughout Westchester and Fairfield County.
In 2016 Gary earned the PTR Master of Tennis certification in Junior Development. He continues to pursue new levels of tennis education and build strong adult and junior programs.
🇿🇦 Gary Innes
Tennis Congress Director of Education. 2011 USPTA Professional of the Year. 11-time USPTA Division/State Pro of the Year. Member Head/Penn Racquet Sports National Advisory Board.
Feisal Hassan, Tennis Congress Director of Education, is a USPTA Master Professional and an 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, Little Tennis and Sports Science. He is a USTA Recreation Coach National and Quickstart Trainer, a member of the National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team and co-chairs the USPTA National Education Committee and the USPTA College Curriculum Committee. He is also on the USPTA Testing Committee and USTA National Youth Education Committee. He was also the Director of Certification & Testing for the USPTA Middle States division and was co-chair of the USPTA National Diversity Committee.
Feisal was also the Director of Coaches’ Education and Junior Davis Cup Team Coach for Tennis Zimbabwe. He 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.
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, and 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, 11-time USPTA Division/State Pro of the Year, and 9-time national Top-10 point holder in the USPTA’s Career Development Program.
🇿🇼 Feisal Hassan
Expert Tennis Strength and Conditioning Coach, iTPA Master Tennis Performance specialist
Jonny Fraser, Tennis Congress Deputy Director of Performance and Fitness Education, has a wealth of experience in tennis. An expert in movement, footwork, and tennis-specific strength and conditioning, he has worked with a range of junior tennis players to full-time professionals.
Jonny is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) alongside being a certified Level B coach with the GPTCA and a licensed tennis coach with the LTA in the United Kingdom. Jonny has certification as a Master Tennis Performance specialist with the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA). Jonny is also the owner of Science in Tennis, a sport science provider solely focused on providing support to tennis centers and players.
Academically he has an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science from Sheffield Hallam University and has also taught at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK teaching on sport science and sports coaching degrees.
🇬🇧 Jonny Fraser
Director, Special Projects
Denise Fiallo is Director, Special Projects for The Tennis Congress. An avid nonprofessional player, Denise has spent the last several years promoting adult recreational tennis in the metro NYC area as a USTA league coordinator and team captain. She credits tennis for being a key part of her adult life – teaching life skills, building lasting relationships, and creating a deep sense of community.
Her professional background is in international finance – she has worked at several of the leading Wall Street firms, across several areas – leading sales teams, advising institutional clients, and publishing investment recommendations globally. She has degrees in International Relations and Finance from Tufts University and Columbia University, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Denise is excited to bring her business skills to the Tennis Congress, to introduce new outreach initiatives and continue to advance player development.
🇺🇸 Denise Fiallo
We are grateful to the many TC alumni whose generous support has enabled us to make investments that advance our mission, support our Patrick Ryan Memorial Scholarship Program, and keep our community thriving and growing. Thank you!
2019 Congressional Champions
Darlene Ashwood * Anne Dickerson * Steven Dugal * Mike Goor * Mary McNamara * Steven Ralls * Brett Richmond * Eric Smith
2019 Congressional Leaders
Payam Ahdoot * Carol Alan * Harvey Allon * Sue Allon * Beth & Jeff Annis * Louise Arkel * Amy Badger * Jim Benge * Larry Bloom * Doug Bloomquist * Tanya Brennan * Jill Burgard * Lynn Case * Mark Charman * Andy Chernaik * Ed Conner * Barbara Cornyn * Susan Cushman * Barbara Dean * Terriann DePasquale * Chris Donnelly * Sean Dundon * Denise Fiallo * Sheila Fifer * Jo Fitzpatrick * Faith Franck * Christine Frank * Amy Gavaris * Becky Grace * Becky Hall * TJ Harais * John Harris * Leslie Hauschildt * Felicia Head * JoAnn Houck * Gloria Howard * Mark Howes * Kate Huttemann * Roberta Jackson * Anna Jones * Deidre Kolarick * Kari Kuipers * Andy Lechter * Jonathan Lim * Stacy McHugh * Susan Morehouse * Rosie Morgan * Sandra Nauditt * Deborah New * Kenny Nova * Rick Palmore * Amy Petrow * Kathy Precopio * Lance Prichard * MaryGrace Quinlan * Rhonda Reiner * Jason Roberts * Dave Ryan * David Schollmeyer * Ken Shapero * Kim Sheffield * Eva Simmons * Sandra Sklar * Suzy Skone * Linda Smith * Michael Smolens * Aleks Szymanski * Kara Taggart * Paul Tortora * Carol Turner * Brian Urbano * Azin van Alebeek * Jennifer Vana * Jim Vana * Nate Walker * Peggy & Philip Wood