SHENZHEN, China - The WTA is excited to open registration and announce the list of speakers for the first WTA/PTR Coaches Conference – Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.
Judy Murray is a former Scottish international tennis player with 64 national titles to her name. She became Scottish National Coach in 1995, the same year that she became the first woman to pass the Lawn Tennis Association’s Performance Coach Award. She initiated the Scottish Development School program, which ultimately produced four Davis Cup players and one Fed Cup player, including her Grand-Slam-winning sons, Jamie and Andy.
In 2011, Judy was appointed Captain of the British Fed Cup Team and used this role to grow the profile and numbers in women’s tennis across players and coaches. Judy has developed several tennis initiatives including Miss-Hits, a starter program for girls age 5 to 8, Tennis on the Road, which takes tennis into remote and deprived parts of Scotland, and, most recently, She Rallies, a program with the LTA, to encourage more women and girls into tennis across the UK.
Alicia Molik is an Australian former professional tennis player. She reached a career-high WTA singles ranking of world No.8 and won a bronze medal for Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics by upsetting then world No.3 and reigning French Open champion Anastasia Myskina. Molik peaked at No.6 in the doubles rankings and won Grand Slam titles at the 2005 Australian Open and the 2007 French Open.
Following a successful playing career, Alicia was named the Australian Fed Cup Captain in 2013. This year she has led the Australian team to its first final since 1993 and will be looking to capture Australia’s first win since 1974 against France in November.
Mike has taught tennis for over 25 years working with players of all levels and is the Founder and owner of evolve9. Mike has presented at numerous National and International conferences, authored magazine articles and manuals. He has worked on programs for USTA, Tennis Australia, LTA (GB), Chinese Tennis Association and other tennis nations including Holland, Norway, Estonia, Cyprus and Hungary. Mike is a co-author of the ITF Tennis10s Manual and has been a major contributor to Under 10 programs around the World. As well as his role as Director of evolve9, he also works for the LTA as a Coach Education Master Tutor, delivering coach education, certification and training. An LTA Level 5 Licensed Coach, he was also the 2007 PTR Professional of the Year.
A former WTA World No.1 at singles and doubles. Coached throughout career by mother, Melanie Molitor, she began playing tennis aged two and entered tournaments from the age of four. The Swiss former player lists her most memorable experiences as winning first WTA title at 1996 Filderstadt, first Grand Slam title at 1997 Australian Open, beating Venus Williams in 1997 US Open final, playing Stefanie Graf in 1999 Roland Garros final and winning home title in Zurich at her seventh attempt (beating Lindsay Davenport in the final). She was named after another WTA Legend, Martina Navratilova.
Vania King is an American tennis player who has been ranked among the world’s top 50 in singles and reached a career high of number 3 in the WTA doubles rankings. King won both the 2010 Wimbledon and 2010 US Open women's doubles titles with Kazakhstani partner Yaroslava Shvedova. Following a seven-month absence from action while she rehabbed her ankle, two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Vania King made her way back into professional events in August. King has already made a fantastic mark at Grand Slam play, partnering with Caroline Dolehide to reach the women's doubles semifinals at the US Open.
During her hiatus, the American supported her tennis community in a different way, by donating her time and energy to those who need it most. In July, King combined her talents along with those of the staff of Barefoot Law, a legal aid nonprofit organization based in Kampala, Uganda, to provide a three-day tennis and legal aid clinic to over 200 of Kampala’s underprivileged youths.
Brian Parkkonen is the Chief Operating Officer at the PTR. Parkkonen also served as Director of Education, where he was responsible for the direction and content of the organization’s four education pathways to certification, as well as Level 3 Specialist and Master of Tennis programs. In addition, he developed new courses and opportunities, including PTR’s Education Dashboard that provides hundreds of hours of free online video presentations, and was a key player in the evolution of the PTR Coach App. Parkkonen began his career at the PTR as Director of Development where he oversaw the delivery of PTR education and managed scores of clinicians across the United States.
Wim has previously oached Kim Clijsters (2009-2011), Sabine Lisicki (2013), Simona Halep (2014), Victoria Azarenka (2015-16), Johanna Konta (2016-17) and Angelique Kerber (2018).
Having been Clijsters' hitting partner prior to her first retirement in 2007, Fissette began his coaching transition with the Belgian in 2009. The duo captured three Grand Slam titles (2009-10 US Open, 2011 Australian Open), one WTA Finals crown (2010) and the World No.1 ranking (2011).
He went on to help Sabine Lisicki (2013 Wimbledon) and Simona Halep (2014 Roland Garros) reach their first-ever major finals. In 2017, Johanna Konta became the first British woman to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals since 1978 (it also marked her best career Grand Slam result). The Brit would also go on to achieve a career-high ranking of WTA World No.4.
Paired up with former World No.1 Angelique Kerber in 2018, she won two titles, including Wimbledon. Other notable results were a semifinal finish at the Australian Open and a quarterfinal appearance at Roland Garros.
Holger started his career in tennis as a professional player on the ATP tennis circuit. He toured internationally for about 8 years, reaching a career best of 280. During this time Holger also played league in Germany and spent considerable time in France.
In 1997 Holger was instrumental in the formation of Wheelchair Tennis SA. Under his guidance, Wheelchair Tennis formed a non profit company in 2005, and now caters for a few hundred athletes and members and has produced a number of top 10 players. Holger has also recently started an Inner City Tennis Program for under privileged children in Johannesburg, which is gaining momentum and now caters for over 200 kids weekly.
Holger has been coaching tennis at all levels in no less than 12 different countries over a period of 20 years. For 18 of these years, he has focused on teaching tennis to people with disabilities and specifically has practical experience in coaching persons with physical, mental and visual Impairments. Holger has been involved at all levels of coaching wheelchair tennis, from putting together the various regional and national coaching programs through to being the national team coach and manager for the South African Team taking part in World Team Cups since 2004 and Paralympic Games in London and Rio.
Holger has also presented many courses on wheelchair tennis coaching in various countries. On the able bodied side Holger coached, travelled with, mentored and managed able bodied performance players including Rik de Voes, Louis Vosloo, and Andy Anderson.
Holger was awarded the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Coach of the Year and SA Coach of the Year at the SA Sports Awards in 2012 and the Gauteng Coach of the Year 2014.