PTR names Players of the Year

February 16, 2014

Hilton Head Island, SC — Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards yesterday during the 2014 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 40-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a trade show and tournament, is being held February 20-23 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Fernando Velasco, of Austin, Texas, has been named PTR Male Player of the Year, while Elizabeth Kobak, of Old Westbury, New York is the Female Player of the Year.

A PTR International Master Professional, Velasco is the Owner, General Manager and Director of Tennis at Grey Rock Tennis Club in Austin, Texas. His career in tennis management and as a teaching pro has not stopped Velasco from showing his mettle on the court as a competitive player. So much so that he is currently ranked #1 in Men’s 70 Singles and #6 in Doubles by USTA Texas, and is nationally ranked #9 and #16 in Men’s 70 Singles and Doubles respectively. Velasco won the Hard Court National Championships Singles Consolation and took home the trophies at the T Bar M Super Senior, Westwood Category II event, the Arlington Super Seniors, and Courtyard Super Seniors. He was a member of the Texas Super Senior 8.0 team that captured first place in the state. Last year, Velasco captured the Men’s 70s Singles title at the PTR Championships, and was a finalist in Doubles.

A relative newcomer to PTR, Kobak is as enthusiastic about our organization as any longtime member. Her mother suggested she join PTR and get certified, and we’re glad she does what her mother tells her! Kobak is a Professional in 10 & Under, and loves working with kids. With a BA from Columbia and a Masters in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern, Kobak brings a lot of intelligence to the court.

In 2013, she won the National Women’s Open Singles Grass Court Championship, and made it to the Open Doubles Finals with Matt Seeberger. Kobak was a semi-finalist at the USTA National Mixed Open Doubles Indoor Championships with Ilia Shatahvili. The #1 seed made the Round of 16 at the National Women’s Open Singles Indoor. She qualified for the ITF $10K event in Heraklion, Greece, and was a finalist in Singles at the New York Open. As a junior, Kobak reached the Orange Bowl, the German Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. She won the ITF Prince Cup, the ITF Yucatan Doubles Championship and the USTA Girls 16s Super National Hard Court in Singles. She ranked as high as 100 ITF and reached 570 in WTA. Wins aside, what we like most about Kobak is her attitude. “There’s no greater feeling than sharing your gift with others,”  Kobak told us. “When I teach tennis, I feel lucky!”

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 14,600 members in 121 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.


Photo: Velasco with PTR Board Chairman & President, Jorge Andrew, and Kobak