meet the tennis professionals

Meet the Head Tennis Professionals

Dr. Louie Cap
Louie is a Master Professional and PTR National Tester and Clinician. He was awarded the 1993 PTR Pro of the Year. Louie travels extensively throughout the world conducting numerous tennis workshops. He played the European Circuit in the 60's. In addition to his lengthy teaching & playing career, Louie has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and has completed 25 consecutive Boston Marathons.

Steve Rickard
Steve has been the Director of Tennis Operations for Van Der Meer Tennis and a Head Professional since 1983. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia conducting tennis workshops with Dennis. Steve is a graduate of Elon College.

Marcos Ondruska
Marcos is a former ATP #27 tour player and South African Olympic and Davis Cup Player. He reached 3 singles ATP Tour finals - Cologne; Scottsdale; Tel Aviv. He reached the 4th round of the Australian Open, (his best Grand Slam performance) losing to Jim Courier in 5 sets. Marcos also won 4 doubles ATP Tour Titles - Auckland (w/Waite); Palermo (w/A. Kratzmann); Tel Aviv (w/Stafford), Long Island (w/Prinosil). He was an Australian Open Semi Finalist (w/De Jager). Marcos scored the decisive point at 2-2 in Davis Cup play for South Africa against India, Austria, and Australia. He had a victory over Ivanisevic in the 1st rd of the Olympics in Atlanta. Other top career wins include Chang, Stich, Rios, Kafelnikov, Gilbert, Wheaton, Korda, Aguilera, and Mancini. Marcos trained part time at the VDM Academy, and took the world-renowned Van Der Meer Tennis University course upon his retirement from the tour. He then launched his coaching career here on Hilton Head with Dennis Van Der Meer. He has since coached American touring pros Brendan Evans, Vincent Spadea, and Jennifer Capriati, as well as Slovenian Luka Gregorc, and South African Fritz Wolmarans.

Tommy Shimada
Tommy Shimada is a former ATP tour player currently working with the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy. He has been working with the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy since 2008, and he previously trained here as a player for nearly ten years. Tom reached a career high ATP world ranking of #40 in doubles, represented Japan in Davis Cup competition for over ten years, won 3 career ATP doubles titles, recorded doubles wins over the Bryan brothers, Roger Federer, and Andy Roddick, and was a 2000 Sydney Olympic participant. After his playing career, he graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Finance and Real Estate.

Thomas Richter
Thomas Richter is a former Top 50 ITA player who has been working with the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy since 2009. He also works directly with our older Academy players preparing them for high-level tournaments, college tennis, and pro circuit events. Originally from Germany, Thomas was an All-Big South Conference athlete at Birmingham-Southern College before transferring to Indiana University, where he was named to the 2008 All-Big Ten team. There, he received his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration followed by his Master's Degree in Sports Marketing.

Vince Bilotta
Vince is a head professional for Van Der Meer Tennis. As Director of Product Testing for Head® Sports since 1993, he oversees the U.S. testing site based at Van Der Meer Tennis Academy. Vince also served as a USTA Area Training Center Coach for North Carolina where he coached many top juniors. Vince played his collegiate tennis while attending Murray State University. He continues to work on court with many top players.

Elizma Nortje
A former WTA player, Elizma competed in tournaments such as Wimbledon and French Open. Having been based as a player at VDM Academy, she launched her coaching career after taking the TennisUniversity course with Dennis Van Der Meer. Elizma played NCAA Div 1 and graduated from United States International University, San Diego, CA.

Born in Namibia, she also competed for South Africa as a Junior Springbok player and was ranked #1 in u/14 to u/18 age groups. President of the Namibian Tennis Association (NTA) - 1996 to 1999, Elizma is also their Fed Cup Captain and Junior Fed Cup Captain. She has coached and managed many national and international teams worldwide since 1996.

A certified ITF Level 3 High Performance Tennis Coach (highest coaching qualification in the International Tennis Federation) she worked with many top Spanish tennis academies and players such as David Ferrer (ATP#3) and his team. As the ITF International Touring Coach she worked with the best European, Asian and African players such as Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) - ATP#23, Junior Wimbledon & U.S Open champion (2008)
Tennis Participant Testimonial

"Great camp and as always - wonderful staff. All the Van Der Meer people I have met are so nice, helpful, polite & personable as well as being the best instructors. I have recommended all their camps to all I meet."
K.G., June

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