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 40 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.

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.

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)

Katie Ruth
Katie Ruth is the Fitness Director and a Senior Staff coach who has been at Van Der Meer Tennis Academy since 2014. She played NCAA DII tennis at Clayton State University, reaching the Sweet Sixteen and Final Four in 2010 and 2011. She was ranked #2 in NCAA for doubles resulting in being an All-American. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Health & Fitness Management. Katie has fitness certifications with Etcheberry Fitness, and also with the International Tennis Performance Association as a Tennis Performance Trainer and as a Certified Tennis Performance Specialist.
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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