Two members of the United States Professional Tennis Association were recognized today for achieving Master Professional status in the association, the highest professional rating within the tennis profession:
Darryl Lewis, Nellysford, Va.
Emilio Sanchez Vicario, Barcelona, Spain
The two honorees were recognized today during the USPTA's annual awards breakfast at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla. They join an elite group as only about 1 percent of USPTA's more than 15,000 members worldwide have achieved the Master Professional designation.
Members must hold USPTA's highest certification rating (Professional 1) for more than 10 years before becoming eligible for the Master Professional designation. Then, each must fulfill a broad spectrum of requirements, including making significant achievements in areas such as tennis teaching and coaching, business, education and volunteer work.
Biographies of the new USPTA Master Professionals follow.
Darryl Lewis, Nellysford, Va. - Master Pro Darryl Lewis is the director of tennis at Winter Green Resort in Winter Green, Va. He has been a certified USPTA professional for 24 years. Lewis previously served as the director of junior recreational tennis for the USTA Southern Section and on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as the assistant competition manager. He was selected as a speaker for the USA Tennis Teachers Conference and the National Tennis Recreational Leadership Workshop. Lewis was honored in 2005 as the USPTA Georgia Tennis Professional of the year and the Georgia Professional Tennis Association Tennis Director of the year.
Emilio Sanchez Vicario, Barcelona, Spain - Master Pro Emilio Sánchez Vicario is a former professional tennis player who led tennis in Spain during the 1980s and into the '90s. He reached No. 7 in the world in singles and teamed up with Sergio Casal to claim a No. 1 world ranking in doubles. Sánchez Vicario was the national champion in Spain six times, played for 12 years on his country's Davis Cup team, and won an Olympic Silver Medal in 1988. Sánchez Vicario captained the Spanish Davis Cup team from 2005-2008, and won the Cup in his final year. He has been named an International Master Professional by the RPT. He has been a certified USPTA professional for 13 years. He also has been selected as national coordinator of tennis in Brazil. In 1999, he founded the prestigious Academia Sánchez-Casal. The academy has developed top professional players such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Andy Murray and Juan Monaco. Academia Sánchez- Casal has also developed top junior players including Grigor Dimitrov, champion of the Junior U.S. Open and Junior Wimbledon in 2008. In 2007, Sánchez Vicario opened a second academy in Naples, Fla.