Dennis Van der Meer was a pioneer in creating a standard for tennis-teaching instruction. He began playing tennis at an early age while living in Namibia in southern Africa with his missionary father and mother. After a stint with the Davis Cup at the age of 19, Van der Meer found his calling to teach tennis. He made a name for himself in Johannesburg, South Africa, before he quickly developed a large following in the U.S. Eventually he started to coach professional players, including Margaret Court and Billie Jean King, who he coached during the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match with Bobby Riggs in 1973. Van der Meer founded the Professional Tennis Registry in 1976. He was instrumental in developing the TennisUniversity course manual, which became the first of PTR’s instructional series of books and supplements. He became one of the first registered coaches of both the ATP and WTA, and he has coached hundreds of nationally and internationally ranked professional and junior players throughout his career, including world champions in singles and doubles.
A USPTA member for 54 years, Van der Meer is a believer in the concept of tennis for everyone. He also developed courses and manuals for teaching wheelchair tennis and adaptive techniques.