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Andy Brandi on Junior Tennis

When Andy Brandi joined the United States Tennis Association's Player Development staff as a National Coach five years ago, he brought with him nearly every conceivable tennis experience.

A member of the powerful Division I Trinity teams in the early 1970s, Brandi played briefly on the professional circuit before becoming a touring coach for WTA Top 10 players Kathy Rinaldi and Carling Bassett as well as serving as the Executive Director at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy.

In 1984, Brandi was hired as the head women's tennis coach at the University of Florida, where, in 17 seasons, he reached eight NCAA team finals, winning three. While at Florida, Brandi coached both Lisa Raymond and Jill Craybas to NCAA singles titles, both of whom went on to long and productive WTA careers. After leaving Florida in 2001, Brandi worked at the IMG Bollettieri Academy, the Evert Academy and the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute before joining the USTA in 2010.

As a national coach, Brandi has spent most of his time working with 12-and-under boys, so when I spoke to him last month at the Junior Orange Bowl, he was at Salvadore Park, watching matches and talking to coaches and parents.

I asked him for his thoughts on talent identification, technical deficiencies, international play, working with private coaches and many other topics pertaining to both the 12-and-under age group and older juniors continuing their development.


Questions and Answers

Colette Lewis (CL): What do you look for at a tournament like this?

Andy Brandi (AB): I come so I can do two things: one, identify new talent and two, evaluate players we've seen before to see if they've improved or regressed or they're the same.


CL: What are you looking for from those you haven't seen before?

AB: It's a combination of things. Firstly, how athletic they are. Secondly, how well put together they are - do they have any technical deficiencies? Thirdly, how they compete. And lastly, how they carry themselves and behave on the court.

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Page updated on Monday, November 06, 2023
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