Kabwe (K.C.) Chipopola, a senior pro and Director of Junior Tournament Training Programs at Rye Racquet Club, has been on staff since 1999. He is a graduate of Concordia College where he played both singles and doubles. Prior to joining Rye Racquet Club, he was Tennis Professional at the New Rochelle Racquet Club and Assistant Head Pro at Concordia College Summer Junior Tennis Camp. K.C. is a certified teaching professional of the USPTR. K.C. participates in the training of the RRC MITL and USTA League Teams at RRC.
Vania, a native New Yorker, was very successful as a junior player. She played in the Eastern Section as ranked as high as #1 in the G18s. She attended Columbia University and played in both singles and doubles while majoring in Economics.
Before joining Rye Racquet, Vania worked at The Tennis club of Hastings as the Director of Tennis in 2016. She teaches all levels from adults to pee wee (age 3 and up) but particularly enjoys coaching the juniors into their first tennis tournament, JV/HS tennis or matchplay. She is currently USPTA/PTR and Cardio Tennis certified. Her classes are geared for all levels, burn tons of calories and have loads of fun while doing it.
Stjepan Beg, a Croatian native, graduated from New Mexico State University in 2007, where he played at
the top of the line-up in both singles and doubles. He was captain of NMSU tennis team for the last 2
years of his college career. As a junior player, Stjepan was ranked #1 and was a member of the Croatia
National Team. Stjepan was a pro at Manursing Island Club from 2007-2010, and the Director of Tennis
at the American Yacht Club in 2011. Stjepan is Director of Tennis at Apawamis Club in Rye.
Polina Ivanova is originally from Moscow, Russia and graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in May 2018 with a dual degree in Accounting and Business Administration. Polina played #1 Singles and #1 Doubles during her collegiate career. She was captain of her team during her junior and senior year and was named ITA Scholar Athlete for 4 years straight. Polina finished her career ranked 7th all-time in Singles at Northwestern State and was selected for the All Southland Conference Women’s Tennis First Team Doubles in 2018. Polina had been working at Eto Tennis Academy in Russia over Christmas and summer breaks while attending college. She has spent the last two summers as a teaching Pro at the Coveleigh Club in Rye, NY and is looking to joining the Rye Racquet team.
A former top 10 junior in India, Neel Roy comes to Rye Racquet Club as a graduate of Concordia College. Neel was a 4-year All Conference Team recipient, playing #3 Singles and #1 Doubles while getting his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. A member of the 2012 USTA 9.0 and 10.0 Mixed Doubles Eastern Sectional Championship Teams, Neel frequently competes in various USTA Leagues. Neel has been at Rye Racquet Club since 2005 where he is a Senior Pro, Assistant Summer Camp Director and participates in the training of the RRC MITL and USTA League Teams. Additionally, his teaching experience includes 6 years with College Racquet Club and 5 summers at the Coveleigh Club in Rye. Neel has worked with the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams at Iona College for a year while he earned an MBA in Marketing.
Brehima Diallo, a former #1 player from Mali, has been a teaching professional since 1999 and a competitive junior player since 1990. In 1994, Diallo was ranked among the top 100 Juniors in the world, and at that state, was ranked in the top 3 Junior players in Africa. During that time, Diallo was selected onto the International Tennis Federation Junior Team, participating in International Tournaments both in Africa and Europe. In fact, Diallo was awarded a scholarship to train at the Australian Institute of Sports, where he honed his tennis skills to become the 1996 Singles Champion of the Dunhill Master International Tournament in Senegal, Africa. Further, in 2002, he reached #1 in the USTA/Eastern’s Men 25 Division. Since his junior success, Diallo has designed and taught Adult and Junior Programs all over the world. Diallo has been a Senior Tennis Professional at Rye Racquet Club since 2014.
Director of Tennis and Operations
Carolyn Cruz graduated from Cornell University in 1988 where she played #1 singles and doubles, and was captain of the Varsity team. She joined the Rye Racquet Club in 1995 and was a tennis pro at the Apawamis Club in Rye during the 1995 summer season. She was a member of the 2004 USTA 5.0 team which was a National Finalist. She currently plays on the Rye Racquet MITL A team and has captained the team to many years of first place titles in Flight 1.
Richard Henry hails from the island of Barbados. He represented his country on the ITF junior circuit and achieved a junior world ranking in singles and doubles. He attended Jackson State on a tennis scholarship where his team was ranked nationally in NCAA Division 1. He graduated with a degree in architectural drafting and went on to play professional futures events. Richard has coached many world ranked juniors, professionals and collegiate players. He won a national title as a coach at Tyler Junior College in 2004 and coached Ivo Karlovic during the 2013 US Open. In 2010 Richard won the Price Waterhouse Coopers Cayman Open Doubles title with Juan Rios and was ranked nationally by the USPTA. Richard is certified by the USTA as a high performance coach and currently holds Elite Professional status through the USPTA.
Richard is currently the Head Tennis Professional at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains.
Director of Leagues and Adult Programs / Pop Tennis Coordinator
Hiromi Inagawa began playing Junior Tennis, including National Tournaments, at the age of 10 in Japan. She was also captain of her high school tennis team. Hiromi began her career at Rye Racquet in 1995 and is now the Director of Leagues and Adult Programs. Hiromi also coordinates Pop Tennis League. The League started in September 2018 for the first Pop Tennis League in Westchester, NY, first in the country and first in the world. Hiromi currently plays on the Rye Racquet Club MITL A team and USTA 4.5 team, and was part of the Rye Racquet Club USTA 4.5 National Champion Team in 2005. Further, Hiromi assists Kit Byron in the formation of MITL/USTA teams.
Atsushi Kurashina has been a USPTA P1 Professional Tennis Certified Instructor since 1996. Prior to his certification, Atsushi began his teaching experience at the Julian Krinsky School of Tennis in Pennsylvania and the Tyler Junior College in Texas. As Assistant Coach of the Men’s Tyler Junior College Tennis Team, Atsushi led his players to their 1996 NJCAA Division I Men’s Tennis National Championship Title. His nation- wide teaching experience with Adults and Juniors extends from the Saddle Brook Resort- Harry Hopman Tennis Academy in Florida to the Fort Lee Racquet Club and Binghamton Racquet Club in New Jersey. Atsushi is well-known in the Japanese Tennis Community as a contributing writer for the web magazines “Tennis Japan” covering such events as the French Open, Davis Cup and U.S. Open. Atsushi’s expertise of racquets and racquet stringing also adds to his thorough knowledge of all aspects of tennis.
Alex Yuille is a native of London. As a junior he earned a top 100 National Ranking in the 18 and Under Division. At the age of 18, Alex came to the USA on a tennis scholarship from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College from 2007-2009 and for Georgia Southern University from 2009-2011. After graduating with a Business Management Degree in 2011, Alex moved to Orlando, Florida where he worked at Winter Park Tennis Center instructing both Adults and Juniors. From 2012- 2013 Alex was the Assistant Tennis Director for Future Stars Tennis Summer Camp at Purchase College. From the Fall of 2013 until the end of 2014 Alex was the Assistant Tennis Coach at Cheam Tennis Club in Surrey, United Kingdom where he worked with some of the top Juniors, as well as coached the Men’s and Women’s Teams for upcoming competitions. Alex currently spends his summers as a Tennis Professional at the Coveleigh Club.
Born in Zimbabwe, Harry Walsh earned a ranking as high as #2 as a junior. Harry attended the University of Louisville in Kentucky, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Sports Admin. While at the University of Louisville, Harry led the 2004 Men’s Tennis Team as captain to finish Top 30 in the nation. Harry also collected ATP points by playing in various tournaments. Harry received an MBA at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. While studying for his MBA, Harry was the Assistant Coach of the Women’s Tennis Team. Prior to joining Rye Racquet Club, Harry was the Junior Director at the Genesis Health Club in Wichita, Kansas. Further, Harry has been a member of the 2012-2014 USTA 10.0 & 9.0 Mixed Doubles Eastern Sectional Championship Teams, as well as Men’s 5.0 National Championship Teams. Harry is also the Head Tennis Professional at the Larchmont Shore Club during the summer.
Zeljka Juricek is originally from Croatia and graduated from New Mexico State University in 2008, where she played at the top of the line-up in both singles and doubles, leading the Aggies to one of their most successful years. After completing her bachelor's degree in Finance and International business, Zeljka joined the coaching staff at NMSU while completing her MBA. Prior to her collegiate career, she was ranked no.3 in the Croatian Tennis federation (under 18) and finished second with the Croatian tennis club Mladost Zagreb in the National Tennis League. She won several junior tournaments in Croatia and was a member of the tennis academy Sanchez-Casal for a few years. Zeljka has taught at the Manursing Island Club from 2006-2010 and American Yacht Club in 2011. She is currently at the Apawamis Country Club in Rye, NY.
A Belo Horizonte, Brazil native, Rodrigo Amaral began playing competitive tennis at an early age. At 16 years old, Rodrigo earned a national #1 ranking as well as state championship titles in every age group throughout his junior career from 2001-2007. In 2008, Rodrigo received a tennis scholarship to play at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. As a three-time ITA Scholar-Athletic recipient and four-time Atlantic Sun Conference All Academic Award winner, Rodrigo posted Belmont University All-time Singles Victories record at 64 wins. He graduated with a dual degree in Accounting and Management and even served as an Assistant Tennis Coach at Belmont University while pursuing his Masters in Sports Administration. From 2014-2015, Rodrigo’s teaching skills went beyond on-court instruction at the Belle Meade Country Club in Tennessee as their Director of Junior Programs and Marketing Coordinator. He currently spends his summers as an Assistant Tennis Instructor at Larchmont Shore Club while coaching their MITL Adult and Junior Teams and managing the Tennis Shop Rodrigo became an accredited USPTA Tennis Professional Instructor in 2015.
Under Kit’s direction, Rye Racquet Club has developed into one of the East Coast’s largest teaching facilities. Kit’s junior proteges have won sixteen USTA singles and doubles titles, and have progressed to the Pro Tour as highly ranked players. He has served USTA/Eastern section as a two-term Vice President, and was a member of several USTA committees. His Spring/Summer team competition is the“place to be” for MITL and USTA league tennis.
From Assam, India, Bhaskar Chowdhury is a former Top 100 world ranked junior and was Captain of the Indian World Youth Cup Team. In 1999, he was selected to play on the ITF Junior Team for the European Tour in 1996. During his time at Concordia College, Bhaskar served as Captain of their Men’s Tennis Team while playing at the top of the Singles and Doubles line-up. In 2003 Bhaskar received the CACC Sportsmanship and Leadership Award and attained a #3 ranking in the NCAA East. Following college, Bhaskar began as an Assistant Tennis Professional at Old Oaks Country Club from 2003-2005, Fairview Country Club from 2006- 2010, and a Senior Tennis Professional at Soundshore Indoor Tennis from 2003-2011. Bhaskar currently spends his time as the Director of Racquet Sports at Wykagyl Country Club, coordinating all Adult and Junior Tennis Summer Programs and Winter Paddle Programs.
PATRICK "PK" KARORO
Patrick “PK” Karoro, a former top 5 junior from Zimbabwe, played his college tennis at Jackson State
University in Mississippi. He brings with him a vast amount of experience having coached in the Westchester
area for the last 14 years. He has taught at Old Oaks, Sunningdale, Larchmont Shore Club and for the last 8
years at Brae Burn Country Club. He has spent the last 12 years at Sound Shore as a Senior Pro where he ran the
High School Junior Program along with teaching both junior and adult clinics.
Director of Adult Programs and Summer Camp
Go Inagawa grew up in the Rye area and was a student in the Rye Racquet Club tennis program. A 1994 graduate of Syracuse University, he went on to the Tennis Tech program at Tyler, Texas where he was certified by the USPTA and USPTR as a P-1 professional. He was the Assistant Pro at the Hollytree Country Club and at the John Newcombe
ennis Ranch. Go joined the Rye Racquet Club in 1997 and in addition to being a senior pro, he currently serves as Assistant Program Director, Adult Program Director and Summer Camp Director.
Mulenga Chipopola is a 2001 Psychology Major from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. In college she played singles and doubles tennis, attending and winning the MEAC Regional Conference twice. Further, Mulenga was a Zambian Junior Champion travelling around Africa with her older brother K.C. Mulenga joined Rye Racquet Club as a Tennis Professional in the fall of 2005. Prior to Rye Racquet Club, Mulenga taught at Bronxville Tennis for 5 years and Mt. Vernon Tennis the previous 3 years.