Anthony Harris

Anthony Harris

Talks covered by this speaker


The making of an African Champion

Categories covered by Anthony

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About this Speaker

Anthony Harris was born in Zimbabwe and began playing tennis at age 6.

At age 12 his family emigrated to Israel, where he was coached by former Wimbledon champion Richard Savett.

During this time, he toured America with the ITC (Israel Tennis Centre) performing fundraising exhibition matches with Founder, ex-South African, Ian Froman.

In 1980, his family relocated back to Zimbabwe, where he won the African Junior Championships at age 16, for his country and at 17 became the Zimbabwe Men's Champion.

At 18 he received a tennis scholarship from North State Texas University and studied Business Marketing.

Anthony returned to Harare in 1985, and began his coaching career, assisting at the Mufakose Tennis Coaching Agency, in a township outside of Harare, with Albert Nhamoyebonde, the current Honorary Life President of Tennis Zimbabwe. The aim of the centre was to bring tennis to the people. Many of Mufakoses' alumni, were granted US College tennis scholarships as a result.

In 1992, Anthony left Zimbabwe and over the next 4 years, worked with Dutch coach, Hans Felius, (former Head of Tennis Holland), where he trained Anna Smashnova, who reached Top 30 in the World WTA.

In Israel, he discovered 11-year-old Dudi Sela, and together with Gunter Bresnik, former coach of Boris Becker, helped guide Dudi to eventually reach top 30 in the World ATP.

He created the doubles team of Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich, who together reached the Semi-Finals of Wimbledon. The result qualified the pair for the Olympics, and for this achievement, Anthony received an award from the Israel Olympic Committee.

In 1999, Anthony signed a 5-year contract as Programme Director for the ITC (Israel Tennis Centre), where he was responsible for all programmes run at the ITC’s 14 tennis centres in Israel; comprising of 220 courts, ± 200 tennis/fitness coaches and the participation of ± 5000 kids. During this period he worked with Nick Bollettieri in a joint venture of coach development and in return, Bollettieri gave several scholarships to ITC players.

In 2010 Anthony returned to Africa to fulfil his dream, build his own Academy and create an African champion.

In 2012, The Anthony Harris Tennis Academy was formed, at the Sea Point Tennis Club, in Cape Town. The main criteria behind his rationale for the Academy was to: create HOPE AND TRUE BELIEF to reach the highest levels; for players to have ACCESS TO FACILITIES AND TRAINING of the correct standard, so that players feel they have an equal, fair and fighting chance of success; A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT to learn, grow and succeed. Since inception, the Academy has brought a total of 7 ATP Challenger Tour Titles, 19 ITF Pro Circuit Titles, and 86 ITF Junior Titles, to date. The Academy has also created an ATP TOP 100 player, and 3 ITF Junior top 100 players.

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