Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards this week during the 2017 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, is underway through February 18 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
David Witt, of Jacksonville, Florida, has been named PTR Touring Coach of the Year. A PTR Professional, Witt is the longest standing member of Venus Williams’ team, outside of her family.
The Florida native grew up on tennis courts in Jacksonville, and was the #1 junior in the world before turning pro in 1991. Witt broke into the Top 100 on the ATP Tour, but after a severe wrist injury at Wimbledon in 1994, his career ended.
In 1998, he turned to coaching. Witt became the very busy Director of Tennis at two different clubs, and was a highly sought after coach. Venus’ agent called to ask if Witt could work out Venus and Serena before the nearby Amelia Island WTA pro women’s tournament. He became the partner of choice for the Williams sisters, and after three years, he approached the family about joining and coaching Venus full time, and the rest is highly successful history.
Witt put it succinctly when he said, “Many fans often wonder why a world class athlete even needs a coach. If you’re one of the best players in the world, what can someone else tell you? The fact is, professional sports are more complicated than most people realize, and the stakes are incredibly high. Every athlete can use an extra set of expert eyes on them. It's an honor to be a part of what Venus has accomplished and to get to coach one of the greatest players of all time.”
PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 15,600 members in 125 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.