The McCarren Team



JEFF AMURAO, Director of Tennis

Jeff is a USPTA Elite Level and PTR Professional Certified Coach with specific training in junior and adult competitive player development. Jeff was a top flight USTA national junior and Division I player at Georgetown University. Jeff founded the Advanced Junior Academy Competitive Training Program at NYSC Cobble Hill as well as the Junior & Adult High Performance Programs at the Mill Basin Tennis Club (now Matchpoint NYC) and the Adult High Performance Program at the Prospect Park Tennis Center in Brooklyn. He has also taught at the historic Heights Casino Club in Brooklyn as well as the Armonk Tennis Club and Armonk Indoor in New York. Jeff continues to work with sectionally and nationally ranked DI aspiring players. An intelligent and adaptive coach with strong communication skills and a breadth of technical knowledge and practical match wisdom, Jeff leads the exceptional pro staff at the McCarren Tennis Center. 




Ismael is a developmental and high performance tennis coach from Spain, where he began playing at 4 years old. He has a deep passion for the sport and tries to pass that on to his players every single day. Ismael has taught at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona as well as Jufer Sport Club in Viladecans, Spain. As a coach, Ismael gives 110% to all of his students and enjoys coaching all levels from developing beginner skill sets to tournament level players.



Originally from Serbia, Aleksandra Pavlovic came to the United States to compete for Long Island University Brooklyn. During her time at LIU, the team won the NEC Conference and making it to the finals 2 years in a row. Prior to leaving Serbia, Aleksandra competed in ITF tournaments and was ranked number 3 in the Serbian National 18 and over list. Aleksandra has always been a very spirited competitor, and now she brings the same passion to her teaching. For the past seven years, Aleksandra has been working with children and adults ranging from fresh beginner to highly advanced hitters. During her grad studies she had the opportunity to assist the Head Coach of the Women’s Tennis Team at Long Island University Brooklyn. She has worked at tennis clubs in NYC and Southampton NY. Over the past year, Aleksandra has also created and runs tennis programs at El Hajj Malik El Shabazz Elementary School. 

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NICK BORAK, Senior Pro

Nick is a Pro Level certified USPTA coach with an extensive background in high performance training. He is a recent Fordham University graduate and a Division I team member. Nick was named Fordham's Player of the Year for 2017. Nick is a former singles player for perennial powerhouse Brooklyn Tech and was a PSAL doubles champion in 2010 and a finalist in 2011. 




Sophia is a recently graduated DI competitive player from Hollywood, Florida. As a junior, she was ranked among the top 5 in the USTA Florida league, reaching finals of Sectionals and Nationals. Sophia served as a hitting-partner for the 2012-2013 Sony Ericsson (Miami Open) training with players such as Victoria Azarenka, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Kim Cljisters and Olivier Rochus. 
During her college career, Sophia competed in the Division 1 MAAC conference, achieving a two-time player of the year award and an athlete of the year award and lead her team to 3 Conference Championships. Sophia previously taught at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Florida and the Ross School on Long Island. She strives to create a fun environment for all ages and levels and works on improving fundamentals, strokes and strategies.



A native of Brooklyn, Brian started playing tennis at the age of 10. He played his high school tennis for Brooklyn Technical HS and was a USTA nationally ranked junior player. After graduating from Depaul University, his passion for tennis led him to coaching. Brian has over 10 years coaching experience teaching previously at Cunningham Tennis Center in Queens. He brings excellent communication skills, patience, and extensive technical knowledge to the court. Brian is excited to bring his experience with 10 & Under youth progression & high performance training to the McCarren team. 


JAN GRIGA, Senior Pro

Jan Griga has spent many years as an independent tennis coach, working with a number of internationally ranked ITF players. He was a head pro at The Club of Riverdale and is the current head coach of the Division I women’s tennis team at Long Island University. Jan is excited to be back with the McCarren team. He is a USPTA certified coach.


ROB NITA, Staff Pro

Robert Nita is a former professional tennis player from Queens NY. He comes from a Romanian background and moved to Europe at the age of 10 to pursue his tennis career. Soon after, Rob became the Romanian national champion in Boys 12’s, 14’s and 16’s including top 30 ITF world ranking. He played Future and Challenger level tournaments throughout the globe. Robert always comes to the court with high energy and enthusiasm. He specializes in communicating techniques and strategies for all playing levels, while creating an enjoyable environment.



Juan Loney has over fifteen years of experience teaching tennis to children and adults of all ages. Juan started playing tennis when he was 12 yrs old and was eventually ranked in the top 50 in the Missouri 18 & unders. Juan was also among the top ranked doubles players in the City of St. Louis. Following an NCAA Division III collegiate tennis career at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, Juan began coaching in New York City, managing Bronx Public School 214 as NYJTL Site Director. He has taught at many top NYC tennis clubs including Club Fit, Vanderbilt Tennis Club, Yorkville Tennis Club, Sutton East Tennis Club and Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club. He is happy to be a part of McCarren’s staff!




Bogdan is a former top 20 national junior player from Ukraine who competed extensively as an ETA junior tournament player. He now applies his high performance background toward coaching aspiring players in the New York metropolitan area. "Bogie" has worked at numerous clubs in the surrounding area including the Mill Basin Health and Racquet Club, Matchpoint NYC and the Atlantic Beach Tennis Club.




Carla is originally from Spain, where she started playing tennis at age 5. She showed great potential and along with hard work she achieved rankings of #1 in her province and #3 regionally. Carla honed her game by spending summers at Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida and Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. These experiences along with the lessons taught by her Spanish coach culminated in a full scholarship to Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, where she played # 1 and 2 singles and #1 doubles. Her college highlights include five-time All-PSAC Honoree, two-time PSAC West Athlete of the Week, ITA Scholar Athlete and 101 career wins. Carla brings her passion, talent and knowledge of the sport to her coaching as well, assuring that players progress both technically and mentally.



Akilah James was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was introduced to tennis at a very young age by her father, Augustine James from St. Georges, Grenada. As a teenager, Akilah received a full scholarship to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Shortly after, she received a full scholarship to the University of Arizona where she played positions 3 and 4. She now competes on the ITF circuit and has obtained a singles career high of 678. Akilah brings both her contagious smile and her high performance player background to her coaching.



Andy Neiman grew up in Argentina and has been a tennis lover for about 30 years. He competed as a junior with Club Náutico Hacoaj winning multiple metropolitan tournaments. With great passion, he decided to pay it forward and became a tennis instructor. Andy has trained players at TenisPoint, one of the largest academies in Buenos Aires. In 2001, he moved to New York to attend University, and was a proud member of the Hofstra University Tennis Team (Division I). Since moving to the States he has coached at Camp Ramah in The Berkshires as well as Sportime Harbor Island in Westchester. After recently moving to Brooklyn, Andy is looking forward to teaching this beautiful sport again.


SHWETA RANA, Touring Pro in Residence

Shweta is a former Asia and India junior #1 and has achieved a world ranking of 527 in womens singles and 502 in doubles. She represented India in both Jr. and Sr. Fed Cup competition. Shweta holds 2 WTA doubles titles and is a 9 time WTA tour doubles finalist. She has coached under 18 national and ITF junior players and has also travelled as a hitting partner for top 20 womens players. 


RISHIKA SUNKARA, Touring Pro in Residence

Rishika has been a former India # 1 in both juniors and womens. As a junior, she reached a world ranking of 76. In womens, Rihika has a total of 10 international titles, 2 in singles and 8 in doubles and has achieved a world ranking of 441 in singles and 375 in doubles. She has more than 10 years of experience in the professional circuit. She has coached various junior players and been a hitting partner for both juniors and womens national players. 


ALEJANDRA GOMEZ, Fitness Trainer / Front Desk Manager

Alejandra is a NASM certified personal fitness trainer specializing in tennis specific fitness as well as general health training and nutrition. She works privately with clients throughout NYC and in private and small group training at NYSC Greenpoint, Brooklyn.