Email me to know more about joining the tennis league this Spring!


Tennis Leagues of


COME and JOIN us in the Tennis League! HAVE FUN and GET SOME EXERCISE! Tennis in WINTER doesn't have to be expensive! We welcome everyone! Beginners to Advanced Levels! All nationalities and tennis characters! However, one important requirement before you join, PLEASE BE SERIOUS about tennis, this league was not meant to be a social gathering. It was meant to be an intense tennis work-out. Email KoKo Lani for details!! Serious inquiries only please. Phone interview required before joining.


Monday, Jan 17 Photos of tennis league

MORE PHOTOS of tennis league and teaching PROS please click here

MORE PHOTOS of tennis league
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MORE PHOTOS of tennis league
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Below are PHOTOS and brief resume of some of the Guests and Members of the tennis league.

To know more about the league schedule this week, please click here

NOTE: I am in the process of updating the list below of league members and guests. Log on daily for updates.
Mark Zadell, the Lleyton Hewitt of the league! The tennis player who plays an unorthodox game! He is so intense that many times during a match he will scream "Come on!" like Hewitt! David Perez, the dissecting smart neurologist! The hard hitting topspin baseliner who can bring Plan A, B or C in a match!
Max (photo L) is a Division 3 College Tennis Player.  He is a full time student studying Economics at Baruch College in NYC.  Michael Brosius is a successful trader (Derivatives) and loves his job immensely.  He moved to NYC from Chicago where he was trained to play tennis at a tennis club there.  Although he has only been playing tennis for 5 years, Michael's game is already a solid 3.5 level due to his athleticism and great eye and hand coordination.
Michael Stache is the best player in the league.  His level is above 5.0.  He has the best serve in the league and his forehand and backhand mechanics are solid.  He is from Munich, Germany.  He started playing tennis since he was 5 years old. Paulo Rodela (photo L) manages an IT team for a big finance corporation in Manhattan.  Originally from Brazil where he played soccer, his physical endurance and conditioning is very much evident during tennis drills.  He can hit hundreds and hundreds of tennis balls with less effort and still keep a warm smile.

Pulkit Singhal (photo L) recently joined the tennis league as a regular member.  Pulkit is an Indian-American who is presently working as a software developer for JP Morgan Chase in NYC.  "My parents are so happy I got a job right away after college," he reveals. Pulkit just graduated from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NYC where he joined the College tennis team for a few years. "I do not claim to be good at tennis, I like the game and that's all there is to it. I want to seriously train and get better."

Dan Llanes (photo L) is the newest member of the tennis league.  "I play tennis to have fun, to take my mind off of work," he says.  Dan has a PhD in Demography and works full time as a statistician.  He said, "I read the book of Brad Gilbert, Winning Ugly and I learned that you need to play within your comfort zone."  He also added that the book taught him when you are getting frustrated or losing during a match to refocus by changing your shirt or socks.  "You need to focus on your game and not on your opponent."

Tommy Ho is a solid tennis player, very athletic, good strokes on both forehand and backhand and runs for every ball.  Tommy started playing tennis by taking USTA lessons at the National Tennis Center in Queens.  He works for a tech company in NYC and enjoys playing tremendously.  Tommy graduated with an English major from New York University and wrote an excellent article about the league.  He plans to come with Koko Lani to Indian Wells, California the first week of March to cover the Pacific Life Open Tennis Tournament as credentialed media rep for 

Sherlia Shi is a software developer who just moved to the city few months ago from the midwest.  She lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan. She has a consistent forehand and backhand and a good height topspin.  She is very consistent especially during hitting and can keep the ball in play forever.  She likes to run and has a good attitude and personality.  She is very athletic as well.

Eric Capuano, Guest Tennis Instructor of, is an Athletic Director/PE Teacher for a High School in NYC.  He has been playing tennis since he was a kid, however, he reveals that golf is his first passion. "This league is a good way to de-stress after work. The people here are very nice and the competition was terrific!" he adds.  Eric is a tennis coach for High School Varsity and has been teaching tennis for more than 16 years now.

Abdul Ismaila (photo L) has been a regular member of the league ever since it started. "I like this league," he said. "It's more competitive than others I have played in.  Other groups are more social," he said.  Abdul is a former Junior Champion from South Carolina who now lives in NYC and works in Finance.  


Gener Rigor works as an accountant and has been playing tennis since 1998.  He is originally from the Philippines and just moved to NYC few months ago.  "I like NYC," he said. "People in NYC are easy going, they are easy to talk to and very down to earth."  Gener confides that his friends are always accusing him of being too crazy about tennis. "It's a good vice," he said. "It's good for your body and mind.  It's a good way to unwind after a  stressful day at work." JODI SCHIFFMAN amazes many members of the league with her tennis skills, talent and athleticism.  Despite being petite, JODI can run for every ball, has a beautiful topspin forehand and 2 handed backhand.  Don't be deceived by Jodi's sweet looks, she is a fighter on the tennis court and doesn't give a lot of free points.  She is also very consistent.
Janice Vrana, a very athletic woman plays at least three times a week especially during the outdoor tennis season in Central Park.  She loves to play early in the morning just before going to work.  "I don't like the bureaucracy in Central Park Tennis Center but I need to play so I told myself to just do it." Janice revealed that there is some form of tennis competition in her family and added that her sister is a great player. "She gets every ball.  She is a solid 4.5"  Janice has been a member of the league ever since it started.  When not playing tennis, Janice goes to the gym on a regular basis. Eric Jin has a great inside out and cross court forehand that lands deep and with a lot of pace.  He has an amazing foot speed and a great fighting spirit. Eric, a successful businessman, has been playing tennis on a regular basis for almost 13 years now.  "I'm so happy to find your website from Google.  I just typed tennis and NYC, and it came up on the very top.  The league is very inexpensive.  I thought there was a mistake in the price! It's so hard to get partners in tennis, especially similar level. I'm glad I came." 
Mr. Roman Livson, a solid intermediate player, is the Managing Director of a Capital Group Company.  He was originally from Russia.  Mr. Livson has great forehand technique- he bends his knees, takes his racquet back, keeps his eye on the ball and rotates his hips to produce a powerful shot. Alan Yeung works full time as a tax consultant.  He graduated from SUNY Albany few years ago and played tennis in High School.  He hits with a big western grip on the forehand side and he is the first player in the league who plays a serve and volley game!  
Joe Zara is an Italian-American who grew up in Brooklyn then moved to Long Island and played tennis in his High School's JV team.  "Can't you tell my Brooklyn accent?" he jokes. He is an advanced tennis player, hits the ball hard from both sides and considers Agassi as his tennis idol.  He currently plays at night with the league members.  "I get awesome exercise doing this league," he said. Thomas Blondet is an intern for Merrill Lynch.  Thomas is from Lyon, France and has been in NYC for only six months. "I like it here," he said.  "NYC is very exciting, not boring"  Thomas is very easygoing and friendly.  He hits his forehand  very hard and puts a lot of juice on the ball. 
Jordan Friedman is a graduate of Syracuse University and majored in Finance.  He has been playing tennis since he was 8 years old, almost every summer, in summer camps where he was sent by his parents.  He now works in the insurance industry and looks forward to playing tennis regularly.  "I just started playing again last December when I went to Florida during the holidays.  There I guess I got the tennis bug again," Jordan confides.  Jordan's forehand and backhand are technically sound and he hits the ball very hard.  "I just need to improve my consistency," he said.  Adam Burton was ranked in the top 25 Open Division in the state of Georgia, USA a few years back.  He presently works as a lawyer in NYC and plays tennis at the tennis league some evenings.  Adam has a great foot speed, unbelievable eye and hand coordination and a natural athletic ability.  "I like to play early on weekends because I'm afraid my presence is needed in a lot of parties," he jokes with a sweet southern accent.
Ryo Rokamura grew up in Tokyo, Japan and has been playing tennis for 15 years now. "On and off," he said.  He just graduated with an MBA degree from Fordham University in Manhattan and plans to stay in the US to pursue a career in Marketing.  Ryo hits the ball with high topspin and likes to take his time to analyze his opponents' game.  "If I lose the first set, its ok, I don't get discouraged because it gives me knowledge on my opponents' game and I always start fresh for the second set." Gerry Hufanda works full time at Mt. Sinai Hospital on the Upper East Side.  Gerry learned how to hit a tennis ball by himself without taking any tennis lessons.  He uses 2 hands on both sides, forehand and backhand, just like Monica Seles, which is very uncommon, but he does it very well.  His 2 handed grip produces a lot of power and he is very consistent.  "I wish I can play every night," he says.  "But my job does not allow me.  I love tennis so much." Gerry has beaten a lot of intermediate and advanced players due to his great tenacity and fighting spirit. 
Tony Elder used to be a hockey player from Pittsburgh before moving to NYC.  He is seriously working on his tennis game at the moment, especially his backhand, by doing lots of tennis drills. When I [Koko Lani] suggested to Tony to change his racquet to a newer model, he quickly responded and firmly held onto his racquet, "This racquet was given to me by my father as a Christmas present. I love this racquet." Jennifer Walzer is very focused on getting her tennis game better.  At a very young age, Jennifer is already the President of a tech company, based in Manhattan.  Jennifer has a great personality, very friendly and has a good attitude.  Jennifer is currently taking tennis drills with to improve on her game and plans to play matches very soon.
Nicolas Leszek lived in France for most of his life.  He hits a solid, topspin forehand that lands deep in the corners.  Nicolas likes to hit the ball hard, very hard and favors his forehand a lot.  He hits a hard, flat serve which is a good weapon on hard courts because the ball skids through the court very quickly.   Fred Roman works as a Building Manager in one of the high rises of Manhattan.  Fred has been playing tennis for many many years. Fred is very much like a "tennis warrior".  Despite his injury (knee, back and heels), he still plays and retrieves every ball and gets back in position for the next shot.  He is a great defensive player that can wear down any of his opponents resolve.  When you're playing Fred, expect the ball to keep coming back.  He is a true counter puncher.
Michelle Riley has been playing in Central Park Tennis Center for many many years.  She is a great hitting partner and plays a lot of doubles.  During most summers in Central Park, she can be seen hitting with advanced players on Court 6, her favorite court in Central Park.   Emma is a Nurse from the Philippines.  She moved to NYC many years ago and has been playing tennis in Central Park Tennis Center for a long time.  She always exhibits a warm, easygoing personality.  
Robert Jackson "Do you have other tennis classes and drills? This is good! I had a great time!" Robert said after doing 3 hours of tennis drills, lessons, hitting and working on his serve.  Robert has a great cardio-vascular conditioning and presently trying to improve his tennis game.  He has a great muscular physique which is a reflection of his gym work-outs. When not working for the MTA, Robert goes to the gym on a regular basis.   Mike Massa aka Pete Sampras is the best friend and roommate of Joe Zara.  They like playing against each other and has an ongoing tennis rivalry which started since their College years at Marist College.  Mike played for the college team for one year.  Joe likes to refer to Mike as "Pete Sampras" because of his big serve.  Mike is presently doing special events and promotions for a big media company (VIACOM) in NYC.
Clarence Lee is a "tennis veteran".  He has been playing tennis in Central Park Tennis Center for many many years.  He lives not far from the Central park tennis courts on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Clarence retired few years ago from a Manhattan High School teaching job and ever since has been playing tennis regularly in the park.  Clarence is one of the best guys in the park- he is very low key and has a likeable personality.  He is a solid intermediate player, hits the ball with a good topspin off his forehand and has a strong first serve. Richard Irving and Joyce Hersch are the winners of the mixed doubles tournament held last year in Riverside Red Clay Courts on 96th St. and Riverside.  " league is very inexpensive.  $17 for 2 hours of doubles on Friday nights and weekends is a great price!" said Richard.  Mr. Irving worked at the US OPEN 2004. "I worked there to be around tennis.  I worked at the restaurant selling barbecue chicken." Mr. Irving is also a taxi driver and has written several essays about the people he met while driving a taxi in NYC.  He just returned from the Dominican Republic. "I want to see Cuba, next" he said.
Brian Fender (photo L) is the newest addition to's list of GUEST MEMBERS.  Brian is a fiction writer who is presently studying at the New School University.  Brian lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  "Let me take a short break, I'm not in shape," he admits after doing tennis drills for a few minutes.  However, soon after that, when he got warmed up, he played tennis non-stop for 3 hours and had a great session. Welcome to the group, Brian!

John Rubin (photo L), another GUEST MEMBER of league, is a former Junior Varsity tennis player from Harvard University.  He presently works for PBS, Channel 13 providing teaching materials for different schools around the country.  "I haven't played tennis in 2 years.  I would like to hit, practice and play games before our corporate league starts this March," he says.  John's varsity tennis experience was evident during our session.  He showed excellent tennis technique and proper stroke production. Thanks for participating, John!

Pete Bassey, a 5.0 tennis player, works as an auditor for Colgate International and travels around the world on business.   He has traveled to India, Vietnam, Switzerland and other exciting parts of the world.  He played College tennis in Nigeria where he was trained how to serve and volley.  William Young hits the ball very hard on both sides (forehand and backhand), and can pound the ball from every corner of the court.  "I played with the Chinese National Tennis Team in Beijing," he said.  "I have been playing tennis since 12 years old and I took a lot of tennis lessons.  I also played club tennis at Dartmouth University.  I love tennis a lot, it's a lot of fun and you get a great workout," he said with a smile.  William currently works in Finance.
Arvind Narayanan works full time as a stock analyst in Wall St.  He likes to play tennis at least once a week to keep healthy.  Arvind was originally from India. He said," "I'm so happy to have the opportunity to play tennis in the US.  In India, it's impossible to play any kind of sport especially tennis.  It's so expensive!"  Arvind would also like to bring his wife to play tennis in the league. "My wife is very athletic.  She would love to join the group in the future when she comes to NYC." RUSS EWING is a former Division 3 College player.  He can hit the ball flat and hard especially from the forehand side.  His favorite shot is a running cross court forehand that lands deep in the corner. Welcome to the league, Russ!
Anne Bracken just moved to NYC from Atlanta where she played in the USTA (ALTA) tennis league.  Anne has an athletic built and has a great personality. "I really just want to get back into playing tennis since I miss it!" she said.
Beng Wanphen is a guest member of the league.  She was originally from Thailand.  Beng is very athletic and has an excellent physical conditioning.  She can hit for many hours without getting tired. "I like to hit hard, I just like hitting," she said. "When I first came to NYC and went to the Central Park Tennis Courts, I just sit and didn't know anybody.  When someone ask me what level I play, I always say I'm a beginner.  When I say that, they didn't want to play with me.  However, the following year, when my game got better, I say, I'm an intermediate player.  If I say I'm intermediate player, then, they will play with me. It's very funny, the people in NYC."
  Jeff Doty
Michael Ridloff  Robert Miller works for PBS Channel 13 compiling exciting Documentaries and History of Broadway on DVD.  He said, "although I can't be sure that I can make it every week, I am thrilled by the opportunity to play with your league members. In addition to being
very good, they are really nice people, and that makes playing even more
fun."  Robert is a very consistent tennis player.  He can hit a medium pace ball with consistency from the baseline.  He is also a member of the PBS corporate tennis team.



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