John Eagleton and Ellis Ferreira have had a personal relationship stretching over 22 years that started with John coaching Ellis when he was 19. John helped Ellis emerge out of College tennis and into the Professional ranks at the 1992 US Open. Ellis went on to have a 12 year professional career highlighted by 2 Grand Slam titles in doubles.
Fast – Forward to 2011
John and Ellis are the owners of the new Eagleton/Ferreira junior tennis academy in Florida and draw on their experiences as Professional players themselves to develop young players.
Their vision was to produce the most physically demanding elite junior program in the USA . Taking 15 young players and over a year period, 7 hours a day, grinding them into an aspiring professional with the tools necessary to compete on the Pro Tour. Any junior players not willing to make this level of commitment and sacrifice would simply not survive the program.
In forming their academy and selecting a site they were aware that the USA used to produce top players on a regular basis but currently the USA has 1 man in the top 10 (Mardy Fish) and zero Women in the top 30. So what happened?
The current rankings on both the ATP and WTA tours paint a picture of exactly how tennis has changed. The rankings are being dominated by players that grew up playing tennis in Europe. In these European countries they play predominantly on clay-courts, using either during the summer or all year round.