(March 19, 2017) WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., – The USTA announced that Jay Berger has chosen to step down as USTA Player Development’s Head of Men’s Tennis. Berger, who has held the position since it was created in 2008 and has coached with the USTA since 2003, informed USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman of his decision earlier this year and agreed to remain in the role until June, per Blackman’s request, to assist with the transition to his successor.
Berger was hired as the USTA’s Head of Men’s Tennis in November 2008, when the USTA expanded its Player Development department and hired Jose Higueras as its Director of Coaching. At that time, the U.S. had two men who were 21 or younger ranked in the Top 200. Today, that number has grown to eight, while no other country has more than two. Additionally, the U.S. led all nations with 14 men entered into the main draw of the Australian Open in January, and seven of those players were 20 or younger, marking the first Grand Slam since the 2006 US Open that featured seven American men under 21 years old.
“Jay has done a tremendous job over the last nine years to support the development of the most promising generation of young men we’ve had in more than a decade,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “It’s important for us to bring in someone who can maintain that momentum, continue to develop relationships with our top male juniors, collegians and pros and optimize the support that we give to our top American players. I’m grateful Jay has decided to stay on through June to make that transition as smooth as possible.”
Berger, who joined the USTA as a National Coach in 2003, also served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Teams for London 2012, when Bob and Mike Bryan won Gold in doubles, and Rio 2016, when Jack Sock and Steve Johnson took home doubles Bronze and Sock (Gold) and Rajeev Ram (Silver) medaled in mixed doubles. Berger also coached the U.S. Davis Cup Team for 12 years, under captains Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier.
“It has been an honor to serve as the USTA’s Head of Men’s Tennis for the last nine years, under great leaders like Patrick McEnroe, Jose Higueras and Martin Blackman,” Berger said. “As I look toward the next challenge in my career, I have the utmost confidence in the future of American men’s tennis under Martin’s leadership.”
Prior to the USTA, Berger was the head men’s and women’s coach at the University of Miami. As a player, Berger was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world, won three ATP titles and reached the quarterfinals of the US and French Opens in 1989. In two seasons at Clemson, Berger went 91-22 in singles and was an All-American in 1986. He famously reached the fourth round of the 1985 US Open as the USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion.
In January, USTA Player Development relocated its headquarters from Boca Raton, Fla., to the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, where its Adidas Performance Center features eight outdoor hard courts, six European red clay courts and six indoor hard courts, as well as a state of the art athletic training area and a player lodge, which can house up to 40 players participating in Player Development programs. Additionally, the National Campus features a ‘Team USA’ area, where coaches and players from each of the USTA’s 17 sections can utilize to work collaboratively with Player Development.