Our Team

Jon Neeter / Owner & Founder

Jon Neeter is a former collegiate coach from Duke University and has been coaching tennis for more than 20 years.  He has helped his students earn over $2.5 Million dollars in combined college scholarship money.  Jon believes that tennis can serve as a great platform to secure a good education.  Jon has a reputation for helping kids to cultivate independence, discipline and problem solving skills that are required to become successful in tennis and in life.  Prior to owning SMTC,  Jon was the Head Pro at the Palisades Tennis Center and a private coach in Southern California.  Jon was the assistant director of Nike Tournament Tough Training Camps under legendary coach Carlos Goffi, the former coach of John & Patrick McEnroe.  Jon is also currently COO and a partner at Tournament Tough Online.

Private Lesson Rates:  $200 per hour 

Deiton Baughman / Director of Tennis & Head Pro

Deiton Baughman adds to the staff at SMTC one of the most impressive resumes of any young coach in the nation. While serving at SMTC will also be pulling double duty as the Volunteer Assistant Men's Coach at the University of Southern California.   A program which has won five of the last seven NCAA titles.  Coach Deiton is not only one of the best young coaches in the nation he is also one of the most accomplished junior and professional players from the Los Angeles area over the past decade.   

 

Deiton is currently the #1 ranked player in the USTA SoCal men's open division and was ranked #315 on the ATP tour in 2015.  He has won several professional tournaments over the past few years and competed in the main draw of the 2015 US Open men's doubles.  As a junior player he was the So Cal sectional champion in the boy's 10's, 12's, 14's divisions and was ranked #1 in the nation on several occasions.

 

What makes Coach Deiton even more special to SMTC is that he spent many of his formative years training on our court at 2505 Wilshire Blvd.  From the start of our business in 2010 till now Deiton has spent most of the  Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings that he was not traveling the world on the junior and professional circuit training on our ball machine and perfecting his craft.  The level of experience he brings to SMTC is nothing that can be found at any other club or facility in our area.  

Private Lesson Rates:  $200 per hour 

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Rasko Relic / Tennis Professional 

Rasko hails from Serbia and is a qualified tennis teaching professional under the RPTand the Serbian Tennis Association.  He has been teaching tennis full-time since 2005 and has coached players on both the ITF and WTA Tour.  He has also been the hitting partner for several ATP players such as Janko Tipsaravic & Victor Troicki.

 

Prior to his arrival in Hong Kong, Tasko was coaching at a number of clubs around the world including the Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club (UK), La Sella Club (Spain), Yeroskipou Tennis Academy (Cyprus), the Weil Tennis Academy (USA), Advantage Tennis & Tanglin Trust School in Singapore.  During his time in Hong Long he was coaching at the Harrow School.  

Private Lesson Rates:  $150 per hour 

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Ivan Derrick / Tennis Professional

Ivan has competed at the National level since childhood and won his first ITF Futures event match at age 18. Not only has he continued to play through college, he was also offered the President’s Scholarship from many prestigious universities such as USC and Miami. Ivan recently graduated from Occidental College where he was the captain of his collegiate tennis team.  He was a 3-time academic all-American during my time at Occidental College where he received his degree. 

Ivan has spent time working with the Sloane Stephens Foundation as an Americorps Vista where his work has been primarily focused around securing grant money for the foundation.  Ivan's coaching credentials include the Sloane Stephens Foundation, The UCLA Tennis Camp, The USC Tennis Camp, and the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.

Private Lesson Rates:  $150 per hour 

Austin Karosi / Tennis Professional

From the age of 8 years old, Austin trained to become a top professional tennis player and was one of the top juniors from Southern California. Austin turned professional out of high school after being recruited by Pepperdine, UC Irvine and the United States Air Force Academy.

 

After training and playing tournaments all over the world, he won his first ATP points in 2009. Austin has been based in Singapore for the past seven years, and is joining SMTC for this summer and fall seasons. Over the years, Austin has trained with many top players such as current WTA #1 and US open champion Angie Kerber, as well as 3 time ATP Grand Slam Winner, Stan Wawrinka.

 

Austin works with all ranges of tennis players – from children and recreational players to top Athletes. Austin brings his competitive experience acquired from the Professional tennis tour combined with the prestigious, United States Professional Tennis Association Elite (USPTA) coaching background to develop individual training programs to suit each of his clients.

Private Lesson Rates:  $150 per hour 

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Kathleen Elkins / Tennis Professional

Kathleen first picked up a tennis racket at age 3 and has been in love with the game ever since. She grew up in Davidson, NC and started competing in USTA junior tournaments at age 8.  Kathleen was ranked top 100 in the nation as well as #1 in North Carolina  as a junior.  Kathleen went on to play for Williams College and helped lead the team to three, Division III National Championships.  She advanced to the semifinals of the DIII NCAA Individual Singles Championships and finished the year ranked #6 nationally in singles while earning All-American honors.  

 

After graduating with a Spanish degree in 2014, she moved to NYC to pursue a career in online journalism. She worked in Manhattan for five years before moving to Santa Monica, where she currently resides. 

Private Lesson Rates:  $150 per hour