About Erik Graves
Erik is our HIgh Performance Director after he demonstrated his artistry with some of our impressive juniors and proved why he has produced so many outstanding players and played pro tournaments himself. Erik was stunned not only that he had never seen Chuck Tomlin's Smart Targets theories before after coaching top juniors for 20 years, but wondered if he might have been a top world 100 pro if he had known this simplistic way of cognitively teaching strategies and tactics. Erik was brought in to train with us as he has some innovative coaching techniques that were aligned with Advanced Tennis Foundation's goal of providing cutting edge world class instruction to all level players. He is a highly prized hitting partner with a 130 MPH plus serve and groundstrokes that make people think he is still active as a pro. His tennis coaching IQ is what impressed ATF the most .(See testimony from an Orange Bowl champion under Erik's pic.)
Erik,was lucky enough to be coached by Juan Farrow who taught him the serve and volley game that made Juan a collegiate legend at SIU-E as well as an ATP Grand Slam player. Erik was a top USTA junior ranked top 5 in 14s, 16s, and 18s in the South. Philanthropist Jay Richardson new skills was impressed enough to sponsor Erik’s education at a preeminent Christian Academy (Mt Vernon Christian Academy), Eric promptly won nine straight USTA tournaments in Georgia using Richardson’s visualization and mental toughness curriculum and suddenly Erik was rated #2 in Georgia as a first year 14 year old. Erik then won a college scholarship to NC State but transferred to Morehouse College to draw attention to HBC tennis. He later played on the pro tour and in 2013 reached #65 in US Pro rankings after reaching #9 is the US Men's Open rankings in 2009. In his 25 year tennis career, he has assembled an impressive list of victories over tennis names including one James Blake at the Wash D.C ATA National finals.
∙He has trained top players, both amateur and future pros such as AT P player Donald Young who wound up being coached in his first grand slams at the French Open and Wimbledon as a junior with Erik at his side.
Emma Kurtz worked with Erick from age 13 to 17 where with Erik she won the Orange Bowl doubles 16s her junior year and finished at age 17 #1 18 year old in Georgia. Vanderbilt, (often called the Harvard of the South) asked Emma to skip her senior year at high school to join Vanderbilt's Tennis team a year early, also making her the youngest player to get a full tennis scholarship to Vandy. While working with Erik she went 30 and 5 against blue chip college recruits.
He has trained WTA Tour players Edina Gallovits and Heidi El Tabakh(’05-‘07) and many more on a sporadic basis including Dillon Pottish(Emory); Sofia Kurtz(Tulane); Al Hill(Cornell); Spencer Brown(Clemson); Terri Fleming(UCLA) + more. HIs resume explains why Erik was chosen to represent USTA Atlanta at the '09 US Open Tennis Teachers' Conference for high performance coaches. He has been an integral part of three non-profit organizations and still does philanthropic work for underserved communities.
He gives lessons throughout the Atlanta area. Email him at .
Erik was an instrumental part of my development as a tennis player. He helped me master both tactical and strategic skills that helped shape me into the player that I am today. He allowed me to take my level of play to the next level. He taught me how to fight for every point and play gritty tennis. He also taught me the importance of developing a strong serve as well as solid volleys and doubles tactics.
Emma Kurtz, 2016 Georgia 18's Number 1 who went 30 and 5 against blue chip players under Eric's guidance