It’s a fun family affair when USPTA Pro Tom Svajda heads to the courts at Pacific Beach Tennis Club in San Diego. For years, he has trained adults and juniors of all ages at this beautiful site next to Mission Bay. He also trains his two sons on a daily basis with a unique formula for success.
So what makes this San Diego-based teaching professional so different? He has opted to give his two sons, Zachary and Trevor, a different look at tennis development. Both are home-schooled and spend their mornings on the court developing their games primarily outside of the USTA Junior Tennis Tournament offerings. Zachary, 15, and Trevor, 12, have opted to focus on training, fitness and a lot of practice sets with top players in lieu of tournaments most weekends.
The results are trickling in as Zachary, a 9thgrader, recently reached the quarterfinals of the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships with coach and partner Uros Petronijevic, the former No. 1 player from the University of San Diego. Zachary and Petronijevic were seeded 5th and defeated teams from UC Davis, USD and Oregon State University. They eventually lost to a top team from USC.
Petronijevic, an All-America selection from Serbia, led University of San Diego men’s team to four straight West Coast Conference Championships from 2014 to 2017. He now shares his experience and insight with the two Svajda boys. He is teaching tennis part time at Pacific Beach Tennis Club and has future plans to travel with the boys for ITF events.
“It sounds great to play in ITF’s but the truth is that it’s hard work,” Petronijevic said. “I’ve told Zach stories about the tour but until he experiences it, he won’t understand. The other possibility is college tennis but that is still in the future.”
Trevor trains with local male and female college players to hone his skills. He has plans to add more USTA tournaments into his schedule similar to his brother. For the moment, however, the Sajvda family is happy with their tennis lifestyle.
“The boys are getting their education and great tennis from local players,” Svajda said. “They’ve only played a few tournaments recently to allow them the opportunity focus on improving. We’re enjoying tennis, and as long as the boys are having fun we will keep going. It’s a different way to do things but it works for us. ”