Meet Van

Meet Van Winitsky: Tennis Career Overview

 

The Early Junior Tennis Years

Born on March 12, 1959 in Miami, Florida, Van started playing tennis at age 8 and a 1/2. His father Manny was his first coach. From age 12 – 18, Van won 8 national junior tennis championships including Junior Wimbledon, the 18’s Boys Nationals in both singles and doubles, the Junior Forest Hills ( US Open ), US National junior title at Kalamazoo, MI, and the Orange Bowl 3 times. Van is very proud of the fact that no one else won Junior Wimbledon, The US Open and the US Nationals in the same year since then (1977). During this period, Van played against the likes of Mel Purcell, Brian Gottfried and John McEnroe.

Van-and-Fritz-Doubles-Partner    Van-Winitsky-Center-Court-Wimbledon-1982-1        Van-Winitsky-Junior-Orange-Bowl---Gottfried

When it was time for college, Van decided to attend UCLA, where he was an All-American. He was a member of the Junior Davis Cup Team. He was at UCLA a year and a half when he decided to turn pro.

On the ATP Pro Tennis Tour:

Despite suffering an injury to his left shoulder which plagued him throughout his career, Van had a successful pro tennis career in singles and doubles in which he travelled around the world. Van played on the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1978 with John McEnroe, Brian Gottfried and Harold Solomon. He attained a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world in doubles and No. 32 in the world in singles. Van’s career doubles record was 150–119.

Career Men’s Singles Titles (3):
  • 1981 Hong Kong Seiko Open
  • 1982 Hollywood Classic in Guaruja, Brazil
  • 1982 WCT Shipyard Classic in Hilton Head, SC.

Career Men’s Doubles Titles (9):

  • 1978 South American Open, Buenos Aires, Argentina (w/ Lewis)
  • 1978 Volvo International, North Conway, NH (w/ R.Drysdale)
  • 1978 Bank of Oklahoma Classic, Tulsa, OK (w/ R.Simpson)
  • 1981 Tel Aviv (w/ Meister)
  • 1981 Cleveland, OH (w/ Van Dillen)
  • 1981 Washington D.C. (w/Ramirez)
  • 1982 South Orange, NJ (w/ Ramirez)
  • 1982 Washington D.C. (w/ Ramirez)
  • 1982 Las Colinas WCT, Dallas TX (w/Odizor)

Mixed Doubles Titles

Won the 40’s mixed doubles title with Kathy May Fritz
One of the highlights of Van’s career was being a finalist at the 1983 US Open doubles event with Fritz Buehning when they play John McEnroe and Peter Fleming. Van was also an ATP Tour singles finalist at the 1978 Cleveland Grand Prix and a finalist at 11 ATP Tour doubles events including:
  • 1978 Hartford, CT (w/ Edmondson)
  • 1978 US Professional Clay Courts, Boston, MA (w/ Gunthardt)
  • 1980 South Orange NJ (w/ Buehning)
  • 1980 Tulsa, OK (w/ F. Gonzalez)
  • 1981 Bangkok (w/ Bourne)
  • 1981 US Clay Courts Indianapolis (w/ Ramirez)
  • 1982 Hong Kong (w/ Warwick)
  • 1982 Hilton Head WCT (w/ Waldman)
  • 1982 Las Vegas, NV (w/ Kirmayr)
  • 1983 US Open (w/ Buehning)
  • 1983 Guaruja, Brazil (w/ Glickstein).
All told, Van won 3 ATP Tour singles titles and 9 ATP Tour doubles titles during his early professional career. Read more about Van’s singles and doubles career on the ATP Tour.

Senior Pro Tennis

Van retired from the ATP Tour in 1983. He became the Head Men’s Tennis Coach at NCAA Division 1 St. John’s University in New York. He also volunteered to co-chair the ‘Play Tennis New York’ campaign with former mayor of New York David Dinkens and tennis legend Virginia Wade. He was also a volunteer Tennis Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Conn. In 2002-2003, the only two years he competed in national senior events, Van was ranked #1 in the United States in the Men’s 40’s division. He won the USTA National Mens 40’s Hardcourt Championships in La Jolla, CA in singles and won in mixed doubles with former WTA Tour player Kathy May Fritz. In 2004, he competed for the United States in the ITF Dupler Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey. Van won all his matches at #1 singles position and the team defeated Germany in the finals of the prestigious event.
Today, Van lives and plays at Floral Lakes in Delray Beach, Florida. In addition to senior tournaments, Van plays in Pro Am events and fundraisers for non profits such as the Maria Nestor UCP Tennis Tournament for United Cerebral Palsy, the JCC and Compete 2 Give. Van also teaches and coaches tennis and is available for tennis lessons. Reach out to Van!

 

Testmonial

Very few tennis coaches in the Delray Beach area have climbed as high as Van and are available to give lessons and share their love and passion for the game. I’ve learned so much, Van was able to revolutionize my volley and net game
Rick Waters/Entrepreneur/4.5 player