Inside the Tour with Nina and Irina — Life in Lake Nona and the future of American men’s tennis with the USTA’s Kent Kinnear



“Tennis has been unbelievable to me—I’ve had the opportunities to experience it at a lot of different levels and places.”

Recently appointed head of men’s tennis at the USTA, Kent Kinnear joins the TENNIS.com Podcast to talk about his new role (02:21) and the future of American men’s tennis (04:16).

Kinnear is one of the many involved in U.S. tennis that has had to make the move to the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fl. (05:22). The 100-court facility near Orlando caters to players of all levels, but has a lofty goal of producing the next Grand Slam champion.

Kinnear is more than qualified for the task having reached as high as No. 24 in doubles and No. 163 in singles after a college career at Clemson (07:48). He’s even competed against the likes of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi (09:43). He answers the question: Do coaches with past pro experience have a lot more credibility working with players than those lacking it?  (11:31)

The Illinois native has some personal insight into the recent surges of John Isner and Kevin Anderson, the latter of which he worked with briefly when he was the assistant coach at the University of Illinois (06:27). He was the director of Player ID and Development at the USTA before stepping into his current role, where Kathy Rinaldi is his counterpart as head of women’s tennis (17:24).

Irina and Nina then discuss Irina’s own transition to Lake Nona and what is life is like in the up-and-coming Floridian neighborhood. (19:22).


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