Meet the Tennis Pros

Valter Paiva (USPTA Certified)

After coaching at various tennis academies in Brazil, including the prestigious Sociedade Harmonia de Tennis and Club Athletico in Sao Paulo, Valter Paiva was awarded a full tennis scholarship to Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. While competing in college tennis Valter was able to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, specializing in Professional Tennis Management. While finishing his studies he also became the assistant coach for the Men’s Tennis Team. He was responsible for designing workout programs and training routines to improve the athletic performance of the players. Having moved to Southern California, Valter has been coaching and organizing tennis clinics at the La Habra Tennis Center, the Anaheim Tennis Center and at Cerritos Regional Park.

As a youngster Valter Paiva has been ranked in the national top 10 in Brazil, and when he was only 17 years old, played on the professional circuit from 1995 to 1998. He also represented his state and was ranked amongst the top three players in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Valter brings his experience and education in tennis to his coaching, which is concentrated on teaching effective techniques and improving performance in adults and children. Contact Valter through the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy Office (562) 266-8882 or via E-mail: or visit his website @

Abagail Villena (USPTA Certified): 310-991-0337

“Aba” has been teaching tennis in Southern California for the past 10+ years. As a junior she competed in the USTA’S Southern California Section and earned a top 10 ranking. She was actively recruited nationally and chose to play her collegiate tennis at Ohio State University (89-92) on a scholarship. While at Ohio State, she earned All-American honors and was a Scholar-Athlete all four years. After her college career, she competed on the professional tour for three years before deciding to return to coaching in Southern California.

Abigail has worked with many top Junior girls developing their game and guiding them through their sectional rankings and national rankings before they moved on to continue their tennis career as scholarship players at top-ranked colleges and universities. Among these players are Lyndsay Kinstler(USC), Alison Ramos, Audrey Bulkley(LMU) and many up and comers. Since 1996 Abigail has served on the Wilson Advisory Staff. Much of Aba’s expertise revolves around teaching effective stroke technique to children and adults. She also enjoys training and mentally preparing tournament level players. E-mail:

Scheraq Hassim (USPTA Certified):  (562) 235-5611

Junior Player Development Program with Scheraq Hassim

For tournament players or SERIOUS High School Team players

Drills – Conditioning – Footwork – Strategy – Match Tactics – Stroke Production

DAYS/TIME: Monday, Wednesdayand Friday 4:00-5:30 PM

PRICE: $25 per class + 2 cans of new balls each month

Call or text Scheraq at (562) 235-5611 or call the pro shop at BJK (562) 438-8509

Brahna Pastorini (USPTA Certified): (818) 599-0247

Brahna is a professional tennis coach who will get you to LOVE THE GAME of tennis. Combining her amazing tennis strategies with her passion to teach, you will learn to play tennis like a professional! From beginners to intermediates, singles or doubles, she will teach you the right form, footwork, and help you develop sharp hand-eye coordination needed to play the game well. You will be smoking the court in no time!

Brahna played singles and doubles at LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY on a Full Scholarship. At Taft High School, she won the CIF Singles and Team titles and was a top ranked  Junior and Open Southern California player. She was also ranked #1 in Texas. Brahna was fortunate to attend the NICK BOLLETTIERI TENNIS ACADEMY on a full scholarship. She is a USPTA Certified Tennis Professional. Most importantly, Brahna is dedicated to helping you grow you skills at playing the game of tennis and helping you to get to the next level. If you are just starting to play the game of tennis or looking forward to improve your on-court strategies for singles or doubles, Brahna can get your game to where you need it  to be!!!

Contact Brahna at (818) 599-0247 for scheduling.

Richard Nguyen (USPTA Certified): (562) 314-4664

Richard has been playing tennis for more than 20 years. He is a Long Beach native who played for Poly High School and Orange Coast College. These days, most of his court time is spent teaching and his free time is spent, surfing, which he does regularly, competing in marathons and his newest sport is cycling. He also does yoga and works out at the gym and recommends that all athletes should do a well-rounded workout with endurance and weight work.

Richard offers private lessons at BJK Tennis Center.

Nicole Merrit (USPTA Certified) 818-220-9976

Hello, my name is Nicole Merrit! I have been living in Southern California most of my life and am currently an accounting student at Cal State Long Beach. I have been playing tennis for sixteen years and coaching for four. I grew up playing competitive tennis and was the varsity team captain all four years of high school. Through my years in competitive tennis, I have acquired a vast amount of knowledge about technique, strategy, skill and the overall game of tennis. I coach kids and adults of all levels and am passionate about sharing my love and knowledge of tennis with you!