Matias De Genaro - Director
Originally from Argentina, Matias has spent 9 years coaching in Spain, the last five at Club de Campo Santa Barbara. He played professionally, reaching ATP rankings of 845 in singles and 624 in doubles. Since his playing career ended, he has been a training partner for 2 players who are currently ranked in the Top 100 in the world (and another in the Top 135), and have played in Grand Slam Tournaments.
As a coach certified in both the Spanish system (RPT) and as a USPTA Elite Professional, he has worked with a woman who reached WTA rankings of 591 in singles and 535 in doubles. When he left Spain, Matias was coaching the #1 ranked U14 boy in the country, the #15 ranked U16 boy, and the #77 ranked U16 boy.
Beau Basham - Head Coach
Beau Basham was one of the top ranked juniors in Arkansas, and ranked Top 50 in the Southern Section. Like Christy, he was the recipient of the Hershal Friday Award presented by the Arkansas Tennis Association to the top junior in the state. He went on to play for the University of Arkansas – Ft. Smith on a full scholarship. Upon finishing his playing career, he immediately began a career as a teaching professional. Beau has taught players of all ages as a teaching pro at Fort Smith Athletic Club and Fianna Hills Country Club. He also taught for a summer in Maine at Camp Mataponi, as well as a summer in New South Wales, Australia under former Arkansas National Champion Peter Doohan. Prior to joining the OTA family, he was coaching at the Central Arkansas Junior Tennis Academy, where he not only taught lessons and drills, but also traveled with junior players all over the South.
Matt Tabler hails from an entire OTA family! Older brother Martin and younger sister Mallory also came through the program, both top-ranked Arkansas juniors who went on to play college tennis. Matt was a 3-time state champion at BHS, winning the 7A doubles title as a sophomore, and the overall doubles title as a senior. He attended UA-Ft Smith, where he was named All-Conference as a freshman. In addition to being an OTA summer coach, Matt has taught 3 years at the Tiger Tennis Academy at Ouachita Baptist University.
John Doohan has been playing tennis his whole life after being trained by his father,
Peter Doohan, who is the 1982 NCAA Doubles National Champion. John was the top
ranked 18s junior in both singles and doubles. John went on to win both the singles and
doubles Junior State Championship. In 2011, John was ranked number 1 Arkansas
Men’s Open Doubles. John currently holds an NTRP of 5.0.
John has taught junior and adult drills as well as summer camps for Pinnacle Country
Club in Rogers Arkansas and the Nelson Bay Tennis Center in New South Wales,
Australia before joining the tennis staff for Bentonville Parks and Recreation. John has
also spent time as an assistant Pro at the Fianna Hills Country Club and the Fort Smith
Country Club teaching private tennis lessons to all ages. John is certainly experienced
and we’re very excited to have him as part of our staff.
Meredith de Vera - Membership Director
Meredith is a freelance product development consultant and entrepreneur. She has lived in Northwest Arkansas for the past 16 years. She got involved with tennis through her husband, Clayton de Vera, who was a college player. "When my oldest daughter started playing in tournaments, I knew I needed to better understand the game in order to support her on the sidelines. I started taking classes and drills so I could play with my family in our spare time." They have 2 daughters, Stella and Marin.
Jared and Christy Ward
Jared and Christy have been certified as USPTA Elite teaching professionals since 2002. They worked in the Black Hills of South Dakota as Junior Tennis Directors at Arrowhead Country Club, then as Head Pros for Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, AR, before founding Ozark Tennis Academy in 2006.
At both prior facilities, the programs tripled in size during Jared and Christy’s time there. Over 40 of their students were ranked in the top 10 in the state, while 12 made the top 25 in the Northern Section and 14 have cracked the top 100 in the Southern Section. They have also coached over 20 individual state champions, and have players continue their careers in college every year. Most importantly, their players have always been excellent models of sportsmanship and fair play, which has always been at the heart of any of their programs.
Christy Ward - Owner
Christy Ward was born in Bella Vista, and went on to become one of the best high school players in Arkansas. As a part of two state championship teams for Bentonville High School, she won state doubles titles her sophomore & junior year and was a singles finalist as a senior, given both the Sportsmanship award and her team’s MVP. In USTA play she was ranked #1 in the state for 3 consecutive years in doubles and never lower than third in singles. She reached top 60 in the south her last year of junior tennis. In 1995 she won the Hershal Friday Award, the highest award in Arkansas junior tennis. These accomplishments earned her a full scholarship to Division I Austin Peay University in Clarksville, TN, where she played #1 singles and doubles as a sophomore and was voted the team’s Most Improved Player, before transferring to University of North Texas to concentrate on her art degree.
Jared Ward - Owner
Jared Ward grew up in Newton, KS. In Kansas District USTA rankings, he was #1 in doubles his last three years of junior tennis, #1 in singles as a junior, and #2 his senior year. His final year of junior tennis he was ranked #15 in the Missouri Valley Sectional. He attended Bethel College to play for his father, where he was voted All-Conference and Conference MVP all four years. His team was ranked in the top 25 in the nation (NAIA) three separate times, and he was the first Bethel player ever to attain a national ranking, #50 in singles and #25 in doubles. In 2014, he became the first male tennis player inducted into the Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame. Jared was named the USPTA Arkansas Pro of the Year in 2005, Arkansas Junior Davis Cup coach from 2007-11 and 2013-15, and received the Victor Sheshunoff Meritorious Education Award in 2012. He has served on the Southern Section Coaches Commission since 2013, in 2015 was both a Team USA Sectional Camp coach, and Southern Zonals coach, and in 2016 completed the USTA High Performance Coaching Program at the National Training Center in Boca Raton.