Meet Our Tennis Staff

Michael Romeo

Director of Tennis

MichaelRomeoMike has played and worked in the New Jersey tennis community for most of his life. He started his professional career teaching at West Orange Tennis Club in New Jersey in 1992, where he taught until 2008. His family took him out west where he was the Head Tennis Professional at the Tennis Center of the Black Hills in Rapid City, SD. Upon returning to his roots (NJ) Mike was the Assistant Racquets Professional at The Short Hills Club in Short Hills, NJ for three years until moving to The Strand Tennis Center in Chatham, NJ.

Mike was Senior Tennis Professional there for a number of years until deciding to take this role as Director of Tennis at Murray Hill Tennis & Fitness. His passion for teaching is as strong as ever, and he works hard honing his craft and keeping his teaching fresh.

Mike’s goal is to deliver an amazing lesson every time he steps on the court. Mike played Division I college tennis at Seton Hall University. He has been USPTA certified since 2003 and PTR certified for the past year. Mike is also an avid racquet technician with 25 years of experience stringing and repairing tennis racquets. Mike lives with his wife and two adorable daughters in Lake Hiawatha, NJ.

Yhonny Murray

Director of Junior Development

YhonnyMurrayYhonny started playing tennis as a seven-year-old ballboy in the Dominican Republic and became the #1 Junior in his country before coming to the United States, where he trained at IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy, under the guidance of Nick Bollettieri. Competing on the ITA Junior Circuit, he had wins over Andy Roddick, Dmitry Tursonov, Mardy Fish and his early doubles partner, Victor Estrella Burgos. Yhonny also led a Mid-Atlantic team to three Gold Medals in the U.S. Junior Olympics. After leaving Bollettieri, Yhonny trained under University of Kentucky Tennis Coach Dennis Emery, and trained in conditioning under Pat Etcheberry.

Back in New Jersey, he worked with Asim Segun at Centercourt in Chatham, where he later became Assistant Director of High Performance. In high school tennis, while a student at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, Yhonny won the New Jersey State Preps Championship for each of his three years. During his one year at Cambridge Ridge and Latin H.S. in Cambridge, Massachusetts he led his team to the Massachusetts #1 ranking, and made the Boston Globe’s All-State Team. Winning a full tennis scholarship to Temple University, Yhonny played #1 singles and doubles for four years and did a stint as the team’s assistant coach, before returning to New Jersey as a teaching pro, specializing in High Performance at both Centercourt and P3 before joining Murray Hill Tennis & Fitness.

Yhonny is PTR Certified, Certified in USTA High Performance Coaching and Etcheberry Tennis Conditioning, and is a member of the USTA High Performance Committee for the Eastern Section. He lives with his wife, Ebony, and two tennis-loving kids, Gabriel and Yohany, in Belleville, NJ.

Karolina Chernaya

KarolinaChernayaKarolina was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and started playing tennis at 7 years old.

Karolina came to the United States when she was 18 to study at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina where she played number 1 singles for 3 seasons. In her first year, she was freshman of the year and All Conference for four years.

Karolina was also on the Dean’s list for 3 years. She graduated in December 2014 with a BS in Marketing and Business Administration.

Beatrix Klein-Szalay

BeatrixKlein-SzalayBeatrix has had a successful and varied career in tennis. A leader in the international tennis community, she was the #1 ranked player in Hungary in 1976. In the European Championships, she finished as a semi-finalist in both the womens and mixed doubles categories. She played in the Fed Cup for Hungary, on the grass at Wimbledon, the red clay in the French Open and the hard courts of the US Open! Her highest WTA ranking was 106. She played against Martina Navratilova (she won one of the two meetings!), Virginia Wade, Mary Carillo and others.

Beatrix has been a certified USPTA tennis professional for 18 years, and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She was the Director of Tennis at Columbia Racquet Club from 2007-14. Beatrix lives in Madison, NJ.

Maria Mahon

Maria began her tennis career at age 8 and after playing number 1 singles for 4 years in highschool She went on to earn a scholarship and play 4 years as a collegiate tennis player at Division 1 Seton Hall University . She is PTR certified for 10 and under. She has worked as head tennis instructor for Berkeley Heights Recreation for the past 7 years teaching both adults and children. Currently she has also started up the middle school program for Berkeley Heights Recreation. She has been a teaching pro for Murray hill for 3 years specializing in the 10 and under age group. She is a USTA member and loves playing on teams in the spring and winter.

Barbra Kogan

Barbra Kogan

Barbra Kogan is a USPTA and PTR-certified tennis professional, and has taught tennis at Murray Hill for over eight years. Playing tennis since she was 10 years old, she followed three years of high school varsity tennis with Division 1 play while receiving her BS degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University.

In recent years, she has spent time working with the Summit Tennis Association, and currently works during the outdoor season teaching adults in the Berkeley Heights Recreation Department. She also helps run both the New Providence and Berkeley Heights Middle School Tennis Programs. In addition, she has worked as a Tennis Professional at The Strand Tennis Center and with the Pro Smart Tennis Academy.

At Murray Hill Tennis & Fitness, Barbra enjoys working with children and adults, and also runs tennis parties for the club. She brings her passion for the game to every student that she works with, and strives to make each one the best that they can be. Barbra lives in New Providence with her husband and two teenage sons.

Brett Michel

BrettMichelBrett Michel has been a certified USPTR professional since 1991. His teaching career began as a Staff Pro and Assistant Manager at the Twin Oaks Tennis Center in Morristown, NJ in 1991. In 1999, he was promoted to Director of Tennis and General Manager of the club, and served in that capacity until 2010.

Upon leaving Twin Oaks, Brett began teaching at Columbia Racquet Club in Florham Park, NJ during the indoor season, and remained at the club until last year. During the outdoor season, he is a pro at the Noe Pond Club and is their Junior Team Tennis Coordinator.

In addition to his professional teaching, Brett is the Head Varsity Tennis Coach for the Morristown Beard boys and girls tennis teams. He played high school tennis at Morristown Beard and collegiate tennis at Drew University. Brett achieved USTA rankings in the Men’s Open Singles (#32 in 2000), and Men’s 25’s (#2 in 2000). Brett lives in Chatham, NJ with his wife and two kids.

Giorgi Khmiadashvili

Giorgi has extensive experience of coaching both adults and juniors, in groups and individually for over five years. He brings energy and passion for the game of tennis to every single lesson. His coaching experience encompasses all levels of students from beginners to competitive athletes. Apart from being fluent in English language, Giorgi can conduct tennis lessons in Russian and Georgian languages.

Giorgi started playing tennis at the age of five in Tbilisi, Georgia. He was ranked top 10 by European Tennis Association (ETA) for boys under 14 and 16 age groups. He represented his country at European Junior Olympic Festival (EYOF) where he won a gold medal in mixed doubles with his partner. During his junior career, Giorgi was selected by International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) team of Europe to represent ITF in the highest level of European junior tournaments held by ETA for boys under 16 age group in France and Italy.

After playing numerous junior tournaments worldwide, Giorgi attended NCAA Division 1 Longwood University. During his collegiate career, he played #1 singles and doubles and was nominated to Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll.

Jhon Diaz

Jhon was born in Peru and grew up playing tennis in the Federación Peruana de Tennis. Unfortunately, injury forced him into an early retirement and he was unable to play in college.

Jhon received certification from the USPTA and has been coaching the sport for 10 years. In addition to camps and clinics, Jhon has coached high school tennis at Kent Place and Pingry Jhon has led Pingry tennis to 6 sectional state championships and 2 group state championships.

Currently, Jhon is pursuing his Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Master of Tennis Certification in High Performance. Jhon joined the Murray Hill staff in October of 2015.

Adam Wager

Adam started playing tennis at the age of 8 and had a successful career. After winning a New Jersey state championship in 1990, Adam went on to the University of Michigan where he played varsity tennis from 1992 to 1995. In his 16 years of coaching experience, Adam has worked with and helped develop over 200 USTA national ranked players and 5 New Jersey state singles champions.

Peter Loyola

Peter has been a teaching pro since 2004 both in the United States and internationally. His experience includes working as a teaching pro in Saipan, Japan, New York and New Jersey. Peter got his U.S. PTR certification in 2009.

As a player, Peter won a silver medal in Singles Open and a bronze medal in Doubles Open during the 7th Micronesian Games in 2010 as a member of the Northern Mariana Island national team. In 2006 Peter was the Pacific Island Club Tennis Open Champion in singles and doubles in Saipan.

In his free time, Peter enjoys mountain biking and motocross. From 1996 – 1999 he was a professional motocross rider for Team Honda Philippines. In 1999 he was also a member of the National Philippines Mountain Bike Team.