Feisal Hassan, of Midlothian, Va., who has been involved in tennis and has been a USPTA member for more than 20 years, received the United States Professional Tennis Association's Alex Gordon Award for the Professional of the Year.
Hassan was recognized during the USPTA's annual awards breakfast at its World Conference on Tennis. The USPTA, the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, hosted its annual World Conference Sept. 19-24 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla.
The professional of the year is judged in seven areas, including: contributions to USPTA and USTA; as a teaching professional, player and coach; education, research and publications; organizational affiliations; and contributions to the community.
Hassan, who is also a USPTA Master Professional, grew up playing junior tennis at the local and national level in Zimbabwe, Africa, before moving to the United States. After playing collegiate tennis for four years at Virginia Commonwealth University and earning a degree in marketing, Hassan began his tennis-teaching career.
He has been very committed to the USPTA. He is currently a tester and on the national education and diversity committees. He has served as the director of testing/certification and education for Middle States. In addition, he has also been highly involved with the USTA as a High Performance Coach and a national trainer for QuickStart and Recreation Coaches. He has been a coach for USTA competitive training centers and USTA Intersectional and Zonal Teams. Hassan has also been a USPTA speaker at both divisional conventions and the World Conference, as well as a USTA speaker and trainer at both regional and national USTA workshops.
In addition, he has coached at the national/international level for the country of Zimbabwe. His roles included director of coaches' education for Tennis Zimbabwe, national coach of the Junior Davis Cup for Zimbabwe and the coach of Zimbabwe 18s national team.
Hassan has also made giving back to the community a priority. He and his family are heavily involved with the developmentally challenged population and community. His efforts include volunteer work with Trinity Lutheran Church, Ministry to the Developmentally Challenged Adults (Special Needs Ministry), Nathaniel's Hope Buddy Break (a free kids/respite program where kids with special needs make new friends and get to try new activities) and serving as a seasonal tennis coach for Special Olympics.
Hassan authored the book, "How to Handle Difficult Players and Conditions" and has also published more than 80 articles in international, national, division and local publications.
He is currently on the HEAD/Penn National Advisory Board and Speaker's Bureau, and on the Tennis Industry Association's National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team. Previous accolades include the USPTA Industry Excellence Award in 1999, the Tennis Industry's 40 Under 40 in 2000, five-time Division Tester of the Year, 10-time USPTA Division/State Pro of the Year, and seven-time national Top-10 point holder in the USPTA's Career Development Program.