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Best Friends Team Up and Win at Kooyong

Photograph L-R: Asaf Nagar and Assaf Drori

When best friends and tennis coaches Asaf Nagar and Assaf Drori joined forces for a comeback to competitive tennis, they could only dream that they might achieve the amazing outcome of winning their first International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Masters Tour event at Kooyong. Apart from a few rare appearances, Asaf and Assaf had taken a break from competitive tennis since playing together for Maccabi Tennis Club and winning the Grade 3 Tennis Victoria Winter Pennant in 2015. They had not really played together much as a doubles pair; in doubles, it is so important to understand how your partner plays. Under extremely dreary skies over the Melbourne Cup weekend and with the constant threat of rain, the coaches teamed together well and managed to beat various seeded players (included the #1 seeds) in four, straight set matches played over four days to take out the title of Winners of the ITF Kooyong Men’s Doubles in the 40-45 age group: https://www.itftennis.com/en/tournament/mt400-melbourne/aus/2022/s-s400-aus-06a-2022/draws-and-results/.

Asaf Nagar is Director and founder of Trademark Tennis. He is a level 2 TCA qualified coach with 20 years of experience in coaching both in Israel & Australia. Immigrating to Australia in 2004, Asaf is Head Coach at Maccabi Tennis Club in East Bentleigh. In addition, he is part of the coaching team for the TCA Advanced Junior Program. As a junior, Asaf represented the Israeli National Team and competed in Israel and in Europe. In 2006, Asaf was nominated for Tennis Victoria Pennant Player of the year (Men’s Grade 1).

Assaf Drori, is the Director of All-Court Tennis Academy at Bialik College. Assaf is a former professional ATP player representing Israel. Assaf played NCAA Division 1 at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and is a Tennis Australia Club Professional Accredited Coach.

Both Asaf and Assaf have just returned from the 21st Maccabiah Games, volunteering their time as Team Manager and Coach for the Junior and Open Australian Tennis Teams respectively. Both are hoping to join the team again for the Pan American Games in Argentina in December 2023, perhaps this time as players.

Meanwhile, at the same ITF event played at Kooyong, Maccabi Tennis Club players Joel Fredman and Robert Minc were finalists in the Men’s Doubles 50-55 age group. Due to inclement weather, their final was abandoned and no winner was declared. Fredman, who recorded his third Club Champion singles title this year and Minc, have formed a strong partnership and have recorded a series of impressive wins together in recent years.

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