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Meet the coaches

Highly qualified and enthusiastic

You’ll find the BEST coaches at Best Tennis!

Best Tennis has a number of highly qualifed coaches and  enthusiastic support coaches, to ensure that players get the most from the lessons

Tennis Coach

Philip Lamb

Best Tennis Owner & Founder

Phil is the founder of Best Tennis and has been coaching tennis for 15 years. By achieving the LTA Play Test Grade 3 – the highest grade achievable for coaching – he can coach any standard of player. Phil has achieved the LTA Level 4 Qualification.

Phil grew up in Roehampton and is very passionate about establishing tennis programs that are fun, accessible and provide good value for money.

During his university years in Exeter, Phil taught tennis at a number of local tennis clubs and primary schools before becoming a licensed LTA Tennis Coach and taking a coaching position at Exmouth Lawn Tennis Club for 2 years.

He then went on to become the Head Coach at Chulmleigh Tennis Club in North Devon where he delivered a full program, coaching a number of performance level Junior players.

Moving back to London in 2009, Phil developed a tennis program at Old Deer Park in Richmond and helped to create a regular attendance of over 500 players each year.

In 2011, Phil established Best Tennis with the aim to make tennis easily accessible to all the family. By developing a loyal and competent coaching team, Best Tennis has now expended to 6 sites across the borough of Richmond.

Tennis coach Richmond

Baz Van Cranenburgh

Head Coach

Baz was born and raised in the Netherlands, where he started playing tennis from his teenage years. He moved to London almost 30 years ago where he, after a successful career in business, qualified as a tennis coach.

Baz has coached with Best Tennis for 4 years and is extremely popular with his clients. Baz runs a number of Adult tennis events during the year in Richmond. His main guiding principle is that if people enjoy his sessions, they learn more, better and quicker. He obtained his coaching qualifications for youth and adults through the American Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), and is fully LTA accredited.

David Kane


David can offer something for everybody, and is popular with both Adults and Juniors. His friendly approach and extensive knowledge of technique mean that he is is very popular with our players. David is available for private lessons and runs a number of our group programs.

David’s journey in Tennis started at the age of 16 playing on a full-time basis in Hampshire. He went through a variety of experiences as a player and he realised there’s a difference between training and competing and ‘LEARNING’ to train and compete. Every player is unique and learns in different ways and he takes this approach when coaching each individual. David went on to study Sport Psychology and Coaching at University and believes the psychology of Tennis is important at all levels of the sport whether that’s playing for fun, playing to stay fit or looking to compete at the highest level

Venelin Papazov

Coach - Old Deer Park

Venelin is coaching many of our groups in Richmond, he is very popular with both adults and children and loves to welcome new players onto his groups, of all standards

Venelin can offer something for everyone. His knowledge of technique and attention to detail has allowed him to build a base of loyal clients. He is fully committed to the the long term development of each and every player.

Ishaman Golding

Coach - Richmond, Ham, Hampton, Twickenham

Ishaman has coached with Best Tennis since 2021 and is very popular with both adult and junior players. He has a very warm and enthusiastic personality

Ishaman grew up in the borough of Richmond and is a fully PTR qualified and LTA Accredited coach. He has a very welcoming manner and develops both adult and junior players of all abilities to achieve the very best they can

Vidi Demireva

Coach - Old Deer Park

Vidi was born and raised in Bulgaria and has Master degree in Social and Forensic psychology. She has over ten years experience in the tennis industry, having coached in Bulgaria, Ireland and England

Vidi started playing tennis at the age of 4 and has competed for her country, participating in many junior tournaments. She currently does a lot of performance coaching, organising  league matches for the 9U, 10U, 12U and adult teams. However, Vidi always enjoys teaching people completely new to the game as she has a determination to help others enjoy the sport. Vidi holds the LTA Level 3 and RPT level 1 qualifications and is currently working on her LTA Level 4.

Vidi is available for group and private coaching on Thursdays and Fridays in Richmond.

Mark Chase

Coach - Old Deer Park (Private lessons)

Mark has a wealth of experience having coached continuously in the Borough of Richmond since 2004. Mark has the Level 3 LTA Qualification and is LTA Licensed and Accredited.

Mark has worked for Best Tennis for over a year and has already formulated a list of very committed players. Mark only offers private lessons and is extremely friendly and professional. Mark prides himself on hard work and will be willing to work in almost all weathers to ensure you never miss out.

Mihai Nagit

Coach - King George's Field (Private lessons)

Mihai has been coaching at King George's Field for over two years and is a very likeable coach, with an excellent playing standard. Mihai has a very loyal client base and is a very important member of our team

Mihai’s aim is “to serve people who want to learn and enjoy the beauty of tennis”. He is a regular competitor in the Richmond Local Tennis Leagues and has won the local league 7 times. Mihai loves to teach matchplay tactics to his players and is extremely popular with his players

Ed Francis

Coach - King's Field (Private lessons)

Ed has been coaching at King's Field for almost a year and his friendly personality and attention to detail are very popular with his players

Ed has been playing tennis since the age of 5 and has a real passion for sport. He takes his passion into his lessons to deliver fun and engaging sessions. Ed believes in a tailored approach to coaching as all players learn differently. He is comfortable teaching adults and juniors, as well as both recreational or performance players. Having brought several players up to county standard, he loves seeing their development and the enjoyment they get from it.

Ed grew up in Buckinghamshire and competed in tennis from a very young age. He has an intimate knowledge of the game and has studied biomechanics and sports psychology – this enables him to pinpoint where a technical problems lie quickly and effectively.

Penny Sterling

Coach - Old Deer Park

Mum of two, living in Richmond. Passionate about the joy of playing tennis can bring to both beginners and advanced players.

Formerly trained by British No. 1 Buster Mottram using his own and Tony Mottram’s teachings. Running a tennis school in Buckinghamshire for many years teaching juniors and adults. Also coaching at David Lloyd Raynes Park and Milton Keynes. Playing at Junior Nationals as well as winning many junior and adult tournaments across the UK including the Surbiton Open and Esher Open. Penny had the opportunity to compete and train on clay in both Germany and France. Bringing this experience and knowledge to help tots, juniors and adults connect with the sport and find their way to their best tennis game!

Martine Ainsworth-Wells

Assistant Coach - Old Deer Park

Martine joined the Best Tennis Team in 2023 and is an LTA Level 1 Assistant Coach.

Originally from Liverpool, Martine lives in Kew, and with a degree in Culture & Communications has spent most of her career working in media and marketing including for Heart fm, the Evening Standard, VisitLondon and London & Partners. She’s been playing tennis at the Old Deer Park and across the borough since 2012, following an accident in 2008 that fractured her spine in two places. She was encouraged by her therapists to play tennis to aid her rehabilitation and thanks the sport for fast-tracking her mental and physical recovery. Having worked on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Martine left corporate life and set up her own business in Kew, which simultaneously enabled her to pick up a racket and enhance her recovery. She’s passionate about the role that tennis can play when we’re facing difficulties and is committed to supporting anyone who wants to play, no matter what their challenges.

Jessie Dardenne-Rees

Coach - King George's Field

Jessie is French and British, and is currently finishing a Primary Education Degree at St Mary’s University. Her motivation and enthusiastic approach to coaching can give players the confidence they need to try their best and enjoy playing tennis.

Jessie has been playing tennis since she was 10 years old, playing in national championships in her country and reached the equivalent level of 2.1. She followed a two-year tennis degree and has been coaching adults and children of all levels for 7 years, in France and around London. Her passion for coaching tennis came with her experience of Neurolinguistic programming that allows her to adapt her teaching depending on the personality and character of the player. She creates a playful and educational environment based on the four tennis basics: technique, tactics, fitness and mindsets.

Jaco Van Cranenburgh

Assistant Coach - Old Deer Park/King George's Field

Jaco has been assisting with Best Tennis for over a year and is a regular competitor in our tournaments and matchplays

Jaco is a young and enthusiastic assistant coach who has a great love for the game. He is very keen to learn and loves playing as well as understanding and explaining the detail of the technical side of the game. He is much liked by our players in both junior and adult lessons.

Philip’s lessons and courses are enjoyable as well as challenging. I’ve been coached by him for nearly a year and even though I am moving away, I think I will still be coming to his great lessons.

Phillip is a great coach; young, motivated and reliable, but most of all he knows his tennis!

In rain and in sunshine Phil is a cool, calm and clear teacher. Always a good atmosphere and people respond well to him and his lessons. Thanks Phil – really enjoying playing tennis again.

Phil, I have taken lessons before, thinking that I am hopeless! You’ve made me believe that I can learn. Thank you.

Try a private lesson with a coach

£45 per hour (1-2-1)