Tennis Professional Staff

Paulo Barros
Director of Racquet Sports

“I thrive on the joy of supporting and promoting the lifetime sport of tennis to all people. I can reach so many people by teaching, managing and promoting the sport, that it is impossible not to love the variety of options that the sport brings to everyone.”

After a successful junior career as the #5 highest player nationally in Brazil, Paulo earned a full scholarship to play and study for Hampton University, VA. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a minor in sports and professional tennis management, and a Master in Business Administration, both from Hampton University. Paul received an All-American Scholars Award, was named a 2001 Conference Player and Freshman of the Year in 1998, appeared in Sports Illustrated magazine that year, and received an Academic Achievement Award.

Paulo has been involved with the USPTA for the past 15 years, through which he has been attending and promoting the industry, and was awarded USPTA Player of the Year and USPTA Florida Pro of the Year on 8 different occasions. Paulo has also been ranked #1 USTA National Men’s 35 in 2014-2016 and is currently ranked #9 nationally in the Men’s 40s.

Paulo’s working experience at Hampton University, Human Performance Institute, Winter Park Racquet Club, Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club, and Bonita National Golf & Country Club assisted him in acquiring extended knowledge and experience within different sectors of the tennis industry for the last 20 years.

Paulo is a USPTA Elite certified and IPTPA Pickleball Certified. He is married to Glaucia Barros, with two daughters – Isabella and Bruna.

Jason Suarez
Assistant Director

“My energy, enthusiasm, and charisma on the court keeps tennis fun and engaging, helping me cater to all levels of competition amongst my clients, ranging from the technical to the physical part of their game.”

Jason started playing tennis at the age of 9 and grew up playing highly-competitively in the state of Florida. At the age of 19, Jason became USPTA certified and started teaching tennis professionally at Fisher Island Club, since 2006. Jason's previous hitting partners include Grigor Dimitrov (Currently #8 in the world), Mark Philippoussis (Former #8 in the world & Former #1 Davis Cup Player for Australia) and Dmitry Tursunov (Former #20 in the world). Jason is fluent in English and Spanish.

James Nabhen
Tennis Professional

“I love to coach tennis and pass along all my knowledge of traveling and coaching on the professional tour to the next amateur or top junior in the years to come.”

James grew up in Miami playing multiple sports, but tennis became his passion at age of 13. In 2014, he started coaching and traveling with Bernard Tomic (Australian Top Professional player). Bernard Tomic and coach James had success early, reaching a career high #17 in the world ranking. James is fluent in English and Spanish.

Meredith Laughlin
Tennis Professional / Pickleball Professional

“I was born and raised in Miami and began playing at the age of eight-years-old. That’s when I developed the love and passion for the game.”

Meredith is a scholar-athlete graduate from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting. While at the University of Miami, she played #1 singles and doubles, was the team captain, recipient of MVP Award, Doris Hart Award, University of Miami Community Service Award, twice NCAA Big East Champion, and led the team to the Sweet 16 of NCAA.

As a junior USTA player, she was ranked top five in the State of Florida and top twenty in the nation. Meredith was also a three-time High School State of Florida Champion, representing Miami Killian Senior High, and an inductee into the Miami Chamber of Commerce.

After competing in WTA satellite tournaments, she has held positions at prestigious tennis clubs in United States and overseas. Meredith has been a tennis professional at Fisher Island Club since 2003.

Stefano Ianni
Tennis Professional

Stefano is a former Italian ATP player from Milan. He competed as a professional tennis player on the ATP tour for more than 10 years, having the opportunity to play against a number one player in the world, Novak Djokovic, and many other top players. He reached his highest ATP singles ranking of No 300 in June 2007. Stefano won 5 ITF titles in his singles career and 23 doubles titles, reaching his highest ATP doubles ranking of No 118 in May 2014.

After retiring in 2013 from the professional tour, he accepted the opportunity to work as a tennis pro at Fisher Island Club during the winter months. In 2018, Stefano accepted the position of Director of Tennis during the summer season at The Bridgehampton Club, which has a facility of eight tennis courts and 500 members located in the Hamptons.

Stefano is USPTR adult development and USPTA Elite professional. He has been married for four years to his wife Nicole, and has a newborn baby, Nicholas Ianni.

Yanquiel Medina
Tennis Professional

Yanquiel Medina was born in Cuba. He won the National Championships three times – at the age of 12 and under, 14 and under and 18 and under. He was recruited as the #3 player in Cuba going into the Davis Cup Team twice.

Yanquiel has 16 years of professional experience and is also certified by the PTR as a professional coach for children 10 years and under, high performance, and adult players. From 2002 to 2004 he worked in Mexico running a high-performance program for junior players.

Yanquiel has been working for thirteen years as a pro at Fisher Island Club. He also works with professional active players as a hitting partner, such as Caroline Wozniacki – former world #1, Eugenie Bouchard – former world #5, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Today, he enjoys teaching all levels but specializes in technique and strategy at the intermediate to advanced level.

Luiza Sonnervig
Tennis Professional

Luiza was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and started playing tennis competitively at age 12, where she was national champion. She later played collegiate tennis at University of West Florida in Pensacola, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. While in college, Luiza won three Gulf South Conference Championships and one South Region Championship. She was ranked as high as #11 in the nation in Division 2 and was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) South Region Senior Player of the Year and given the ITA South Region Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

Her teaching career started in 2012, when she worked as a Tennis Professional at the Meadow Club of Southampton for two summer seasons before accepting the position of Women’s Tennis Assistant Coach at University of West Florida in 2013. After graduation, Luiza joined the Sanchez-Casal team in Naples, Florida as a tennis professional and after-school assistant coordinator. She had the opportunity to learn from Emilio Sanchez Vicario (a former professional tennis player from Spain ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles and No. 7 in singles). As the after-school assistant coordinator, she helped restructure the programs from age 3 to 12, separating them into five different levels and preparing their annual calendar of training and events.

Luiza has been part of the tennis professional team at Fisher Island Club since October 2017. She is an ICI and USPTA-certified tennis coach available to conduct private and group lessons for all ages and levels.

Mariana Sonnervig
Tennis Professional

“I have a passion for tennis, health and wellbeing. My goal is to inspire you to become the best player you can be, and most importantly, have a great time!”

From Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mariana came to the U.S in 2009 to study marketing and play college tennis. She received a scholarship at the University of West Florida and was ranked Top 10 in the nation for the 4 school years. She was also Regional champion, 3-time conference champion, and achieved the freshman of the year award. When she graduated, she decided to follow her passion for the sport and teach tennis. She worked 1 year as the women's team assistant coach at UWF to gain more college tennis experience, 3 years at the Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy in Naples, Florida, to learn the Spanish training system and coach high performance junior players, as well as 10 & under, and 1 year at the Flamingo Park in Miami Beach to gain more knowledge with adult and group clinics and social tennis. After 5 years of experience with all ages and levels, she joined our prestigious Fisher Island Tennis Professionals at the end of 2018.

Lawrence Primus
Youth Tennis Coordinator

“Tennis is mostly muscle memory – the easiest way to improve is to continuously practice.”

Lawrence Primus came to Fisher Island Club via the Sportime Clubs and John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York. He has served as camp director, tournament director, and director of Junior Tennis for several Sportime Clubs. Lawrence has over 15 years of teaching experience, encompassing all levels and ages. Growing up in New York, Lawrence competed in sectional and national tournaments before he realized his passion for coaching and looked to pass along his love for the game of tennis – and now pickleball, as well! He is USPTR certified in tennis and pickleball instruction.

Wendy Damm
Racquet Club Pro Shop Manager

“Wendy brings enthusiasm and extensive knowledge to Fisher Island's Racquet Club Pro Shop and facility. Wendy's here to ensure Members and guests have the finest experience on our beautiful courts, and in the Shop.”

Wendy grew up in New York, then moved to South Florida in her late teens where she found the game of tennis and began playing, developing a lifelong love of the game. She has decades of experience playing and being a buyer/manager for successful tennis shops.

Wendy is a USRSA Certified racquet stringer, keeping everyone's frame fine-tuned for the best advantage on court. Wendy keeps the Club's fully-stocked Pro Shop up-to-date and on-trend with a wide and premium array of anything a player might need for their game – be it tennis or pickleball.