First Strike Tennis was founded by Mark Gellard and provides professional tennis training to junior and professional players from all over the world. Mark has worked with a number of world class athletes and his coaching highlights and certifications can been seen below;
- Worked for the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation (KTF) throughout 2012 and 2013
- Worked with professional WTA player, Melinda Czink
- Worked exclusively for Christine Kandler and took her from a 400 junior ITF ranking to588 WTA.
- Coached Ester Goldfeld to a career high ranking on the WTA and ITF tours whilst working as the Director of Professional Women at the International Tennis Academy (ITA).
- Coached Lauren Albanese from 260 WTA to a career high ranking of 158.
- Worked with Nadia Petrova (top 10 WTA) during the 2009 U.S. Open series.
- Coached Bethanie Mattek-Sands throughout the 2008 summer grass-court season. During this time she achieved her career high ranking of 55 WTA, and made 2 consecutive Semi-finals (DFS Classic and The Eastbourne Cup). She also achieved her best ever Grand Slam appearance, reaching the round of 16 at Wimbledon. In 2009 Mark and Bethanie teamed up again for the 'Challenge Bell' in Quebec where she advanced to the Quarterfinals.
- Travelled on the WTA Tour as a coach and hitting partner for Martina Hingis (former world number 1 WTA) in 2008.
- Worked with Olga Govortsova (WTA #35) and Varvara Lepchenko (WTA #84) assisting them with on court practice, match preparation and analysis.
Prior to coaching, Mark attended the London tennis academy as a player before travelling to the U.S.A where he played Division 1 NCAA college tennis and spent time competing on the futures and satellite tour.
After his own playing days Mark became the assistant women's tennis coach at the University of South Alabama (top 40 NCAA), and worked as a junior high-performance development coach. Mark’s dedication and enthusiasm for the sport and his players, have separated him from the competition and he is now one of the top professional coaches on tour. Mark currently resides in South Florida where he focuses on the development of high performance players and professionals.
"There are few coaches that offer the dedication, knowledge and passion that Mark does. He is quickly establishing himself as a strong developmental coach with excellent industry credentials".-Alastair Garland, Octagon Director of Client Management
"Mark was assistant coach for me at the University of South Alabama, because of his tremendous work ethic and desire to better himself and the people around him".- Jaco Keyser, Head Coach at the University of South Alabama
"Mark Gellard is one of the most well liked and respected tennis coaches in the business today. Not only is he affable and easy to get along with, it is widely known in tennis circles that Mark is one of the best young coaches and tennis tacticians anywhere".- Steve Pratt, USTA Challenger Circuit Presse Aide and freelance tennis writer
- University of South Alabama: Bachelor of Science Business Administration
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
- United States Professional Tennis Association: Certified Tennis Coach (P-1)
- Professional Tennis Registry: Certified Tennis Coach (Pro Level)