fresno tennis academy francisco

Francisco Gonzalez

Founder / coach

Francisco Gonzalez has been the Head Tennis Professional at Sierra Sport & Racquet Club since 1998. He played tennis for Ohio State University from 1974-76 and was awarded All Big Ten Honors, All American Honors and later inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1987. He went on to play on the ATP Tour from 1977 to 1990, consistently ranked in the top 100 in singles and doubles with the highest ranking of #36 in singles and #24 in doubles. USPTA certified since 1992 and USPTR certified since 1994, his career highlights include Davis Cup for Paraguay (World Group 1983-1990), and Puerto Rico’s Davis Cup (1992). Outstanding career wins include Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Andres Gomez, Vitas Gerulaitis, Yannick Noah, Elliot Teltscher, Johan Kriek, and Henri Leconte.

Francisco was born in Germany, but he grew up in Puerto Rico. He started playing tennis at age 11 at the Rio Piedras Tennis Club and hasn’t put down his racquet since!

As an instructor, Francisco not only teaches the fundamentals of the sport, but he also guides his students to become all-around tennis players. His students learn how to play from the backcourt, come to the net and attack, play doubles and mixed doubles etc… and then he gives them an opportunity to decide which style is best for them.

Francisco holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the InterAmerican University, Puerto Rico.


fresno tennis academy teresa

Teresa Samstag-Haug

Founder / coach

Teresa was born in Barcelona, Spain. She grew up playing tennis at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899, which is the home of the Masters 500 tournament and where many Spanish tennis players train and compete.

Teresa was a nationally ranked player in Spain and represented Spain in numerous European competitions. Later, she became the coach of some of those Spanish national teams. Before coming to the United States in 1984, Teresa was the first female tennis instructor at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona and taught there for ten years, where players such as Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (former World No. 1) and Carlos Costa (Rafael Nadal's agent) trained at the Club’s tennis school.

As an instructor, Teresa stresses the importance of technique (e.g., proper grips and swings) and footwork for the development of a player. She grew up playing tennis under the Spanish method of developing players and continues to use this method when coaching her students.

Since living in Fresno, Teresa has taught at Fresno Racquet Time (now, Sierra Sports RC at Blackstone), 1984-1986, Fig Garden Swim and Racquet Club, 1986-1990, privately 1990-1995, Copper River Country Club,1995-2000, and Sierra Sport and Racquet Club as an independent contractor, 2000 to present.

Teresa has over 40 years of teaching experience. She was certified in Spain by the Real Federacion Española de Tenis and has been certified by the USPTA in the United States since 1985.

Teresa holds a five-year degree in Liberal Studies from the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (Bellaterra).


Matt Downs

Director of Tennis / USPTA Certified Professional

Matt grew up playing tennis in Clovis, California and played Varsity Tennis at Buchanan High School before playing two years at Fresno City College and earning Conference titles each year. Matt has coached and taught tennis for over ten years in a variety of venues and worked as a hitting partner for top players and coaches as well as up and coming stars of the game. Matt brings a fun, energetic yet very systematic aspect to teaching the game of tennis to all levels and ages - beginner to advanced.