To God be the glory.
Janice Irwin
USCTDP Founder & Director
PTR Teaching Professional

My Dad fell in love with tennis and wanted me to love it, too. I was 15 years old at the time, earning varsity letters and setting high school records in other sports, but playing tennis summoned something different. Standing opposite my Dad on the court―without a team to support me―I quickly recognized intense mental discipline was every bit as important as my athletic abilities. Embracing this challenge, tennis became a lifelong passion.

Recruited for track at the University of Pittsburgh, I also played women’s tennis, earning a scholarship. After graduating, I realized my mission―sharing my love for Jesus Christ―would require an independent path. This path involved numerous part-time gigs (as many as five 1099s in one tax year), traversing Pittsburgh to teach tennis at various clubs, schools, and municipalities. After teaching tennis at Mt. Lebanon, I’d drive home to visit my parents and was always dismayed to see empty Upper St. Clair courts. Ten years after learning to play tennis, I decided to call on Upper St. Clair Township officials and pitch a tennis development program. USCTDP was founded in August 1983 with the assistance of Michele Landis. 

Stronger than ever 40 years later, my team of teaching professionals and I are instructing the children of parents who were once students themselves. My Dad’s sustaining influence is obvious.

At USCTDP, tennis is about love, yielding a sport for generations of families.



Favorite Female Pro: Alison Riske

I started teaching Ali when she was seven years old. She was trained to become an all-court player, eventually turning pro in 2009 at the age of 18. Ali had her greatest Grand Slam success at Wimbledon, beating the #1 player in the world, Ashleigh Barty, in 2019. I now cherish being Ali’s friend and mentor, fueled by our dedication to faith, family, and tennis. We’ve been fortunate to share life’s many milestones, both on and off the court. 

Favorite Male Pro: Roger Federer

The embodiment of efficiency and grace, I loved watching Roger play. Adapting to whatever the circumstance demanded, he did so with impeccable style and sportsmanship. Winner of eight Wimbledon titles and 20 Grand Slam singles, Roger’s love for the game is inspiring. 

Favorite Tournament: Wimbledon

Maybe I’m just crazy for strawberries and cream, but Wimbledon is my favorite tournament. Steeped in tradition, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the only Grand Slam event played on grass. 

Favorite Shot: Overhead

Being an all-court player means attacking the net, and that leads me to my favorite shot: the overhead. Like the serve, the overhead is the only shot that can enable you to gain complete control of the point. When your opponent hits a lob, an overhead is your best offensive response. Demanding high-level athleticism, the overhead requires being quick on your feet, having the proper court position, and hitting with accuracy. Watching my students finish a point at the net is my greatest satisfaction, knowing they executed a complete offensive strategy.