About Us


Catalin Chira – Tennis Director and Head Coach

BA in Sports and Physical Education

Catalin has been a certified tennis professional for the past 16 years; proficient in high performance coaching, developing training programs for top sectional, national and international players. During this time Catalin was Head Tennis Professional and Tennis Director for several clubs in Europe, Canada, and the United States, where he developed and worked with players from beginners to the ITF level. Many of his students reached top sectional (SoCal B10′s ranked #1), national (Canada B18′s ranked #3, USTA B18′s ranked #4) rankings and received full tennis scholarships at top Division I schools.

For the last 2 1/2 years he has served as the Junior Tennis Director at the Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego, CA, where he directed and coordinated a very successful high performance junior tennis academy. Catalin has a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education & Sports – Specialty Tennis, Certified Professional by Romanian Tennis Federation, PTR-Certified Professional, USPTA Certified Profeesional 1, Etcheberry Certified (Strength, Conditioning & Movement in Tennis).


Woody Blocher

Director of Individual Player Development
Chira Tennis Academy

Woody Blocher provides player development through private lessons for many of the academy’s top junior players. Woody is currently working with top ranking National juniors Brandon Nakashima, Taylor Fritz, William Chu and numerous others.

Woody has immeasurable expertise and wisdom of the game of tennis. Woody began his tennis career playing in the juniors and earned many top awards such as the US National Junior championship, Orange Bowl World Champion, and was a member of the US Junior Davis Cup Team.

He attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) where he was sidelined his first three years with a broken wrist. Woody then achieved All-American status his senior year.

Woody’s professional tennis career started when he turned pro in 1973 and played on the men’s tour for seven years. During this time Woody was ranked in the top 120 in A.T.P. world rankings, and was a quarter finalist in the 1977 World Doubles Championship.

After a successful professional career, Woody began coaching and teaching in 1980 with continued success. Countless players from Woody’s academies and coaching have received tennis scholarships at the collegiate level and he has coached approximately 20 professional players ranked in top 10, top 20, and top 30 in the world including Michael Chang who was once number two in the world.


Jayner Foronda

Assistant Tennis Pro
Chira Tennis Academy

Jayner a USPTA Pro 2 brings to Chira Tennis Academy 20 years of tennis experience, competitive knowledge, strategies and tactics. Jayner is a passionate and skilled tennis professional who is currently one of the top NTRP 5.5 (A) level player in San Diego and Southern California.

Outside of Chira Tennis Academy, Jayner serves as the Head Tennis Professional for two Navel Bases, San Diego and Point Loma where he oversees all aspects of operation of their tennis programs. He also provides private and group lessons to all Military personnel, contractors, and their families.

Jayner enjoys spreading his passion and knowledge of the game through many community service programs such as Tennis Fest, Kid’s Day at the Mercury Open, and Family Day Marine Corp Air Station, Miramar. He is also a guest clinician for the Balboa Warrior Athletic Program in which Jayner along with fellow USPTA pros instruct 30 to 50 Military men and women after having served our country in foreign wars. This program helps with their rehabilitation through monthly tennis clinics.


Maximo Salonga  

Certified Fitness Trainer/Tennis Coach Advisor
Chira Tennis Academy

Maximo started playing tennis at age nine in Toronto Canada where he was a top 20 junior player. He later went to California State University, Los Angeles on a tennis scholarship.

Maximo is an ACE Certified Fitness trainer and has 19 years experience in the fitness industry. He has worked as Fitness Supervisor for both Bally’s Total Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness. He has also worked as an Independent Fitness Trainer for the last 12 years.

In 2010, USTA named Maximo NTRP Player of the Year and he’s been ranked #1 for the NTRP 5.5 level. Maximo is a USPTA Member and has become Etcheberry Tennis Fitness Certified. He is excited to be associated with Chira Tennis Academy, working with high performance juniors in both fitness conditioning and tennis instruction.


Greg Donabedian

Chira Tennis Academy
Greg comes to the Chira Tennis Academy from Viirginia. He started playing tennis at 8 years old and played number one singles and doubles for Falls Church high school as a freshman and sophomore. He received a scholarship to Van Der Meer Tennis Academy for his junior and senior year of high school and was named Virginia state indoor hard court champion 18 and under.

Greg continued his tennis career when he received a full scholarship to UNC, Asheville and then transferred to George Mason University both NCAA division 1 schools. After college he taught tennis at the Van Der Meer Tennis academy.

Greg is PTR certified and has 8 years of tennis teaching experience.

Comments are closed.