Meet our Coaching Staff

A great tennis academy program starts with great coaches.


Valter Paiva | Head Pro

Valter Paiva

Head Pro and founder of the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy. Open Champion, USTA Nationals Finalist, USPTA Pro of the Year.

Hi, I’m Valter Paiva! Since my first tennis lesson as a kid in Brazil, I’ve been in love with tennis. I’ve had the privilege of teaching tennis to hundreds of kids in Orange County. Competing as a tour professional was an exciting experience, but I’m most passionate about sharing the game of tennis with the next generation. All of my tennis camps, lessons, and Junior Academy is aimed at making tennis fun and exciting for young children, starting around 5 years old, to juniors up to 13, and aspiring players entering high school.

  • 2015 National Finalist – Senior Doubles 35

  • 2015 Best Tennis Academy – Best Business of Long Beach Award

  • 2013 National Champion – Senior Doubles 35

  • 2009 USPTA Pro of the Year – Los Angeles District

  • 2007 Winner of the USTA Nationals Championships/5.0

  • 2007 Arcadia Open Winner

  • 2001, 2002 & 2004 Player of the Year MEAC Championship Regional Conf.

  • 2002 Playing Record of 34-7

  • 2001 Playing Record 19-2

  • 1995 & 1996 National Champion – Singles  18s – Brazil


Chris Doria | Tennis Pro

Christian Doria

Boys and Girls JV Tennis Coach | Assistant Coach Varsity Boys and Girls Tennis | Special Education Bilingual Instructional Assistant

Chris has competed in USTA league tennis for over 10 years and competed on various 4.5  teams.  He has also played doubles and mixed doubles in the 7.0 and 8.0 divisions.  Chris has a wealth of teaching experience as well. He has worked as a volunteer sports coach for youth co-ed teams for over 15 years. In addition, he was a USTA Summer Camp Head Tennis Instructor, as well as Varsity Boys Tennis Coach and JV Girls Tennis Coach.  Chris joined the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy in 2012 and has been contributing to our students’ success ever since.


Giovanni Fragalle | Junior Program Coordinator

Giovanni Fragelle

Giovanni Fragelle

Competitive Tennis Player | ITF Men’s Circuit | #1 player in the state of Sao Paulo, Boy’s 16s and 18s | Top 80 in the Brazilian Professional Rankings

Giovanni Fragalle has been a Tennis Pro at Valter Paiva Tennis Academy since Giovanni was born and raised in Brazil, where he played competitive junior tennis and competed on the ITF Men’s Circuit. As a junior player, Gio became the number one player in the state of São Paulo for Boy’s 16s and 18’s.  Later on, he would go on to play more ITF Futures Events, ranking in the top 80 in the Brazilian Professional Rankings.

In 2016, Giovanni came to the U.S. to play college tennis on a scholarship and pursue his bachelor’s degree. Gio played for Cypress College where he won the OEC Conference and was elected the Player Captain of the Year for the Conference.

Giovanni graduated in 2020 from Holy Names University in Oakland where he played on the Men’s Tennis Team and received many awards.  He was the 2-time recipient of the Team Spirit Award as well as an ITA Academic All American.  As team captain, Giovanni was also part of the SAAC, working with student-athletes to improve the school’s program and athletic success.


Ivan Derrick | Assistant Coach

Ivan Derrick

Ivan Derrick

Collegiate Tennis Team Captain and Scholarship Recipient | Experienced Coach

Ivan has competed at the National level since childhood and won his first ITF Futures event match at age 18. Not only has he continued to play through college, he was also offered the President’s Scholarship from many prestigious universities such as USC and Miami. Ivan recently graduated from Occidental College where he was the captain of his collegiate tennis team. His coaching credentials include the Sloane Stephens Foundation, The UCLA Tennis Camp, The USC Tennis Camp, and the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.


Laetitia Paiva | General Manager

Laetitia Paiva

Laetitia Paiva

"Watching children having fun and growing is priceless."

Laetitia comes to us from Paris, France.  She is in charge of much of the administrative, customer service and client communication while Valter is on the court.   She studied marketing in school and has always been an avid tennis player.  Laetitia moved to California later on in life to live the American Dream! This is where she fell in love with the wonderful city of Long Beach, and of course, her husband, Valter Paiva.  

Latetia truly loves working with people.  She spent over 20 years in the service industry at Open Sesame, right here in Long Beach!  While there, she was a waitress, shift leader and manager. IOne common goal that makes Laetitia and Valter both so successful is their love of working with children, helping them to grow and achieve to their fullest potential.  She is so happy to call Long Beach home and is dedicated to making sure that all students and families are happy.


Mekeila Erspamer | Tennis Pro

Mekeila Erspamer

Mekeila Erspamer

Former Division I Tennis Player | Two-Time NJCAA National Champion | Passionate Coach

A recent graduate of Seton Hall University, Mekeila is excited to join the team. Not only did she graduate with honors, but she was also a proud member of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Collegiate Athlete Honor Society. While Michaela was a former Division I Tennis Player, she devoted an average of 40 hours per week of practice on the court.  Her recent volunteer experience also includes working with students with special needs as well as teaching tennis to children of all skill levels.


Thallys Santos | Coach

Thallys Santos

Thallys Santos

2018 Junior College All American | Finished #3 in the state in doubles | Currently playing NAIA Tennis | Semi-Finalist at OHAI

Thallys was born and raised in Brazil and came to the United States to finish high school in 2016.  He recently transferred from Irvine Valley College (#8 in California) where he helped the team to a 12-2 record.  While at IVC, he finished his 2018 season ranked #3 in doubles in the state and was named an All American Thallys is currently playing his college tennis in the NAIA League.  

He began his coaching career in 2018 where he discovered his true passion for sharing his tennis knowledge and experience with all of his students.  Thallys is excited to be working with the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy.

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