Although the Boston Lobsters have been a mainstay in the Mylan World TeamTennis Eastern Conference for the past 15 seasons, they'll be under the direction of a new face this year. Robert Greene takes over the reins of a veteran Lobsters team that will be looking to dethrone their Eastern Conference rival and reigning champions, Washington Kastles.
Greene has coached several highly ranked players over a 37-year career and is the former Chairman of USTA Olympic Tennis Committee. He took Team USA to Beijing in 2008 and the Pan Am Games in Brazil in 2007. A local with ties to the Boston area, Greene began his coaching career in 1976 as an assistant pro at The Tennis Club of Manchester, now the Manchester Athletic Club and home of the Lobsters. In 2003, Greene received the prestigious International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award.
“I have experience in the team environment,” Greene said, when asked if his wealth of knowledge will be a benefit to the Lobsters. “I have certain methods that are unique to my coaching style, but I will say that the coaching will be tailored to the needs of the players, the rigorous schedule and the sometimes crazy Mylan WTT environment!”
Greene, who's been a self-proclaimed “big fan” of Mylan World TeamTennis since its inception and attended all of the Lobsters' home matches in the 1970s, says he's excited about joining in an “always exciting” atmosphere, providing the “highest level of tennis for our fans to enjoy,” as well as working with some of the world's top players.
“I am most looking forward to having an active role during the match,” he said. “Most tennis coaches sit in the player's box with no role other than presence.”
With just one league rookie in Sharon Fichman on the Lobsters' roster this season, Greene believes his team has the right mix that will prove successful.
“A balance of experience and young talent with a dose of good coaching has always been a good recipe for any professional sports franchise,” Greene said. “Our players have been in tight matches many times surrounded by distractions, and their experience will serve them well in the Mylan WTT arena.”
“Fichman has shown she can hang with the best players in the world and has excellent results on all surfaces,” he continued. “Rik de Voest plays his best tennis in a team environment, and Eric Butorac has proven to be one of the best individual doubles players in the world this year. Megan Moulton-Levy has one of the best net games in women's tennis and she will shore up our doubles as well.”
And as far as his marquee player John Isner is concerned?
“The fans sitting behind the baseline at his matches should bring a catcher's mitt and pay attention at all times,” Greene joked.
The Lobsters will take to the court under Greene's leadership for the first time on July 6, when they host the Texas Wild. While Greene doesn't have any specific goals for the Lobsters over the course of the season, he does have a specific strategy in regards to the team's approach to each and every match.
“The Lobsters will take a hard run at the King Trophy, but the way to get there will be to stay focused on the tennis, stay relaxed, try to play our best and have fun.”