|Title:||Swensen-McMahon Head Coach of Women's Tennis|
|Hometown:||Great Falls, Va.|
|Previous College:||Vanderbilt '08 (B.A.), University of Chicago '12 (M.L.A.)|
Taka Bertrand was named the Swensen-McMahon Head Coach of Women’s Tennis at Yale in July of 2014. She joined the Bulldogs after spending two seasons as head coach at St. John's.
At St. John’s Bertrand led the Red Storm to an 8-3 mark in conference matches, and a 22-20 overall mark, over the past two seasons. The team also had a pair of All-Big East honorees. In her first season at the helm she led St. John’s to 11 wins, nearly doubling the team’s win total from the previous season (six). This past season the team earned its highest seed at the Big East tournament in 10 years (fourth) and advanced to the conference semifinals.
Prior to coaching at St. John’s, Bertrand served as the interim head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis programs at the University of Chicago. In 2012, she led the women’s team to the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship Finals for the first time in school history. The Maroons went 23-5 and finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country, the best national ranking in school history. They won their second University Athletic Association tournament championship, helping Bertrand and her staff earn recognition as the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year.
Bertrand was hired as an assistant coach at Chicago in February 2010, and helped lead the women's team to NCAA Division III Final Four appearances in 2010 and 2011. She also helped guide the men's squad to an appearance in the NCAA regional finals in 2011 and helped Kendra Higgins to the 2011 NCAA singles final and a No. 2 national ranking. The 2010 women’s squad also won the UAA conference championship, Chicago's first conference championship in women's tennis.
For her efforts at Chicago, Bertrand was named the ITA Division III Women's Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 and the ITA Division III Central Region Men's and Women's Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010.
Bertrand graduated from Vanderbilt in 2008 with the school record for singles wins (124). She was the 2004-05 SEC Freshman of the Year and the 2005-06 SEC Player of the Year, making her the only player in school history to receive both awards. She was an All-SEC selection in all four of her seasons (first team in 2006 and 2008, second team in 2007, second team in singles and doubles in 2005) and earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll three times. She was selected as the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Female Athlete of the Year for 2006.
Vanderbilt went 84-26 in Bertrand’s career, including a 20-6 mark when she captained the team in 2008. The team finished the season ranked in the top 16 nationally each year, advancing to the round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament four times. Bertrand also played individually in the NCAA singles tournament twice, advancing as far as the second round in 2006.
Bertrand played professionally on the WTA Tour for one year after graduating from Vanderbilt, rising as high as No. 602 in the world rankings in singles and No. 587 in doubles.
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Great Falls, Va., Bertrand holds a BA in economics from Vanderbilt and a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago.
Matej Zlatkovic, who hails from Slovenia, joined the Yale women's tennis team as its new assistant coach in the fall of 2014. Zlatkovic brings to Yale a strong record of tennis coaching experience at both the national and international level.
Zlatkovic is no stranger to the national collegiate tennis scene, as he served for three years, from 2011 to 2014, as an assistant coach for Illinois State's men's tennis team. His duties at Illinois State ranged from coordinating fitness and weight exercises with players to providing tactical advice during match play. In 2013, he also served as a traveling coach, tactical adviser and hitting partner for Polona Hercog, Slovenia's top-ranked professional women's tennis player who has been ranked as high as No. 35 in the world in singles and No. 56 in doubles.
Most recently, Zlatkovic served as a tennis instructor at Moussa Drame Tennis Club in Shelter Island, N.Y., where he has provided one-on-one instruction to tennis players every summer since 2010. Zlatkovic also worked as a tennis professional at Tennis Club As Litija and SG Tennis Company, both in Slovenia, where he instructed players of all ages and skill levels. In all, he joins the Bulldog squad with seven years of coaching experience.
In 2007 and 2008, Zlatkovic served as a hitting partner at the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Slovenian Open for top professional players, including former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo, Maria Kirilenko, Katarina Srebotnik and Marina Erakovic.
Zlatkovic is also a decorated tennis player in his own right, having played on the Illinois State men's team. He served as team captain at Illinois State from 2010 to 2011, and received Missouri Valley All Conference recognition in 2009 and 2010 in singles and doubles.
Zlatkovic has also participated in professional men's tennis Futures tournaments through the International Tennis Federation (ITF). He attained a career high world ranking of No. 1,371 in doubles. As a junior player in Slovenia, he won the country's national tournament in 2005 and was consistently ranked among the top five in the nation, reaching a high of No. 2. He also represented Slovenia at several European Championships and once competed against future professional men's tennis star Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion.
Zlatkovic holds a degree in marketing sales from Illinois State's College of Business.