Taka Bertrand enters her second season at St. John's with momentum after a very successful first season at the helm of the Red Storm women's tennis program.
Last season, Bertrand's squad jumped out to a 4-2 start including victories over BIG EAST rival Georgetown and local foe Fordham at the National Tennis Center. The Red Storm concluded the season on a three-match winning streak that featured road wins over conference opponents Providence and Seton Hall. Bertrand's first season also saw senior Nevena Selakovic finish her stellar St. John's career on the BIG EAST All-Conference Team.
Prior to arriving in Queens, Bertrand was seen roaming the sidelines as the interim head coach of both the men's and women's tennis programs at the University of Chicago. In 2012, Bertrand led the women's squad to its second University Athletic Association Conference Tournament Championship in school history, its first NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship Finals and its highest national ranking in school history where they finished the season ranked No. 2 in Division III. Bertrand and her staff were awarded for their superb season when they were named the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year.
As an assistant coach for both the men's and women's teams at Chicago, Bertrand helped lead the Maroons women's squad to back-to-back NCAA Division III Final Four appearances during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Following the 2011 campaign, Bertrand was named the ITA Division III National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year. On top of the Final Four appearance, the 2010 squad also won the UAA Conference Championship, Chicago's first conference championship in women's tennis. Bertrand was awarded the ITA Division III Central Region Men's and Women's Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010.
Under the tutelage of head coach Marty Perry and Bertrand, Kendra Higgins advanced to the 2011 NCAA Singles Finals and finished as the second ranked singles player in Division III.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Bertrand was a collegiate standout at Vanderbilt University. In addition to owning the most singles victories in the history of Vanderbilt women's tennis(124), she was the 2004-05 SEC Freshman of the Year and the 2005-06 SEC Player of the Year, the only Commodore to receive both distinctions. Along with being a four-time All-SEC selection, Bertrand was honored as the 2007 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame `Amateur Female Athlete of the Year.' During her four years as a starter, including her senior year as a captain, the Commodores were nationally ranked in the top 15.
Bertrand went on to play tennis professionally after graduating and was ranked in both the WTA's singles and doubles rankings at No. 602 and No. 587 respectively. In singles, she was a finalist at two $10,000 ITF events held in Mexico City and Queretaro, Mex. Bertrand was was also a two-time finalist in two $10,000 ITF events in doubles in Baltimore, Md. and Cleveland, Ohio. In the summer of 2013, Bertrand, along with North Central College alum Sam Sweeney, won the USTA Eastern Sectional Mixed Doubles Qualifying Tournament. The title advanced them to U.S. Open Mixed Doubles Qualifier in New Haven, Conn. where they competed for a spot in the mixed doubles main draw at the U.S. Open.
On the amateur level, Bertrand was ranked No. 9 in the USTA 18 and under rankings, No. #147 in the ITF World rankings and competed in the Junior U.S. Open.
Bertrand holds a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago.