Thomas Emmrich is a tennis player from East Germany who won 48 German Democratic Republic (GDR) national titles and several Eastern Bloc national titles between 1970 and 1988. He was unbeaten for 17 years and often titled the “Boris Becker of East Germany”. Due to the restriction of the East German government and non-promotion of an “elite” sport, Emmrich was never allowed to compete in international competitions outside the Eastern Bloc. However, GDR functionaries overlooked a tournament in Sofia which became part of the ATP tour and Emmrich gained his first and only ATP points, making him the only GDR tennis player ever being ranked in the ATP. Tennis legends such as Martina Navratilova and Boris Becker have been quoted as describing Emmrich as a likely Top10 player in the 70’s had the government allowed it.
Despite the political barriers, Thomas Emmrich pursued his passion for tennis. After the German reunification in 1990, he proceeded to win several titles on the senior tour including German Champion, European Champion and runner-up in the Doubles World Championship.
Today, Thomas is the head pro at Germany’s third largest tennis club and enjoys coaching and sharing his wealth of knowledge in the sport.
Manuela was born into a family of tennis players and started playing tennis at age six. As an aspiring professional tennis player, Manuela trained with her father, Thomas Emmrich, but was derailed by a motorbike accident when she was 18 years old. After a lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation, Manuela returned to playing competitive tennis and earned a four-year scholarship to play college tennis in the US. In her junior year, she led her team as the team captain to win the NCAA National Championship in 2005.
Upon graduating Suma Cum Laude from Armstrong Atlantic State University with a Major in Health and Fitness Management and a Minor in Economics, she worked as an account manager for a private dental sales company. Three years later, Manuela decided to advance her business skills by pursuing a MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management, the #1 ranked international business school in the world. She graduated with her MBA in marketing and finance in April 2011 with honors.
Her brother, Martin Emmrich, is a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour with a career high doubles ranking of 35.