"To be a real tennis player, you have to play USTA tournaments and lots of them," Ricker said. "There's no getting around it. That's how it's done. That'd be like a 10-year-old signing up for AYSO soccer and saying, 'All I want to do is practice. I don't want to play on the weekends.'
"Everything that Roger Federer does in tennis is to prepare himself to play tournaments … I think it'd be great for our town if we have a place that really motivates the kids to maximize their potential."
That's what the Dents have in mind.
Naomi Bharath, a Tesoro High sophomore who has been coached by Phil Dent for about 18 months, will be quick to sign up.
"A lot of the people I know who do tournaments are looking forward to it," Bharath said. "I'm definitely excited about it. I've learned more from [Phil] than from any other coach. He's just really good at communicating."
Taylor Dent said he knows that, at least for now, his academy won't have a chaperone service like the famous IMG Bollettieri Academy in Florida, or an on-site school.
Still, he's thinking big.
"We want this to be the tennis player's mecca," he said. "Right now, our goal is to make this the West Coast academy to go to."
For more information, call (949) 721-8819 or visit http://www.denttennisacademy.com.