Current ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) competitors and former Brown tennis teammates Jamie Cerretani ’04 (right) and Adil Shamasdin ’05 (left) put together the World Class Tennis charity event for this Sunday, Dec. 11, at 5 pm at Agawam Hunt in East Providence. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Brown men’s tennis program and the charity, Tenacity.
Here’s our email Q&A with Cerretani (who has won three ATP doubles titles and was a 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist) about the event:
Herald: How have you been doing on the ATP World Tour? How did Brown help prepare you for your pro life?
Cerretani: Life on the ATP World Tour has been great thus far. I am really enjoying the experience of traveling the world and competing in the sport that I love so much. In many ways, developing my tennis career has been a constant learning process, so my challenging academic experience at Brown prepared me well for many of the challenges that I face on tour.
What inspired you to create the World Class Tennis charity event, and what are you hoping to get out of it?
We are excited to be having the World Class Tennis Charity event next Sunday. I, along with fellow colleague and ex-Brown teammate, Adil Shamasdin, feel that we have a responsibility to continue to give back to the program that helped build our platform for success on the ATP Tour. Brown Men’s Tennis has been a great program for a long time now, and we would like to see that trend continue into the future. We have also worked with Tenacity, an inner city youth tennis and education program, so we feel that this event is a great way to help these two causes. And of course, we are excited to bring great tennis to the Providence area. This never happens in this city, so we are thrilled to be reuniting old friends and alumni and offering some entertaining tennis and fun for the fans!!
How did you get involved with Tenacity? What exactly does Tenacity do?
I first worked with Tenacity in 2009, and helped them raise money through Athlete’s for Hope, a charitable organization that helps pro athletes connect with local charities in their area. This a fantastic program that the ATP offers its players, so they helped me facilitate the relationship with Tenacity. In addition to raising funds for Tenacity, I have spent afternoons visiting local schools, hanging out and playing tennis with the kids. They have school programs all over Boston that combine tennis and education, which has fostered a 95% high school graduation rate! They have recently branched out to the Worcester, MA area, so my vision is that perhaps one day, we can expand this program to the Providence area as well.
Have you been working with the current members of the Brown men’s tennis team for this event, and in what capacity? What will the increased funds raised from the event help the men’s tennis team with?
The amount of support I have had to help create this event has been awesome. There is a lot of work involved, and there is no way I could do it all myself. Brown Men’s Tennis Coach, Dave Schwarz, has been on board helping to facilitate and brainstorm many of the details for our event. I have known Coach Schwarz for about 10 years now, so he has been very easy to work with, the perfect point of contact. The additional funds raised for the program will help pay for team travel costs and recruiting future players for the program.
Are you hoping to make this an annual event? Will you continue working with Tenacity and the Brown men’s tennis team throughout the year?
This is a first time event for us, so we are learning a lot through this whole process. This past Saturday, Adil and I both took part in the John Isner’s Charity Event in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event was a great success, and so we learned some ideas for how to improve our event. The venue at the Agawam Hunt in East Providence is beautiful, yet intimate. And so we are starting on a small scale, and with the support of fans and sponsors, aim to potentially build on this project moving forward into the future.
If you want to see some awesome pro tennis right here in good ‘ole Providence before your finals start to kill you, get your tickets now! Call Sedge Gray at Agawam Hunt (401) 434 2743 for details.