"We are the largest youth tennis and education nonprofit in the nation. That's our daily work. Now the NYJTL Bronx Open is the ultimate aspirational event for our kids."
This week's TENNIS.com Podcast episode features NYJTL Bronx Open tournament director Joe Ceriello, alongside podcast co-hosts Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi.
Across a 20-year career in tennis, Ceriello has risen from tournament volunteer to tournament director. He explains the ins and outs of organizing a tournament from scratch as pro tennis returns to the Bronx for the first time since 2012. One of the highest-profile tasks is player recruitment and this year's field is Top-50 strong with the likes of Wang Qiang, Barbora Strycova, Andrea Petkovic, CoCo Vandeweghe, Kristie Ahn and Alexandra Sasnovich.
The NYJTL Bronx Open runs August 16-24 at the new Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning in Crotona Park (entry is free). New York Junior Tennis and Learning (NYJTL) is the largest grassroots nonprofit in the U.S. for youth tennis and education with a reach of over 10,000 children in all five boroughs.
Ceriello shares his story on how he went from being a volunteer at the Italian Open in Rome, to a ticket sales employee at the US Open, to an events project coordinator for the USTA. to the Chief Marketing Coordinator at the NYJTL and now, a tournament director of a WTA International event.
Supported by a staff that includes former doubles world No. 1 Liezel Huber and former NYJTL player and WTA pro Asha Rolle, Ceriello's team is looking to do more than just host a pro tournament. A lot of their efforts go into engaging with local children and helping them find a passion for tennis and education.