For the sixth time, New Jersey native and former tennis phenom Justin Gimelstob hosted a tennis exhibition to raise money for a variety of children’s charities, including The Valerie Fund, a non-profit organization supporting healthcare services for children with cancer and blood disorders. This year’s event, held at Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, N.J., raised more than $300,000 and was a huge success.
Gimelstob, who is now a sports broadcaster and player representative on the ATP World Tour Board of Directors, was joined by former world number one and U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick, former world number four James Blake, current top American player John Isner; and former world number 33 and current ATP World Tour player and N.J. resident Alex Bogomolov. Also joining in the activities was Gimelstob’s friends and tennis enthusiasts, Golden Globe Award winner David Duchovny; internationally-acclaimed model Anne Vyalitsyna; New York Mets all-star pitcher Matt Harvey; former Villanova and New Jersey Nets basketball star Kerry Kittles; and Bobbi Brown, founder and CCO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics..
The players started by taking part in clinics for junior players at 4:00 p.m and then signing autographs for the kids afterwards.
Then it was time for the main exhibition where Roddick would team with Duchovny to face Isner & Blake (along with Gimelstob who was subbing in for Isner at the midway point of the pro-set) in doubles. Prior to taking the court for the exhibition portion of the night, the good-natured trash talk was already underway as Roddick said, “I look forward to expanding my undefeated record against Justin, as well as supporting The Valerie Fund!”
The first match was highly entertaining, and in the end, the trio of Isner, Blake & Gimelstob came out on top. The second match-up was a Roddick vs. Isner singles pro-set in which Roddick earned the win, showing he still “has it” even after retirement. The players and celebrities were all happy to be part of such an entertaining event that was for a great cause.
“When you have a friend like Justin, you will do whatever you can to help him,” said Blake. “For me, it means a lot to help out a hospital where children are treated because I have one young daughter and another on the way. It has much more of a special meaning now. I wouldn’t know how I would handle it if my daughter was sick seeing how much joy she brings to me.”
“It’s a good cause and it’s something Anne [Vyalitsyna] and I are very interested in,” said Harvey. “Any time there is a good cause around New York or something we can support, we go. Obviously, I am a huge sports fan so something like this event that involves sports and giving back is very important to me. It’s an honor to be able to come to events like these and help out. It is very important that you take a little bit of time as an athlete to give back.”
Continue Reading… (Long Island Tennis Magazine)