UBITENNIS EXCLUSIVE: Jamie Cerretani Interview
An exclusive interview with American doubles specialist Jamie Cerretani about playing with Leander Paes, parody in doubles, and doubles scoring.
You’re playing with Leander Paes this week, how did that partnership happen?
We were both playing Australia, and after we both lost it was a situation where we were both looking for a partner this week, we were unsure if we were going to play, because if you’re winning in Australia, you’re not playing here. It’s actually a common thing at the tour, that for the tournaments during the second week of a slam will evolve from that situation.
He beat you twice last year, do you remember those matches?
Yeah, I actually think it might have been three or four times during the past couple of years. I know Leander very well. I know his game style and what to expect of him. I think he knows my game as well. He is a really phenomenal player, and obviously a legend on tour. Doubles for sure, singles too, back in his singles days. When we got the opportunity to play together, I was very pumped for it.
What made you decide to become a doubles specialist?
When I was playing singles, I was winning most of the doubles tournaments, so it was kind of easier to continue just focusing on doubles.
Last year you had a match at the ATP 500 in Washington D.C. against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, which ended 19-17 in the deciding tiebreak. How did you feel playing against the top doubles players?
I would say there is a lot of parody in doubles. You play against the guys in Challengers, you play against guys who are higher ranked and you find that the level is very similar. It’s just a matter of opportunities. I have a lot of respect for every player on tour, ranking from 1 all the way down to 1000. The reason that those guys are ranked high is because they have been able to maintain a solid team and a solid level of consistency within their team. I mean that for both singles and doubles players. That’s something that I respect about these guys and I look to create that atmosphere myself.
What do you think about doubles matches being decided by a match tiebreak as opposed to a third set?
Some guys might say they like it a lot, some guys might not like it. I think it’s interesting, a unique scoring system. Some fans might like it. Some players might think it’s kind of a coin flip, which I would say that there is some accuracy to that. Personally, I would push to have a full third set if I would be asked. I don’t mind the system, people are used to it now, but I know that there is still talk of changing. I think that a full third set with no-ad, so the play keeps on moving and you won’t have an hour-long set, it’s always going to be roughly 30 minutes, so it keeps on moving smoothly. I think it gives, maybe, more credibility to the third set which is always a good thing.
You’re 36 years old, have you thought about life after your career?
No I haven’t. I just focus on the present and that’s how I live my life.
What are your goals for 2018?
Honestly, my goals are to continue evolving as a player on the court and has a human being off the court.