Former Carmel High School tennis star Rajeev Ram will take on his friend and fellow top-100 pro Brian Baker on Saturday night. Both Rajeev and Brian have had amazing seasons. Rajeev made the doubles quarterfinals at Wimbledon, and Brian reached the fourth round in the singles draw. The two have been friends since they played doubles together in junior tournaments. They were junior doubles finalists at Wimbledon in 2002.
Instructors from local tennis clubs and champion junior players, including Indianapolis' own Brooke Austin, who's currently ranked No. 1 in the country in the Girls' 18 division, will join Brian and Rajeev for doubles matches. Then, Brian and Rajeev will play a singles match. The tennis will finish around 7 p.m. and a meet-and-greet with the pros will follow. Live and silent auctions will offer an array of tennis memorabilia, including a tennis racket signed by Rafael Nadal and a hat signed by Roger Federer.
Proceeds will benefit the Hamilton County Community Tennis Association's college scholarship, tennis and reading programs. HCCTA has awarded more than $45,000 in college scholarships and donated more than 21,000 books about athletes who also are exemplary citizens to schools, libraries and hospitals in Indianapolis and across the country. HCCTA's "Champion Citizens" book series, which tells the stories of athletes like Arthur Ashe and George Taliaferro, was included in the Super Baskets of Hope earlier this year.
"I'm extremely excited for EntouRAJ 2012," Rajeev Ram said. "Bringing in Brian Baker, who is my oldest friend on tour, along with great local talent will make this year extra special. I hope that we have a great turnout and are able to raise a lot of money for our education and sports programs."
EntouRAJ for Kids, sponsored by The Glick Family Foundation, has attracted hundreds of sports fans from across the state and the Midwest since it began in 2010.
In addition to supporting a great cause, this event brings professional tennis back to Indianapolis. The city lost its only professional tennis tournament in 2009. Items from the tournament, The RCA/Indianapolis Tennis Championships, will be part of the event's auction. This is the first time posters and other items from the tournament will be available for the public to purchase.
What: EntouRAJ for Kids, a charity tennis event featuring Carmel-based tennis pro Rajeev Ram and fellow top-100 pro, Brian Baker. Proceeds benefit the Hamilton County Community Tennis Association.
When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Five Seasons Sports Club, 1300 E. 96th St., Indianapolis.
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for children 18 and under in advance. $25 for adults, $15 for children at the door. Tickets are available at entourajforkids2012.eventbrite.com. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.