Earlier this month, Wall Street’s tennis community held an annual fundraiser tournament for the R Baby Foundation— a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to saving babies lives through improving pediatric emergency care.
This year’s event raised over $US300,000. The tournament was founded by Wexford Capital’s Jason Pinksy and it’s co-hosted by Jeffrey Appel, affectionately known as “the Mayor of New York tennis.”
Wall Street’s tennis players have formed a tight knit community. On Sunday mornings, you can probably find Bill Ackman of Pershing Square, Appel, other finance folks, and top former professional/college players on the Randall’s Island courts. They frequently play in charity tournaments, and in the last five years, they have raised upwards of $US1 million for R Baby.
Appel and his partner, Dan Cochrane, were victorious in this year’s R Baby Tournament.
A big thank you to photographer Jon Nissenbaum, who was kind enough to share some of his photos of the event with us. We’ve included highlights from the tournament in the slides that follow.
Bader's partner Peter Aarts smashes an overhead. He played No. 2 at Michigan and now works at a real estate company.
Jimmy Wasserman, who will be playing for Princeton next year, gets ready to hit a backhand. He played with Kevin Magid, a managing director at Audax Senior Debt.
Jeffrey Appel, also known as 'the mayor' of New York tennis, played with Dan Cochrane. They only had their serve broken once all day in the round robin. They won 43 of the 55 games they played.
Jason Pinsky, the chairman of the R Baby Tennis Tournament, played with his usual partner, Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman. Pinsky works for Wexford Capital in Connecticut. He was one of the top ranked juniors in the US.
CNN president Jeff Zucker hits a forehand. Zucker was kind enough to bet $1,000 on every team other than him own raising $19,000 the day of the event.
Ryan Thatcher played No. 1 at Stanford. He was a 3-time runner-up at the USTA National Championships (Kalamazoo). He'll be attending med school at Columbia in the fall. His partner was James Majeski, a philanthropist.
Brian O'Connor won the tournament three years ago. He works for boutique insurance/estate planning firm, American Business.
The CEO/president of Ellington Financial Larry Penn played with Jon Pastel. Last year, Penn won the tournament with Stephen Bass.
Jon Pastel, who works Wexford Capital, was the first player from Davidson College to play in the NCAA tournament.
Georgy Chukhleb, a former tour player and Bryan Brothers hitting partner, gets ready to hit a forehand.
Scott Oudesema, who works at Guggenheim Partners, was ranked No. 255 in the world for singles, made it to the quarter finals.
Dax Vlassis, the director of event-driven research at Gates Capital Management, played college tennis at Rollins. He's also an Ironman.
It looked like a typical Sunday morning Randall's Island game with Appel/Cochrane versus Ackman/Pinsky. The big serving pair of Appel/Cochrane beat Ackman/Pinsky 6-3.
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