NEW YORK -- Jacob Cersosimo is at the center of the tennis world.
The Mitchell High School graduate is currently working as a tennis escort at the U.S. Open, which is just another major sporting event for the aspiring journalist.
He covered Super Bowl LII media week in Minneapolis, interned with FOX Sports North, covered Division I hockey at St. Cloud State University and has been credentialed at all four major sports.
But those all pale in comparison to his current experience.
“It’s mind blowing. It’s incredible. It’s unbelievable,” Cersosimo said. “It is the largest tennis tournament in the world. I have to believe that tennis is the second, most global sport behind soccer and to have the entire world in one place and all eyes here with ESPN covering it, is mind blowing.”
And it’s just the beginning. The U.S. Open qualifying matches conclude this week, the main draw starts on Monday and it all finishes on Sept. 8.
“It's the experience of a lifetime,” Cersosimo said. “It’s going to be one of the most special months of my life. The mecca of entertainment, which is New York City at the mecca of all tennis. For anybody that loves tennis knows how special this place is. It’s truly unbelievable that I am here.”
Cersosimo landed the job after his father, John, nudged him to apply after seeing a Facebook post looking for help in the player relations department. He’s been in New York since Aug. 13.
A former Kernel and St. Cloud State University tennis player, Cersosimo works with a group of other escorts and the main duties are to take players to their matches at one of the 17 courts.
“It's a pretty simple concept,” Cersosimo said. “But it’s mostly just to keep the players safe and make sure that the players get to where they need to be in a safe manner. They are getting ready for a big match. This is their job. This is how they make money. So pretty much my job and my team’s job is to make sure that they don’t get hurt on the way there.”
Along with the qualifying matches, it’s currently U.S. Open Fan Week and Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is today. The big names -- Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams -- are already on site practicing.
“We are already escorting some of the big names and it's a lot of fun,” Cersosimo said. “The No. 1 priority is the players and as cool as it is to escort these players or be around these players, they are someone we need to keep safe and that’s our No. 1 priority and that’s kind of what we are doing this week to really get ready for next week when their matches start.”
Cersosimo said being around the superstars sheds a different light than how they are portrayed on TV.
“It really shows how human they are and how incredible they are at their craft and how special they are and how special it is to be around them,” he said. “But at the same time, they are super nice and they are super humble.”
He’s not only being exposed to tennis stars, but also to thousands of different people from all over the globe.
“It attracts people of so many diverse backgrounds,” he said. “That's just more things to get exposed to as a person and I think the more diversity and the backgrounds I get exposed to -- and people get exposed to in the sport of tennis -- the better off they are going to be. Because it really exposes you to outside of the United States and I think that’s something special to be a part of.”
Cersosimo, 23, is a recent graduate of St. Cloud State University. He majored in broadcast journalism and minored in sports management.