Jorge Lacerda da Rosa was born on August 27, 1966, in the city of Tubarão, Santa Catarina. He was named after his grandfather who was a State governor, Mr. Jorge Lacerda. He graduated in Law at the Federal University of Santa Catarina. After graduating, he worked as a Lawyer, as a Teacher of Tax Law at the University Unisul, and also, was in charge of the Association for Adoption Brazil and Spain (Bradopta).
Tennis has always been in his life as a player. But his carreer in sports really started when he was elected the President of Santa Catarina Tennis Federation, from 1999 to 2004, then all his following work were Tennis related. Director of the State Council of Sports in Santa Catarina, in the year 2001 to 2002, president of the Federation´s Association in Santa Catarina, from 2001 to 2002, vice-president of the Institute of Tennis, from June 2002 to November 2003 and later from November 2005 to 2006, was vice-president of COSAT - South American Tennis Federation, 2011-2012. He has been in the head of the Brazilian Tennis Association since December of 2004 and was re-elected to the month of March 2017.
He has made a major change in the Brazilian Tennis scenario. The finances and the structure of the Brazilian Tennis Association were totally ruined in 2004. Since then, his efforts were enormous to re-build, re-structure, and bring Tennis in Brazil to where it is now.
By Edward Rangsi
How do you expect the upcoming Olympics impact on Tennis in Brazil, as well as the country?
The interest of people for sport tends to increase significantly due to the Olympics and it is important to have a strong structure so we can make the most of this great opportunity, making the sport more popular and essentially keeping people in the sport after 2016.
Do you feel the need to try new innovative initiatives in the lead up to the Olympics?
We already have initiatives on this direction by supporting and training athletes from Junior to Professional levels, supporting their travelling, tournaments, creating programs to improve structure, and training centers.
The Brazilian economy is continuing to grow, how do you wish to use this?
It is important that we know how to use economic strength to bring major events that impact on those approaching the sport. The rise of Brazil economically has provided us the return of a WTA tournament, plus an ATP and WTA events as we will have in 2014, not to mention the big events with players who have never been to Brazil, such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. This helps us to make tennis more popular and more importantly, to use that opportunity to invest in the search for new talents, putting children in touch with the sport. All that training of coaches, trainers, and the training of elite athletes, is part of our aim, which is to bring the sport closer to the public. Having idols, such as Gustavo Kuerten, of course reaches more public and more intensely. That is our goal.
In such a soccer-mad country, how difficult is it to make Brazilians enthusiastic about tennis?
For a long time we considered tennis as an elite sport, while football was the sport of the masses. Today that has changed. We work to make tennis popular, bringing children and their parents to the sport, showing them how healthy and fun it is, they have some charismatic players to support, weekly tournaments, but of course the results influence the public. When Guga was number 1 in the world, we did not use that opportunity well, we should have used that moment to bring the sport closer to the public. Today we have all that work almost done, popular tennis and improved structures, but we do not have a large number of players amongst the best as we would like and once had.
With Brazilians traditionally strong on clay, I assume the country has adequate facilities for players to practice at this specific surface. But are there enough hard courts / grass courts, to help players develop?
We have mostly clay courts in Brazil. We do have hard courts in many of our clubs and training centers, after all, it is the kind of court that receives more tournaments worldwide and our players need to get used to playing on it at an earlier career stage. On grass there are very few tournaments held around the world, so we have a large number of that as well. It is a kind of court that requires more attention; it is expensive and ends up being less useful. Clay is the kind where children learn, it is much easier to get on clay and it is easier to adapt to the court faster than otherwise. That’s why we like it.