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View Full Version : Before you think of going pro. FINANCIALLY


Bjorn99
06-02-2007, 10:13 AM
Again, I hate to sound like Brad Gilberts younger brother here, but this is just plain ugly. Paul Mathieu, a guy I like, and who I think is a pretty fair tennis player, IS NUMBER 40 in the world.

Do you know what he is making at the half way point of the year? 200US!!!!!!!!

After expenses, that is what? 50K? What with flying, coaches, massage, food, taxes etc...?

That is so ridiculous. Tennis has gone back to the dark ages.

What does the 40th best athlete in most other pro sports make? Ten times, twenty times this? And tennis is fairly big. Something is wrong here.

Andres
06-02-2007, 10:18 AM
If he would play better on slams and Master Series, instead of a win in Casablanca, a SF in Estoril and a QF in Sydney, he'll be having much more money by now.

Nadal won 2 million dollars already.

Chela is #21 and has already won almost 600K.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
06-02-2007, 10:21 AM
Again, I hate to sound like Brad Gilberts younger brother here, but this is just plain ugly. Paul Mathieu, a guy I like, and who I think is a pretty fair tennis player, IS NUMBER 40 in the world.

Do you know what he is making at the half way point of the year? 200US!!!!!!!!

After expenses, that is what? 50K? What with flying, coaches, massage, food, taxes etc...?

That is so ridiculous. Tennis has gone back to the dark ages.

What does the 40th best athlete in most other pro sports make? Ten times, twenty times this? And tennis is fairly big. Something is wrong here.


What you have to put into the equation also is the Sponsor money that they receive, even the lower ranked players.

Andres
06-02-2007, 10:22 AM
What you have to put into the equation also is the Sponsor money that some they receive, even the low ranked players.
Which, in most cases, in twice or three times the prize money.
Racquet sponsors, clothing sponsors, shoes sponsors.

The Top100 makes a good living.

splink779
06-02-2007, 10:28 AM
He's made $209 THOUSAND so far this year. Why are you complaining? I'm sure he's not.

jmsx521
06-02-2007, 10:28 AM
I'd be happy even if I was 1000 in the world; it's the achievement of being able to play high end tennis and the achievement of having some success after playing tennis for so many years. If a junior tennis players wants to achieve pro tennis level so she/he can be loaded with $$$, then their chances are pretty low, but if they want to achieve pro tennis level for the accomplishment of competing at pro tennis level, then that's better I think. As per Forbes magazine, success = money... not per my view though!

FitzRoy
06-02-2007, 10:31 AM
Which, in most cases, in twice or three times the prize money.
Racquet sponsors, clothing sponsors, shoes sponsors.

The Top100 makes a good living.

But Andres, look at the bare-bones minimum salary for a first-year NBA player: it's at least $300,000. And there's about 400 players in the NBA, most of whom make a good deal more than that. You have to get well into the top 100 to find players making $300,000+.

I don't think there's any question that tennis pays less than most other top sports. It's much much less than golf, the other major individual sport.

Andres
06-02-2007, 10:33 AM
But Andres, look at the bare-bones minimum salary for a first-year NBA player: it's at least $300,000. And there's about 400 players in the NBA, most of whom make a good deal more than that. You have to get well into the top 100 to find players making $300,000+.

I don't think there's any question that tennis pays less than most other top sports. It's much much less than golf, the other major individual sport.
No one is arguing that. No one even said a word about other sports.
A Top100 makes a good living. 300,000+ or not.

And look at the Top100 by the end of the year, and add the sponsor money. probably, most of them are around 300,000 or more.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
06-02-2007, 10:41 AM
No one is arguing that. No one even said a word about other sports.
A Top100 makes a good living. 300,000+ or not.

And look at the Top100 by the end of the year, and add the sponsor money. probably, most of them are around 300,000 or more.

With that being said, if these players are not happy with what they are making, I think before they decided to do this for a living they understood they would have to WIN to make money.

I don't feel sorry for these guys, and I bet most of these players reside in Monaco.

Max G.
06-02-2007, 10:50 AM
With that being said, if these players are not happy with what they are making, I think before they decided to do this for a living they understood they would have to WIN to make money.


And they do. We're talking about top 50 players here - you have to do a good amount of winning to get to there.

Fee
06-02-2007, 10:54 AM
You are all forgetting about appearance fees, which are not reported as winnings. Almost all of the Top 50 players get them at least once or twice per year, even if it's just 2 or 3 thousand. PHM is doing well enough, I don't think he needs our sympathy.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
06-02-2007, 10:59 AM
And they do. We're talking about top 50 players here - you have to do a good amount of winning to get to there.

Then money should not be a problem, and I don't think they are complaining.

Tennis_Nickmo
06-02-2007, 11:12 AM
He always seems to return to make inane posts, surprised he hasn't returned to mention his "prodigies". I'm sure PHM, and all other pro's in the top 100, let alone 50, are earning more than sufficient amounts, and personally, if I had a job that paid a bit more, I'd trade it for a tennis career, allowing me to play the sport I love, and travel round the world, for a bit less cash.

Richie Rich
06-02-2007, 11:25 AM
a lot of these guys in the top 100 also get travel subsidies and free coaches from their tennis federation. but still, after tax, expenses, etc a lot of guys don't earn too much

also, don't challengers give the players free hotel rooms?

Heavy Metal Tennis Star
06-02-2007, 11:36 AM
im pretty sure players get free hotel rooms, unless if ur qualifiying.

Fee
06-02-2007, 11:36 AM
No, only the challengers that have an 'H' in the prize money give hotel rooms (as in "$50K + H"). I know that most of the challengers and futures in the US try to offer housing for the players, but that could mean sleeping on a couch or the top bunk of the bed in the room with someone's 8 year old son.

im pretty sure players get free hotel rooms, unless if ur qualifiying.

ATP tour events give hotel rooms to main draw singles and doubles players for a minimum of four days, according to the ATP rulebook (if I read that correctly).

Kobble
06-02-2007, 11:38 AM
A player I went to HS with was making $68,000 in the NFL. He gets to bonuses. That isn't worth it.

Zaragoza
06-02-2007, 11:42 AM
Mathieu was injured for a long time after the AO so it´s not a good example of how much a good pro could earn in the first half of the season.

Golden Retriever
06-02-2007, 12:22 PM
They get paid for playing a game, what more can you possibly ask for? After retirement they can probably earn 6 figures easily by becoming a coach. Meanwhile, some lawyers from schools ranked below 100 are earning less than MacDonald's hourly rate.

armand
06-02-2007, 12:32 PM
Tennis players also have a shorter career than other athletes. Except for gymnasts or wherever you have to be 14 to compete.

Mr. Blond
06-02-2007, 12:35 PM
I know for some 200k doesn't sound like much, but golden retriever said it right...he is playing a game for a living. Sure sports like basketball and football make astronomically alot more money, but look at those sports. Tennis is a gentlemans sport in which perserverance and skill are respected. That is not to say that other sports don't have that, but I know you will never see a tennis match where the "all me" showboating takes over the game. Another thing you will never see is a player disrespecting fans like the NBA players. When was the last time you heard of a top 100 tennis player being arrested for carrying some weapon, or abusing his wife.

I think as a sport tennis is in a great place, and as soon as the payers of tennis start quarreling over the amount of money they make, it will cheapen the sport.

At the end of the day, 200k is in the top 25 percent of the population's per captia earning, and this person is traveling the world staying at 5 star resorts and being treated with respect in all of these places. I don't think it is such a bum deal.

NoBadMojo
06-02-2007, 12:38 PM
i dont think players outside of the top50 in the world or so do all that well. they likely dont get paid sponsorships..they only get free gear and while they may get the racquets for free, they pay <out of their own pocket> to have them sent off to bosworth (for example) to get them modified and matched. i have first hand knowledge of this. . while they may get their lodging for free, they still have to pay airfares for themselves, their coach, their trainer, plus whatever they pay their coach and trainer, other travel expenses, etc etc. life on the road is very expensive, and if you lose in the first round in most events you dont come close to recovering your costs.....and lots of top100 players lose in the first round as you can be a top100 player or even perhaps a top50, and have a losing record

Richie Rich
06-02-2007, 12:48 PM
i dont think players outside of the top50 in the world or so do all that well. they likely dont get paid sponsorships..they only get free gear and while they may get the racquets for free, they pay <out of their own pocket> to have them sent off to bosworth (for example) to get them modified and matched. i have first hand knowledge of this. . while they may get their lodging for free, they still have to pay airfares for themselves, their coach, their trainer, plus whatever they pay their coach and trainer, other travel expenses, etc etc. life on the road is very expensive, and if you lose in the first round in most events you dont come close to recovering your costs.....and lots of top100 players lose in the first round as you can be a top100 player or even perhaps a top50, and have a losing record

good points. ever looked at a challenger tournament? first round loser usually gets $500. try and find airfare to butsville louisiana - bet it costs you more than the prize money just to get there!

add that they have to pay to get their racquets strung at some tournaments. might not sound like a big deal but it's 10-15 a frame and some of these guys string 4 racquets every day.

some tourny's string for free but most charge.

guernica1
06-02-2007, 01:09 PM
A player I went to HS with was making $68,000 in the NFL. He gets to bonuses. That isn't worth it.

68K is for practice squad but active roster is much much more.

Anyways at tour level tourneys, at least the Houston one where I got to hang out back stage one year, they had food prepared by chefs they could eat. Of course the wealthier ones liked to go out a lot but that's true of any sport. I also think they get things like massage covered at the tourney.

35ft6
06-02-2007, 01:36 PM
Again, I hate to sound like Brad Gilberts younger brother here, but this is just plain ugly. Paul Mathieu, a guy I like, and who I think is a pretty fair tennis player, IS NUMBER 40 in the world.

Do you know what he is making at the half way point of the year? 200US!!!!!!!! I agree. It's the free market at work, but it seems strange to me that these guys basically will have to find another job after they retire unless they invest very wisely and can manage to live middle class for the rest of their life.

35ft6
06-02-2007, 01:43 PM
IAt the end of the day, 200k is in the top 25 percent of the population's per captia earning, and this person is traveling the world staying at 5 star resorts and being treated with respect in all of these places. I don't think it is such a bum deal.Most aren't staying at 5 star hotels. Most pros aren't living posh. Only the true superstars of the sport are living the kind of lives people perhaps wrongly associate with all pro athletes.

Matheiu is basically making about league minimum for an NBA rookie, but the NBA rookie has travel, hotel, food, coaching, and everything related to basketball paid for. The salary is just gravy. Not sure how much endorsement dollars Matheiu gets, but I'd be surprised if all of it totaled up to more than very low six-figures. If the coach and training is still partly or fully funded by the French tennis federation, that eases the burden a bit.

But if nothing else, he doesn't have to worry about bills, and he's doing something he likes and gets to travel VIP stylez to great places. Still, I'm still amazed by how little he makes, maybe because I know lowly people in the entertainment biz who make just as much.

Fee
06-02-2007, 01:45 PM
Why doesn't PHM have to worry about bills? He still has to have a place to live on those rare occasions he actually makes it home for a few days (or do you know that he lives at home with his parents?).

35ft6
06-02-2007, 04:32 PM
Why doesn't PHM have to worry about bills? I didn't mean he doesn't have to worry about bills as if he doesn't have any, I'm talking about he doesn't have to worry about having money to pay them.

Your interpretation is strange. When people say "I'm worried about bills" they're not saying that because some people don't have to pay bills at all, they're talking about having enough money to pay their bills.

I guess the assumption part is maybe he's got huge bills for some reason. Like he's been using his credit cards a lot and he's got 50 cars for some reason.

mileslong
06-02-2007, 04:45 PM
pro tennis is a lot like pro golf, while the top guys get great deals with the big name companies, that great money goes down in a hurry once you start getting out of the top 20 or so. many guys on the pro golf tour travel in mini vans to save money and stay in motels along with their caddy. some bring their whole families on the road with them while they are trying to make it instead of having a mortgage.

these tennis players all dont get free 5 star hotel rooms etc. thats a misconception. like golfers who have to pay caddys and coaches etc, these tennis guys also pay coaches and trainers and expenses and after take out taxes that doesnt net out that much except for the top guys.

there was a great series on the tennis channel called "the journeymen", it was filmed by two guys on the atp tour who were trying to make it and how hard it is not only to get to the top but just to pay the rent. here is an excerpt and a link to an article on it i think its a must for any tennis fan

The film opens with footage of a young Keil beating an even-younger Sampras on grass in 1991 at the Queen’s Club, a Wimbledon warm-up tournament. If you’re vaguely familiar with the career of the hard-living Keil, you wonder if this is some sort of Hollywood trickery, superimposing Keil's head on maybe Boris Becker's body, showing him out-hitting the greatest grasscourt player ever. Pete was nary six months removed from his first slam title the year before at the US Open, firmly established in the Top 10, and the win framed the young Keil as an up-and-coming American.

Fast forward to approximately eight years later, and a shot of the shirtless Keil driving to a tournament with a beer in hand, and you get a picture of a player who has settled for a career as a doubles specialist, now simply trying to hang on and pay the rent.

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2004-03-06/c.php

Fee
06-02-2007, 04:53 PM
I didn't mean he doesn't have to worry about bills as if he doesn't have any, I'm talking about he doesn't have to worry about having money to pay them.

Your interpretation is strange. When people say "I'm worried about bills" they're not saying that because some people don't have to pay bills at all, they're talking about having enough money to pay their bills.

I guess the assumption part is maybe he's got huge bills for some reason. Like he's been using his credit cards a lot and he's got 50 cars for some reason.


It wasn't strange. You said 'he doesn't have to worry about bills' not 'he doesn't have to worry about paying his bills'. I thought you were saying he didn't have any bills to pay. Doesn't seem like such a leap.

Bjorn99
06-02-2007, 05:16 PM
The seven year old I am coaching is friends ( they hold hands and NOTHING ELSE) with a girl whose uncles are pro athletes making 4 million and 750k a year, and BOTH are basically broke. It is just so sad the way these athletes get screwed.

To think that Mathieu is making so little is really making me change the way I am coaching my guys. I am emphasizing FUN much, much more now. Both my kids probably could go pro in any sport you care to mention, but we all know that tennis is probably the most fun/danger ratio sport out there.

Hitting a ball 100 mph time and time again, almost feels illegal, it is so fun.

And lets face it, there are soooooo many excellent tennis players.

Bjorn99
06-02-2007, 05:18 PM
BTW, I appreciate the lack of bashing on this post. I am just a little disappointed that all the sacrifice these kids make results in so few dollars. And these guys work their cranks off. But, at the same time, they aren't getting tackled or getting a baseball thrown at their head.

FitzRoy
06-02-2007, 05:24 PM
No one is arguing that. No one even said a word about other sports.
A Top100 makes a good living. 300,000+ or not.

Read the original post, Guazzelli. He asked how it compares to other pro sports.

On the other hand, I never said Top100 didn't make a good living.

I'm just saying that tennis players seem to make less than other top athletes, which the OP asked in his post. Fed set a tennis record by making over 8 million in prize money last year, and I recall reading that he topped 20 million including endorsements. I'll take Kobe's 17mil + whatever he gets on his shoe deals, commercials, etc., considering his contract is guaranteed for the next two years, and Roger could tear his rotator cuff and make -zero- in prize money for the rest of the year. ;)

And the drop is significant after Fed. How about in the NBA? Well, a good example would be Paul Pierce and the guarunteed 16 mil his contract pays next year.

Fedexeon
06-02-2007, 07:26 PM
He just won himself €39,400 for getting into 3rd round of French Open. Enough for another few months huh?

Maybe the condition will get better after the 2009 ATP reform. ATP just don't get enough $$ from the TV contract now. They need to have all their big tournaments shown in TV.

vince916
06-02-2007, 08:38 PM
You cant compare it to other sports when the NBA and NFL has a huge viewer base and large number of endorsements/merchandise/advertisements.

Its like the WNBA player's complaining that they werent getting paid enough vs their NBA counterparts. The WNBA teams arent making enough to pay out those huge contracts.

callitout
06-03-2007, 05:10 AM
Fed's Dad says in the television profile of Roger that he was most concerned about Roger's early decision to go pro because #150 in the world doesnt make a decent living playing tennis.
Im sure costs of paying for coaching, travel, and stringing far outweigh the miniscule endorsements and nonexistant appearance fees for guys outside top 100.
Yeah, absolutely for the top 30 its a whole different world.

BounceHitBounceHit
06-03-2007, 06:28 AM
Again, I hate to sound like Brad Gilberts younger brother here, but this is just plain ugly. Paul Mathieu, a guy I like, and who I think is a pretty fair tennis player, IS NUMBER 40 in the world.

Do you know what he is making at the half way point of the year? 200US!!!!!!!!

After expenses, that is what? 50K? What with flying, coaches, massage, food, taxes etc...?

That is so ridiculous. Tennis has gone back to the dark ages.

What does the 40th best athlete in most other pro sports make? Ten times, twenty times this? And tennis is fairly big. Something is wrong here.

Your point is well taken. What does the 40th best NBA or NFL player make? Try 500 times that. ;) CC

Mikael
06-03-2007, 07:35 AM
The big problem isn't with the top 100, it's with the top 500 or so. It's really unfair that those guys can barely make ends meet considering tennis is such a popular sport, and considering they're still at the very top of the game (as someone else said the top 500 in a sport like soccer or basketball are celebrities and making millions...) That's what the ATP and local tournaments should do: significantly increase the prize money in challengers and futures + advertize those events a lot more. There's huge potential considering the massive crowds that are drawn to slams, MS and other highly publicized tournaments, but most people that have a slight interest in tennis have no clue when there's a challenger being held in their city once a year.

35ft6
06-03-2007, 01:11 PM
It wasn't strange. You said 'he doesn't have to worry about bills' not 'he doesn't have to worry about paying his bills'. I thought you were saying he didn't have any bills to pay. Doesn't seem like such a leap.So when people say "I worry about my bills" you're really thinking "man, sucks they're not like some people who don't have to pay any bills?" No big deal.

I don't really see how the players can be paid any more right now, but then again, I guess an accountant or an economist who studies the ATP's books would be the final word on that. Tennis just isn't as popular as the NBA, baseball, soccer, etc. I think the US Open broadcast right was just renegotiated for less money. We just went to a challenger in Carson yesterday, and besides the friends and family or players, there was practically nobody there. Last year, they were giving away tickets to the WTA Championships and the Staple Center was still 80% empty.

Great sports is personality driven. They need to sell the personalities more and encourage male players to express themselves more. You look at Tennis Magazine and you can see who the readers are -- older people. Lots of articles about travel, resort living, addressing health problems that come with age. The American tennis fanbase isn't being replenished with youth.

They should let me produce some commercials. I actually have a few ideas that I think would really attract young viewers. Right now, tennis is too conservative and boring and predictable. When the Bryan brother chest bump is considered cutting edge, you know you're dealing with a very "boring" sport.

35ft6
06-03-2007, 01:23 PM
That's what the ATP and local tournaments should do: significantly increase the prize money in challengers and futures + advertize those events a lot more.Where will the money come from?There's huge potential considering the massive crowds that are drawn to slams, MS and other highly publicized tournaments, but most people that have a slight interest in tennis have no clue when there's a challenger being held in their city once a year. It's not huge potential. Those events draw bigger numbers because the biggest names play them, it's not out of sheer love for tennis. The US Open's mens finals had the highest ratings when Sampras and/or Agassi played. It would attract even non-tennis fans. The sport needs to do a way better job of promoting the players, but unfortunately it's still being run by people who think like floor managers of a box company.

Fee
06-03-2007, 01:24 PM
So when people say "I worry about my bills" you're really thinking "man, sucks they're not like some people who don't have to pay any bills?" That's strange. I mean, as far as I know, everybody in the western world has bills, but who knows...

No, when someone says 'I worry about my bills' then I know that they are worried about their bills. But that is not what you said. You said

"But if nothing else, he doesn't have to worry about bills, and he's doing something he likes and gets to travel VIP stylez to great places."

To me, that came across as he doesn't have to worry about bills because he doesn't have any. Now, that may be a historical bias on my part. Last time I heard that it actually did come from someone who did not have any bills to worry about (lived at home, car was paid for), so it is not entirely outside the realm of possibility. Not everybody in the western world has bills, some are too young. ;)

(I don't want to derail the thread with this, so I hope we have cleared up the confusion. :) )

Mikael
06-03-2007, 02:12 PM
Where will the money come from?

In a way, you answered this question here:

The sport needs to do a way better job of promoting the players, but unfortunately it's still being run by people who think like floor managers of a box company.

I agree with you that for the potential to be unlocked, players beyond the top 5 in each country should be promoted a lot more.

But I'm not even sure about that being so necessary. Year after year I go to slams and MS tourneys and I'm amazed by the amount of either casual tennis fans or non-tennis fans that hang out at those places. Yes, watching the big names is one reason they go, but at slams especially they end up spending a lot of time watching players they'd never heard of, and most of the time they enjoy it anyway, because tennis is a fun sport to watch. An even better example: slam or MS qualifying. I'm always surprised at the amount of people there that don't really know the sport that well, but they like it anyway even though the guys playing are ranked below the top 100.

They show up because those events are widely promoted, even the qualifying tournament is usually given some attention in the local media. However, futures or challengers? Almost nothing!

I'm convinced those tier 2 or tier 3 events could be a huge success with proper advertising, nice facilities, good weather and affordable prices... that would in turn generate a lot of revenue for the circuit.

unjugon
06-03-2007, 04:14 PM
Keil’s travails include dragging down partner Goran Ivanisevic in a first-round doubles loss, choking match points and double faulting to end a match against the eventually-No. 1-ranked Indian duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, and the lowpoint of begging to get a wildcard into the doubles qualifying at the Masters Series-Miami. As Ivanisevic walks away after the doubles loss, a smiling Keil yells after him, "So Goran, when are we playing again?" A deadpan Goran replies in his thick Croatian accent, "We play three times –- first time, last time, and never again," before breaking into a grin.
L M A O hilarious....

zapvor
06-03-2007, 05:00 PM
L M A O hilarious....

that is good.

Ronaldo
06-03-2007, 05:53 PM
Don't forget there no long term contracts. You eat what you kill.

Pete Semper
06-03-2007, 06:14 PM
I would be curious to know how a player around the 500 wins...

pow
06-03-2007, 07:11 PM
I agree with the others, you're just looking at prize money. His sponsorship money will definitely be a good amount of money. His hours are great and I think playing tennis is a pretty fun profession.