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View Full Version : Is it too late to play Pro?


Serving155
07-18-2005, 07:49 PM
I know that most pro players started ever since they could walk. Then they become pros at age 20-24 ish because they are physically at the peak and strong like a stallion. How about for the less fortunate people who found out about tennis a little late? Do you guys think that someone who started at age 20 can be a pro? How long do you think it will take? If not, why not?

Meat
07-18-2005, 07:54 PM
First, I honestly don't like your other posts, and I'm going to let you know right here. But I can answer this.

Yes. It is too late to compete on the ATP tour. Much too late, you will not be able to compete.

However, there are leagues for older people, and if you're good enough eventually, there is a senior tour. How long it takes depends on how good you are, how well you do at tournaments, and whatever. Do a search on Google for the senior tour. There are also divisions for the men's 35s, men's 40s, etc. I believe.

joesixtoe
07-18-2005, 08:07 PM
never underestamate the human spirit, do what u feel like u can do,, agassi is 35 playing, so play for ten years, practice and all, and see where ur at... i just started playing a year ago and i'm 24, and i know i wont make it to the atp, but then again if i play as much as i do now, and improve like how i hope i am, then maybe the senoir tour, or just play local fun tourniments or something,, but dont go by the rules of things, go by what u believe u can do.

Phil
07-18-2005, 08:13 PM
Do you guys think that someone who started at age 20 can be a pro? How long do you think it will take? If not, why not?

No, not a chance.

RiosTheGenius
07-18-2005, 08:26 PM
First, I honestly don't like your other posts, and I'm going to let you know right here. But I can answer this.

Yes. It is too late to compete on the ATP tour. Much too late, you will not be able to compete.

However, there are leagues for older people, and if you're good enough eventually, there is a senior tour. How long it takes depends on how good you are, how well you do at tournaments, and whatever. Do a search on Google for the senior tour. There are also divisions for the men's 35s, men's 40s, etc. I believe.
just limit yourself to give an opinion about the thread. who are you to be telling people if their threads are good or not..... if you don't like his posts , oh well... don't read them.

TEAMRAFA
07-18-2005, 08:40 PM
yea but have you READ his posts?! lol...

anyway yea i would have to go along and say its too late probably. i'm all for one not giving up hope though... so... yea...

Serving155
07-18-2005, 08:44 PM
First, I honestly don't like your other posts, and I'm going to let you know right here.


I love ur response. Can u please please please ask me if I care real quick?

RiosTheGenius
07-18-2005, 08:49 PM
Serving155 I'm sticking out for you here but apparently these guys are right.... your posts DO suck balls man.

- can you please not post again!!!!!

nytennisplayer
07-18-2005, 08:58 PM
I love ur response. Can u please please please ask me if I care real quick?

You ask us a question and we "CARE" enough to respond and tell you kindly, our opinions. As rude as you are sir, we cared enough.

............... ___@@@__
......_____//______\__________
----o--------TROLLPOLICE--------@)
-----`--(@)=======+====(@)--'

Nyl
07-18-2005, 09:00 PM
ok, my answer is going to shock many of you guys.

If you have the passion and talent, it's not too late.
i think there is a late bloomer in atp tour who didnt play tennis until 18 and turned pro w/in couple years and won his first and only tournament @ 28. i remeber seeing that news on atptennis page a while ago n i forgot the guy's name

hyperwarrior
07-18-2005, 09:23 PM
I know that most pro players started ever since they could walk. Then they become pros at age 20-24 ish because they are physically at the peak and strong like a stallion. How about for the less fortunate people who found out about tennis a little late? Do you guys think that someone who started at age 20 can be a pro? How long do you think it will take? If not, why not?

If you live in the world of DragonBall Z, you can use the hyperbolic time chambers. 1 day in a real world is 1 year in this room. So you have plenty of times to improve your tennis skills. If you live in the Matrix, it is possible too!

Felix Bush
07-19-2005, 06:57 AM
I happen to think that you would be able to play at a high level but it would take a long time. Saying that what age is it that you think you will stop being able to start? 12? 14? 16? 25?

joe sch
07-19-2005, 07:25 AM
possible but very unlikely ...

Tennis players take many years to develop and very few dont go thru the junior curcuit.

If you had champion potential, you would still probably need a champion caliber coach to help you reach it. Even the best players like Woods and Federer continue to pay top level coaches to improve thier games. I hope you atleast have the raw ability to win some local open level tournaments ? A positive attitude is the most important and realizing that you will have many years of hard training infront of you ... Good luck !

RafaN RichardG
07-19-2005, 08:01 AM
shinobi asagoe(sp?) didnt start tennis until 13

x Southpaw x
07-19-2005, 08:14 AM
shinobi asagoe(sp?) didnt start tennis until 13
Never seen asagoe in singles, only in doubles. And when opponents blast the ball at her, she doesn't have enough volley instincts to prevent her from throwing away the point. And volley's such a huge part of doubles, it's her high level partner that's usually doing most of the job. And even if she started at 13, she would need the best coaches and be awfully rich and train day after day relentlessly. And she would have to be already an atheletic person before 13.

Original post was asking about turning pro when you start tennis at 20. I think most of the others already mentioned it: "Nope, no chance." Aim for senior tennis tourneys.

RafaN RichardG
07-19-2005, 08:19 AM
i was just bringing it to your attention. that there are sucessful late bloomers. but i think 20 is too late.

just for your info, shes ranked 25 in singles, and was as high as 21 earlier this year.

she turned pro at the age of 21

x Southpaw x
07-19-2005, 08:20 AM
i was just bringing it to your attention. that there are sucessful late bloomers. but i think 20 is too late.

just for your info, shes ranked 25 in singles, and was as high as 21 earlier this year.
Oh. :shock: my bad... guess only ranks I'm keeping track off on the women's tour are the top 10... what style does asagoe play? aggressive baseline my guess?

RafaN RichardG
07-19-2005, 08:22 AM
i guess youd call her style a pusher/counterpuncher.

GRANITECHIEF
07-19-2005, 08:24 AM
My opinion is that it would be impossible to be a ranked pro after starting tennis at 20. I started at 23 and now i'm 35 and a 5.5. Most people say that level of development is unusual. In the small local tournaments, after two finals and 3 semi's, i'm still looking for that first title at the open level. My goals at to get an open title (don't care how small the tourney is) and shoot for a gold ball (USTA National Championship) in any age division.

My boy however is another story. He's nine (started swinging rackets when he learned to walk), can hit winners from the baseline of both wings, can hit aces and has great hands all around the court, especially on the volley. He has a great chance to be a pro.

As a late starter, you can still have a wonderful lifetime of recreational tennis and the realistic challenge for you is to maximize your potential. Try to get to be a serious recreational player, 5.0 or above.

Bertchel Banks
07-19-2005, 08:35 AM
Fernandez 2002 French Open semifinalist (lost to Venus) first started playing at age 15. Personally I think it depends on your talent level. If you have good hand eye coordination, or excelled at other sports it can be done.

equinox
07-19-2005, 09:19 AM
You have to start before age 10.

Should be playing the itf juniors by age 13-14.

Started your pro itf career by age 17-18.

By 21-22 be on the main atp tour or atleast qualifing to break in.

Is it too late to start pro tennis at age 20.... Yes.

Heh, aim for the open tennis divisons or failing that under 35's vets. ;p

divito
07-19-2005, 09:26 AM
I started playing tennis at about 14ish, but have never been serious until now (19). If anything I hope to hit up a few Open tournaments in the Toronto area and see what they are like, but considering realistically that I've only ever played during High School tennis season in the fall over the 4 years, probably adds up to roughly a year total, it doesn't seem like I have much experience. I'm a 4.0, and I think with some serious effort, bagging a title or two in the next year could be possible.

I think for you, it will all just depend on

A) your drive to succeed (ie practice time)
B) your natural ability
C) how often you can play to improve (ie tournaments)

A lot of people are saying it can't be done, however, if you are motivated, don't need to be tied down to a job, have the natural skill and can devote the next couple years to tennis, it could very well be possible.

basil J
07-19-2005, 11:02 AM
Yes it's too late. Unless you can train for hours a day, get the best coaching and play competitive practice and real matches, I don't think it is likely. I would always try to improve and play as often as possible. Who knows, maybe you are one of the select few that can break through. If you start blowing people away at local and regional Open tourneys, you may get someone to give you a look...

Tennis_baller
07-19-2005, 11:02 AM
If you live in the world of DragonBall Z, you can use the hyperbolic time chambers. 1 day in a real world is 1 year in this room. So you have plenty of times to improve your tennis skills.
yeah, but you still age one year. remember trunks?

hyperwarrior
07-19-2005, 11:05 AM
yeah, but you still age one year. remember trunks?

I think I forgot about that...I guess if you sacrifice 2 days of intensives training. You have a slim chance being on ATP

akj27
07-19-2005, 12:14 PM
what about if you started playing at the age of 17 ;p

Pushmaster
07-19-2005, 12:32 PM
Not a chance of making it to the ATP, but 20 is still young enough an age to eventually become a very good tennis player. If you have the talent, athletic ability, hand and eye coordination, and the drive you could probably become a good solid 4.5-5.0 player in about 5-6 years. Just get out there and work hard on improving your game, you never know how far you can go if your determined enough.

Max G.
07-19-2005, 01:44 PM
ok, my answer is going to shock many of you guys.

If you have the passion and talent, it's not too late.
i think there is a late bloomer in atp tour who didnt play tennis until 18 and turned pro w/in couple years and won his first and only tournament @ 28. i remeber seeing that news on atptennis page a while ago n i forgot the guy's name

Maybe Julien Boutter?

Kirko
07-19-2005, 02:40 PM
Stan Smith started when he was 17 yr. and made, but a very different "climate" in tennis then eg. mostly amateurs.

Aykhan Mammadov
07-19-2005, 03:09 PM
Better later than never. Go and become PRO.

Jack the Hack
07-19-2005, 03:12 PM
Is it impossible?

No... it could be done. Michael Chang and Mats Wilander started playing tennis when they were around 4 or 5, and they won the French Open when they were 17, or after about 12 years of lessons and playing. Therefore, if someone was ultra-talented, they could theoretically start at age 20 and become good enough to play on the ATP tour by age 30-35. However, that being said, it has never actually been done.

One possible reason this has never been accomplished is that 4-6 year olds that start playing tennis have nothing else to do other than school and can really focus on becoming good tennis players if they have the right family resources. However, most people that have reached age 20 are finishing college, getting a job, and starting to think about a family within the next 10 years. If somebody had the financial resources and commitment to become an ATP professional after starting to play tennis at 20, it could be done... but that scenerio has never been accomplished.

sedwickdotcom
07-19-2005, 03:23 PM
there is a guy named theron cole (TENNIS did an article on him) who earned 1 ATP point, he started when he was like freshman in high school, but that's the latest ive ever heard of

incredholt
07-19-2005, 05:48 PM
Stan Smith started when he was 17 yr. and made, but a very different "climate" in tennis then eg. mostly amateurs.

stan smith won the 18 nationals so i'm thinking he started playing tennis awhile before that. but rod laver played a guy at wimbledon who had only started playing tennis when he was 22 years old. can't remember who the guys name was though.

Aykhan Mammadov
07-20-2005, 11:04 AM
I started at 34, 5 years ago. To 50-55 I'm planning to win a few slams.

Marius_Hancu
07-20-2005, 11:31 AM
Maybe Julien Boutter?

Nope, he started tennis at 10. This is from the ATP profile:

----------
http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/Highlights/default.asp?playernumber=B599
Full name is Julien Marc Boutter....Competed in handball, fencing, judo and skiing as a
youth...Completed his degree in Applied Mechanics at the university in
his hometown of Metz in 1995, and believes he is only now just
beginning his tennis career...
---------

He's one of the few ATP players with a university education.

The point about him is that he really started towards being a pro after graduation from the university, thus very late. His highest ranking was about 46 in 2002.

Kobble
07-20-2005, 11:50 AM
Unless you have a naturally big serve and are currently a great mover, I seriously doubt it. The problem lies in getting used to timing that yellow ball, it just takes so many hours to groove. Now, if you live on a trust fund, then maybe you could put in the time and give it a shot. You also cannot ignore the fact that many players who did have the time could not make it, and many had big serve and forehands. Just play tennis and give it your all to build the best game you can, if it gets you somewhere, great. If not, just try to enjoy the game one day at a time.

Serving155
07-20-2005, 11:07 PM
Unless you have a naturally big serve and are currently a great mover, I seriously doubt it. The problem lies in getting used to timing that yellow ball, it just takes so many hours to groove. Now, if you live on a trust fund, then maybe you could put in the time and give it a shot. You also cannot ignore the fact that many players who did have the time could not make it, and many had big serve and forehands. Just play tennis and give it your all to build the best game you can, if it gets you somewhere, great. If not, just try to enjoy the game one day at a time.


best advice ever

Bertchel Banks
07-21-2005, 06:37 PM
Unless you have a naturally big serve

Almost there.

and are currently a great mover

Check.

My coach tells me I have good technique (a plus), but my problem is mental (major minus).

I have a background in cricket (hand-eye coordination), and athletics (foot speed) on the High School and collegiate levels (three golds, and one silver).

Serving155
07-21-2005, 09:19 PM
ur coach is lying to you.

akj27
07-21-2005, 09:28 PM
ya, hes just tryin to make you feel better with this mental crap

bc-05
07-21-2005, 10:08 PM
Ok, here's wat i think.. if you have the physical already build like an athlete.. maybe your fitness, speed and your muscles are built better (YES BETTER!) than the current junior players and you only need to improve on your technique in tennis then i believe you can make up the loss time by just practising on the court for 10 hrs a day and blasts balls and catch up to the rest of the pack.. but if your pohysical state isn't as good I think it's very hard because you are already behind by 10-15 years.. if im not wrong michael stich started playing tennis when he was 18.. but he made it to the pro and won a grandslam.. but i also believe he had a sport background before he started playing t5ennis.. therefore if u ask me is there a possibility? answer is always yes.. but it all depends on u!!! if u believe u can do it. u can do it. but remember if one day u dont make it to the pro it doesnt mean u failed. but just that its not ur turn yet ;) so good luck matey

Becky
07-21-2005, 10:13 PM
I highly doubt Stich began at 18. He won Wimbledon in 1991. He was born, I checked, in 1968. That gives him...23 years. That means five years of tennis before he reaches the top and claims a Grand Slam. Simply impossible, no matter who you are.

If someone could check how long Stich has actually been playing, I'd appreciate it. :D

BreakPoint
07-21-2005, 10:15 PM
Most good male pros turned pro when they were around 15-18, not 20-24 (e.g., Borg, Nadal, Federer, Roddick, Becker, Chang, Agassi, Sampras, Wilander, etc.) If you start playing at age 20, you have NO chance of becoming an ATP touring pro. That's about 15 years too late.

Remember, like learning a foreign language, it's much easier to learn the strokes and ingrain them into your pysche and thereby making them intuitive when you're very young than when you're older. Thus, for most of these pros, playing tennis is as intuitive as walking, using the potty, and speaking their mother tongue.

wildbill88AA
07-21-2005, 10:21 PM
the really good pros are on the tour way before 20. there are only 100 men on the planet at a time that can make a good living at tennis. but always follow your heart. just have a fallback plan. i think a day may come when you realize having only local fame may be more satisfying ithan being a mega-star.

djones
07-22-2005, 12:51 AM
I went to the Priority Open in Amersfoort Netherlands, where Gonzales, Puerta and Massu compete:
I went to see a match between Christoph Rochus and Melle van Gemerden, but to me the level of tennis wasn't that high!
It seemed very much reachable.
Especially the Belgian guy, he didn't really hit that hard, had a weak serve, and I believe If I would train with this guy, I'd probably be able to hit some rallies with him, after a while.

And also Gonzales, I saw his doubles match, and also his forehand wasn't that special!

TennisD
07-22-2005, 01:38 AM
.
And also Gonzales, I saw his doubles match, and also his forehand wasn't that special!
Were you sitting in the nosebleeds, or were you just not paying attention?

djones
07-22-2005, 01:39 AM
Were you sitting in the nosebleeds, or were you just not paying attention?

I was as close as possible behind the baseline!

PrestigeClassic
07-22-2005, 02:32 AM
Ok, here's wat i think.. if you have the physical already build like an athlete.. maybe your fitness, speed and your muscles are built better (YES BETTER!) than the current junior players and you only need to improve on your technique in tennis then i believe you can make up the loss time by just practising on the court for 10 hrs a day and blasts balls and catch up to the rest of the pack.. but if your pohysical state isn't as good I think it's very hard because you are already behind by 10-15 years.. if im not wrong michael stich started playing tennis when he was 18.. but he made it to the pro and won a grandslam.. but i also believe he had a sport background before he started playing t5ennis.. therefore if u ask me is there a possibility? answer is always yes.. but it all depends on u!!! if u believe u can do it. u can do it. but remember if one day u dont make it to the pro it doesnt mean u failed. but just that its not ur turn yet ;) so good luck matey

Regarding Michael Stich, you're wrong. As I remember, commentators during his matches used to relate how Stich at 12 years old started playing tennis.

As for the op, well, uhhh, just remember, perhaps, the first ranking point is the toughest, I guess.

AngeloDS
07-22-2005, 08:06 AM
I've always wondered this myself. I wanted to become a professional tennis player, I still do. But I don't see it happening anytime soon.

So my shift has been for local tournaments, and becoming #1 in Washington. I want to go to the collegiate level though.

Though, a lot of the players are extremely good due to the many years they've put into it.

I honestly wouldn't mind spending 12-14 heck, even 16 hours of tennis daily doing drills or practicing. I already spend about 8 hours of tennis daily, playing with friends and such.

Jack the Hack
07-22-2005, 09:10 AM
if im not wrong michael stich started playing tennis when he was 18.. but he made it to the pro and won a grandslam.

As Becky stated, Stich won Wimbledon at age 23... and it would be virtually impossible to start playing tennis and win a Grand Slam within 5 years. If Stich had actually accomplished this, it would have been one of the biggest most well-known stories within tennis!

I tried to find a Stich profile that stated when he started playing, but the only thing other nugget I could find was that he was playing Challenger level tournaments at age 19 and turned pro at 20.

(http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity/default.asp?year=%25&player=S351&x=15&y=0)

There is no way someone can go from a total beginner in tennis to playing (and winning matches) at the Challenger level within 1 year! Again, if Stich had done it, it would have been one of the biggest stories of all time!!!

Bertchel Banks
07-22-2005, 12:55 PM
ya, hes just tryin to make you feel better with this mental crap

He told me the reason he thinks my problem is mental is because I make my errors in bunches...and when I'm fegged-out.

exhaleexplode
07-22-2005, 01:28 PM
If you like tennis, then just enjoy the game. Fight to make it to a tournament final. Youll feel the same way Federer does when hes in a gs final. But tennis is harsh. People that have been playing since they could walk dont make it to the pros. They don't even come close. You need supreme talent and a freakish injury resistant body. Oh and which pro hasnt had multiple surgeries?

modellooks
07-25-2005, 02:54 AM
I went to the Priority Open in Amersfoort Netherlands, where Gonzales, Puerta and Massu compete:
I went to see a match between Christoph Rochus and Melle van Gemerden, but to me the level of tennis wasn't that high!
It seemed very much reachable.
Especially the Belgian guy, he didn't really hit that hard, had a weak serve, and I believe If I would train with this guy, I'd probably be able to hit some rallies with him, after a while.

And also Gonzales, I saw his doubles match, and also his forehand wasn't that special!

Sometimes you may see a pro with awkward looking technique, but if you were to play them you'd see that they were very, very consistent at hitting that odd looking shot. The difference between pros and everyone else is consistency and better first and second serves.

goober
07-25-2005, 05:46 PM
I went to the Priority Open in Amersfoort Netherlands, where Gonzales, Puerta and Massu compete:
I went to see a match between Christoph Rochus and Melle van Gemerden, but to me the level of tennis wasn't that high!
It seemed very much reachable.
Especially the Belgian guy, he didn't really hit that hard, had a weak serve, and I believe If I would train with this guy, I'd probably be able to hit some rallies with him, after a while.



Well Christophe Rochus is ranked 46, so if you can reach his level you are a top 50 player. I would say that the chances of you ever reaching that level are extremely low. If you actually played a match with one of these guys they would probably double bagel you if you are not a 7.0 player.

forehander
07-25-2005, 06:12 PM
If you like tennis, then just enjoy the game. Fight to make it to a tournament final. Youll feel the same way Federer does when hes in a gs final. But tennis is harsh. People that have been playing since they could walk dont make it to the pros. They don't even come close. You need supreme talent and a freakish injury resistant body. Oh and which pro hasnt had multiple surgeries?

Exactly. The world is full of very good tennis players. I'm just guessing here, but only about 1 in 10,000 will make it in the pros, even though they all tried. It's not about just time spent practicing. It's about talent and other intangables. Having said that... who are we to say who can and cannot make it? How many late starters have ever really tried? Probably not many. So we've never really tested the odds with adequate numbers to come up with reasonable statistical model.

35ft6
07-26-2005, 04:02 AM
I think Rios supposedly started when he was 10, and I once read about a French pro who supposedly started when he was in his late teens.

Is it possible? Yes. Probable? No. Highly highly improbably is more like it.

The only way I can see it happening is if the person is an incredibly naturally gifted ball striker... and is rich and can afford to play 3 to 4 hours a day with a personal coach... is in great shape and is tall enough to develop a huge serve... and then maybe when he's 32 or something he can be decent enough to be ranked in the top 1000.

With the pace of today's game, developing the reflexes at an early age is critical. Unless you start very early the game will never be HARDWIRED into your brain and be like second nature.

35ft6
07-26-2005, 04:10 AM
I went to see a match between Christoph Rochus and Melle van Gemerden, but to me the level of tennis wasn't that high!
It seemed very much reachable. The better you get, the more you'll realize you suck, and that the pros are incredible.