Any tennis stars grow up dirt poor?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by The Baseline, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. The Baseline

    The Baseline Professional

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    Just wondering because i read about nadal and federers background. Federer is from a middle class family in switzerland, and nadal's family owned some sort of a business in Malluca, Spain. I was wondering if there were any ATP pros that grew up poor and from humble beginnings?
     
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  2. blackfrido

    blackfrido Hall of Fame

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    Juan Ignacio Chela
     
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  3. Great Uncle Bulgaria

    Great Uncle Bulgaria New User

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    Evonne Goolagong's family did not have much money but I don't know about 'dirt poor'.

    Possibly also the players from the Eastern Bloc but I am guessing and probably also stereotyping a bit.
     
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  4. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    I don't think Djokovic had money growing up?.
     
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  5. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Lol, his parents are rich.
     
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  6. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Not current, and not ATP, but I believe Billie Jean King was from a poor family.
     
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  7. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Currently Ivo Karlovic
     
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  8. Gulbis? :) :shock:
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Pancho Segura had very little growing up in Equador.
    Pancho Gonzales didn't have a whole lot growing up.
     
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  10. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Well, we all know the Williams sisters. They werent dirt poor but they came from modest beginnings.
     
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  11. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Were they when he was growing up?. I've gotten the impression from what people say here they were not at all.
     
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  12. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Didn't Yuriy Sharapov spend his last money on getting Maria to the US? They couldn't even afford taking her mom with them IIRC...
     
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  13. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    There was an article in tennis mag about djokovic over the summer, and yeah, pretty sure his family was spending most of their money on his tennis and barely scraping by. Sharapovas dad basically used all of his money to send her to bolleteris when she was younger iirc.
     
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  14. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    Agassi was poor but not dirt poor. Most tennis pro's come from poor backgrounds because they have nothing and tennis is the only way they can make a good living for themselves.
     
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  15. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    say wha?


    I think you are thinking of futbol, basketball, football, and baseball.
     
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  16. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    But it's true. Ok maybe not most pro tennis players but half of them come from poor backgrounds. If someone rich was to play tennis and someone poor was to play tennis and they were both trying to go pro, the poor one would most probably go pro because he has nothing and needs tennis to have a stable future whereas the rich dude won't put any effort because he already has so much to distract him... This is the best way i can put it. Agassi is a good example because he hasn't got the best education but with tennis he made it big.
     
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  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Pancho Segura.
     
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  18. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    ummm...he has nothing..meaning he cant afford lessons from a pro, or to attend some academy, or renting court time, or expensive rackets, or sneakers, or strings or gear.

    Tennis is one of the most expensive sports to try and play.

    There was a thread here just the other week that bemoaned the lack of talent in american players. One reason posited for this phenomena was the sheer expense of the sport compared to other more popular sports. So not only is tennis already not as popular as football, basketball, and baseball to play, its exponentially more expensive, driving talented athletes to other more accessible sports.

    For every Agassi and WS and Sharapova that make it to the tour, how many more people are lost just for sheer lack of funds or accessibility to tennis courts


    Furthermore..just to even make real money, one has to be ranked in the top 100 or so in tennis.

    Compare that to the 100th ranked basketball or baseball player...they are probably making 5 million a year. The 100th ranked tennis player is happy to clear 50,000k a year.

    Take a dirt poor kid who could go pro in basketball or tennis and guess which sport they choose?
     
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  19. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    The Williams sisters came from poor backgrounds too. Also Pat Rafter was said to have slept in locker rooms or ATP rooms during satellite tournaments.
     
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  20. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Tennis is an expensive sport. Most players are fairly well aff to begin with.
     
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  21. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    exactly.

    10corrects.
     
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  22. sixone90

    sixone90 Professional

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    Janko Tipsarevic?
     
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  23. andry16

    andry16 Banned

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    maria sharapova, i read once that her and her dad came to the us with almost nothing and without any english speaking abilities
     
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  24. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    John and Patrick McEnroe grew up on the mean streets of Douglaston, New York.
     
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  25. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    I really don't think that's the case.
     
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  26. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Jimmy Connors wasn't exactly well off financially in his childhood.

    The McEnroe brothers are the sons of a lawyer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
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  27. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    In the US it would be very hard to get through the juniors without well off parents
     
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  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Aaron Krickstein grew up on the tougher streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, forced to eat only Maize and Blue Cheese. Go Blue
     
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  29. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    Ernests Gulbis came from a wealthy family.
     
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  30. Joehax

    Joehax New User

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    I think tennis and golf are pretty similar in that they require a fair bit or coin to get into.

    Heaps of sports stars come from dirt poor backgrounds, hardly any in tennis and golf though.
     
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  31. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    I think Sweeting's dad is a truck driver

    Rafter was poor as where most of the old school ausies many of which grew up on a farm.

    I am pretty sure Yannick Noah was dirt poor.

    Most players now are from rich families as tennis has become even more of an elitist sport.

    Womens tour is a little different. Most of those russian girls would probably be prostitutes if not for tennis.
     
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  32. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    1) those were in the olden days when I am sure the sport wasnt near as expensive as it is now to play

    2) just wow :shock:
     
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  33. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    It's not where you start it's where you finish, eh?
     
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  34. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Well if you were needed on the farm and chose to go play tennis I am sure that was a big sacrifice during the depression etc. Australian tennis was not an elite thing back in the old days. Everybody played and many folks made there own courts at the farm. Australia was also pretty poor back then.

    As far as the Russian girls... go look at russia 10-15 years ago. The country was in bad shape. Hard to understand things like that if your on this side of the pond. It still goes on in Russia even today. Prostitution is thriving around the globe even in the USA due to these wonderful economic times.
     
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  35. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    1) thats what I meant...the sport was more accessible then and not near as expensive to play

    2) fair enough...as an american, I cant pretend to know the inner workings of post-soviet russia as far as trafficking women goes.

    Somehow, I doubt Petrova or Kuznestsova would have been pimped out tho.

    Just saying.
     
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  36. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Confirms that pimpin' ain't easy all over the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlrKVdKMFXw&feature=related
     
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  37. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    #37
  38. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    The reason why there are so many up and coming European players is because they don't have as much as some other wealthier countries. If i was poor and i wanted to be a pro tennis player i sure as hell would be on the court as much as possible because if i didn't make it i would have no education because my parents couldn't afford it. It's called motivation. If you have no motivation then your not going to do anything. I'm not having a go at you by saying all this, i'm just trying to show you where i'm coming from.
     
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  39. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Thats fine, I still think you are wrong.

    Were I a talented athlete in europe I think Id probably go for futbol before tennis.

    Not as expensive to play and far more money, especially if you are en elite player.

    Heck the contracts of some the true elite players eclipse the career prize money of Federer.

    Didnt somebody get their contract bought out for like 180 mil euros? Fed has made 63 mil his entire career. Some team paid nearly 3 times that much just to buy out the contract, then they had to resign the guy.

    I maintain that the reason Euro players dominate at the moment is

    1) the courts have slowed, which benefits the euros as most players their grow up with the clay. Teh courts are suited to their training

    2) tennis is more popular in euro than US.

    3) US loses good athletes to more popular and more accessible( read, cheaper to play) sports.
     
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  40. Towerofpower205

    Towerofpower205 Rookie

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    Wasn't james blake from a lower class family
     
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  41. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Man, that is poor if they couldn't even afford to speak English... :lol::lol:
     
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  42. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    russian mail order brides.....it kind of reminds me of my dad. he works on wall street, and the floor above him there i guess is a model agency. so everyday, the "women" there are trying to hit on my dad and his coworkers, asking if they want to go for a drink. and these chicks look like at most 20.
     
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  43. nethawkwenatchee

    nethawkwenatchee Professional

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    I can't say dirt poor for acuracy sakes but Nikolay Davydenko was born into a working class Ukrainian family. He moved to live with his brother Eduard at a very young age. Eduard gave tennis lessons and supported Nikolay while working him relentlessly into the player he is now. A traveling coach saw his potential and invited the two of them to an academy in Germany where they trained until Nikolay started winning futures and challengers in the late 90‘s. His ranking rose as did the money and the two of them hit the road together and entered every tournament possible. He’s won almost 15 million just in prize money to date and was a solid top five player for a good while. I personally love watching him and hope he makes a run at this stage in his career.
     
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  44. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    and that is my point really.


    at some point if you do not come from money, you have to get someone else to foot the bill.

    alot of potentially good players are lost because, sadly, they are not in a position to have someone develop or notice their talents.
     
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  45. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    I know that Monica Seles was pretty poor, according to Nick Bolletteiri's book. Andre Agassi was too

    oh yes, I just remembered Marcos Baghdatis' story of how he lived with his family in a very small home on top of a hill in cyprus. He came from a VERY poor background...The aussie open had a feature on him in 2005 when he made the final that year out of nowhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
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  46. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    Then i happily agree to disagree :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
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  47. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    not meant to post twice
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  48. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Ivo Karlovic at least lived in public bathrooms while playing challengers and futures events.
     
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  49. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    Although Djokovic family had that little pizza shop they had to borrow money at a very high interest rate to support Novak. They sold all gold from their house etc. It did pay off at the end but they really went through some hard time.

    I read this article where Nole's dad said that they had days where they could hardly afford food. Novak never knew about it at the time.

    I wanted to play tennis as a kid. I've been always fascinated with it since I saw the Borg vs JMac match at W in 1980. My dad wouldn't let me because it was too expensive. he was like, go play some group sports, whatever...

    so no it's not easy to become a tennis pro...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  50. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    He made the final in 2006 and was closer to beating Federer than the eventual scoreline suggested.
     
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