Important questions about becoming Pro

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by djoko4thewin, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    Firstly these questions are out of interest, not because i am planning to try and become pro but because people always ask these questions and i don't know the answer.

    1) At what level do you start to earn money playing tennis?

    2) How many professional tennis players in the Uk earn a living from tennis?

    3) what is the level of earnings in relation to the level in tennis?

    4) how much do professionals earn in sponsorship compared to the level of tennis they are at? (where they are ranked)

    5) what are the average costs for a professional tennis player per year?(travel,rackets etc) (earnings-costs=profit)

    Thanks.
     
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  2. slicekick95

    slicekick95 Semi-Pro

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    umm yea i didnt know too much:cry: but i hope it was an almost helpful answer lol
     
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  3. baseline08thrasher

    baseline08thrasher Semi-Pro

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    1. You start to earn money when you either get into a futures event, and win a round.
    You have to get in by wild card, or you have to win a tournament in the USTA and such, which will give you a wild card.
    2. From UK, it varies, and not too many.
    3. Level of earnings, I'd say is how much you win, if you lose a lot, you are wasting your money by traveling to tournaments, it's hard to earn money in this sport. A lot of futures are around 25-50 thousand dollars if you win them and there are even smaller events, like Usta pro circuit ones which are 10,000.
    Again, it's all on how much you win, which tournies you play. etc,...etc..

    4. Depends on what you can bring your sponsers, such as if you play a lot, and which big events you play.
    They want publicity, and they want a good player to market their clothing, shoes, racquets. etc.

    5. The average cost depends on the player and where they travel.
    Hard to be specific with these answers, but I gave it a shot.

    Verify my answers people.
     
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  4. det3

    det3 New User

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    just made a small change above, but nothing big...
     
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  5. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    ok cool, thanks for that. more reliable info if you can find it would be appreciated.
     
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  6. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    I'll have a go - but I'm using educated guesses. I'm going to make an assumption about what you mean by "earning money". The assumption I'll make is that they turn a profit of at least £20k a year from their prize money over tennis costs - not including sponsorship / LTA stipends.

    1) In the UK you can earn money from British Tour events but you earn pittance. £300 to win one and you would usually have to have ATP points to do so. Futures is the lowest level of ATP point scoring - if you make the main draw and lose you make about $220. Futures are either $10k or $15k total prize money. The winner wins a couple of thousand dollars.

    2) Murray and Bogdanovic at singles. Murray and Hutchins at doubles. The rest would only make enough if they get LTA grants. The UK figures are distorted because the LTA gives money to players who, in other countries, would get nothing (see Bogdanovic).

    3) Generally for most of the competitors, futures = lose money. Challengers = break even. ATP = anything.

    4) Greatly varies. 200 and upwards in the world may get travel covered.

    5) Court time is often free at that level, but travel is expensive. I can't see how you can spend less than $50k a year chasing ATP points.

    For the mid ranking pro (c. 500) chasing ATP points is probably the least profitable way to make money - they are chasing their dreams. If they were trying to minimise costs and maximise revenue they would get paid to play in the German leagues and probably play the French tournament circuit.
     
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  7. Valdez737

    Valdez737 Rookie

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    The only people makeing money playing Tennis are in the top 75. The rest are lucky to break even. Go to the usta site and look up the player career earning.
     
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  8. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    Thanks alot guys, so basically you can't earn any proper amount of money until your in the top 75 and it seems like it's expensive to play in the first place and the chances to make money are very slim by the sound of it. So unless you can get into the top 75 then you better stop trying to be a pro as a career? or making any sort of living.
     
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  9. EikelBeiter

    EikelBeiter Professional

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    I don't believe that is true. In the Netherlands we had a pro, Raymond Sluiter. Actually he decided to pick up his rackets again and continue after he "retired". He was ranked around the 100th place all the time. Sometimes he got into a Grand Slam, sometimes he didn't qualify. Anyway the whole country knew who he was and is. He played Davis Cup, had decent sponsors. After he retires i'm sure he can start a tennis school or something and earn a lot of money this way.

    I'm pretty sure if you are ranked between 100-150 worldwide and you live in the UK, you can make a very decent living. And after you've retired you can earn maybe even more if you start a tennis school, or give tennis clinics to clubs.
     
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  10. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't let the money side of things dissuade you from trying. If you have the talent it's better to explore your potential than just can it because of the future financial prospects. Life is long and it's worth sacrificing a few years to follow your dream.

    If you are taking a strictly financial view of things you would be better off spending your spare time in medical or law books - or in sporting terms buying some football boots or golf clubs.

    If you would like to pursue a career in tennis coaching then an ATP ranking is likely to increase your future earnings in this regard - so, in a way, you could regard it as an investment.

    Please don't make the mistake of assessing options in purely financial terms.
     
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  11. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    Right moz, you are talking like you know what your talking about and have thought about it yourself. i agree. i should follow my dream and not get dissuaded from it, after all it would be great experience whatever happens. The main reason i ask the financial parts are that my parent's want security if they fund my tennis and they don't want me to lose time and money when i could be doing something else with more chance of making a reasonable living.
     
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  12. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    You don't have to get in by a wild card. You can play through qualifying at a futures.
     
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  13. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    ok thanks for that woodrow.
     
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  14. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    All I know is it's very tempting to look back in your mid 30's and say "if only...." - in my case not with tennis. Give it your full effort, reach your potential and avoid the whole situation.

    And don't end up as one of those people talking in the pub about how bad luck and circumstances conspired against them otherwise they would have been playing in the World Cup / Wimbledon / Glastonbury. Those people are bores and no-one ever believes them. Rightly so.

    Good luck.
     
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  15. viktorkwan

    viktorkwan Rookie

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    1.) Like the replies already posted, you generate relatively low levels of income in Futures, which do not necessarily cover your expenses in costs e.g. travel, accommodation, rackets, strings, and cost of strings etc

    2.) No one will have an exact number, but the number of players solely relying on their income from tennis for a living won't be too high. For example, many players in the Futures or even Challenger tournaments may have other (often part-time coaching etc) jobs to maintain their everyday costs of living.

    3.) The level of earnings is the Challenger and Futures circuits is nowhere near extravagant. A lot will also depend on whether these tournaments provide/subsidise travel/accommodation expenses.

    4.) It really depends on the player. An extreme example will be say Davydenko v Blake. Both are almost in the Top 10 consistently, both have never won a grand slam, but Blake would get much more $ out of sponsorship compared to Davykenko coz he's more marketable (or have a higher Q factor).

    Sometimes being one of the top players in your country (not the tennis powerhouses like US, Spain, Argentina and almost half of Europe) will generate some $ from the sponsors, even if the player is ranked nowhere near the top 50 in the world.

    For example, a former Australian female player (guess I shouldn't name her since it was her ex-bf who told me this) who was ranked in the top 100 in the world was paid about $2000 per week by Nike.

    5.) Average costs depend on a lot of factors. Whether the player has a full-time coach, physio etc. And it also depends on where the player is from. If a player is from say US or Europe, the costs of travelling is much lower than someone who's from Australia, since most of the better Challenger and Futures tournaments (in terms of $ and level of players) are located in US and Europe.

    A lot of the lower-ranked players on the Challenger and Futures tour have to watch their travel expenses, coz losing early would be a loss-making trip. I've heard stories of some players choosing to travel overnight on trains, so they save a night's accommodation at hotels etc. It's definitely not glamorous being a lowly-ranked player.
     
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  16. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    The prize money distribution iss off as well.

    For a 15K Futures, the winner gets about $1350

    For a 50K Challenger, the winner gets about $7400.

    This is from last year. I think I read they changed the pts allocation for Challengers also, not sure if they changed the pts as well.

    You can go to USTA website, or the ATP website, and look at the fact sheets.

    Here's a link.

    The pts and prize money breakdown at the bottom of the draw.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/common/TrackIt.asp?file=/1/posting/2009/746/mds.pdf
     
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  17. SourStraws

    SourStraws Rookie

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    Pretty ignorant about this.....But where does the rest of the money go??

    S.S.
     
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  18. Julieta

    Julieta Guest

    That's definitely true. The sad part is that the poor ones who have to do that are also at risk of being the pub patrons doing the "if only I'd played more Futures instead of all of those money tournaments..."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2009
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  19. viktorkwan

    viktorkwan Rookie

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    Interesting point raised about the German league tennis and the French money tournaments etc...

    Does anyone have any idea how the clubs in such leagues make a profit from paying thousands of dollars for each player to pay for them?
     
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  20. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the comment. Only thing i would add is that there is only so much time and there is only so much you can chase. Ie if tennis is your only passion/Goal , then yes go for it, give your best effort so that you dont regret later.

    However if you arent clear or have mixed passions (ie Tennis and Golf and Engineering and medical and journalism and blah blah) you are bound to have regrets later.

    At the end of the day it is Human mind wanting for more .
     
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  21. EikelBeiter

    EikelBeiter Professional

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    I know a Dutch player who plays in the second highest german league and receives a little over 10k euro's. That's for 9 competition days i believe. In the highest league there are players like Steve Darcis, Simone Bolelli, Jurgen Melzer, Christoph Rochus, Rainer Schuettler, Younes El Aynaoui etc. How much they receive I'm not sure, but it will be much more than 10k i bet.
     
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  22. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    Brilliant, thanks for the input guys. so your talking about different leagues and futures. i'm from the uk, what's the best route for me to play tennis? going on which tour etc. Thanks.
     
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  23. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    For a UK player such as yourself this would seem reasonable:

    Once you have an LTA rating you will probably be stuck playing grade 3's and worse if you can get in.

    When your rating gets to 5.1 or higher you can start mixing in some British Tour events - which are grade 2. When you get to 4.2 or higher you may be able to get into qualifying for some ITF junior events.

    At 3.1 you may have a chance of winning some minor ITF junior events but you will not win any money in British Tour events.

    Once at 2.2 / 2.1 it is worth giving some futures events a try although you would be hard pressed to get through qualifying. It is unlikely you would be winning any British Tour events.

    At 1.2 you would expect to make a couple of main draws in futures but you would still not be guaranteed your £300 for winning a British Tour event.

    Once you win a couple of main draw matches you would get ATP points and would probably avoid qualifying altogether in the weaker countries (including the UK).

    Good luck mate. What is your current rating?
     
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  24. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    i'm embarassed to say, but it's 8.2 lol. That is not representative of what my standard really is. i will try and create a vid to show you when i can to prove this. i'm at college currently and it takes a lot of time out for me to play tournaments. i have saturday school :( half day. but i play in the evenings and weekends, and practise with a good standard and have a proper level 3 coach. i will ask her what rating she thinks i am asap and report back.
     
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  25. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    If you are 17 and an 8.2 you are going to have to work your arse off!

    Keep your dreams and pursue them - but realise that an education is important because you will not become a tennis pro unless you're a coach.

    I just want to be honest. It's not just the ability and age that is the problem but you have missed out on the prolonged exposure, participation and intense instruction that is prevalent in junior tennis.

    When you leave the junior ranks everything gets exponentially harder - it's difficult to find tournaments, many top coaches don't want to know plus there is a living to be earned.

    Good luck, don't take offense to my post - none was intended.

    Where do you live?
     
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  26. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    haha brilliant i knew i was going to get slated. These questions in the beginning were only curious ones which other people ask, which is supposed to show me my options for the future that was all. now it seems like you think i want to become pro just in a second which sounds like i'm immature which is not true. i don't intend that to come across. as i said i'm just seeing what's out there, plus i'm not 8.2 worthy as i said i promise you that. Lastly i'm from sussex if you must know why?
     
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  27. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    I wasn't slating you at all I was trying to help which should be pretty clear from everything I wrote on this thread. The last post does help you formulate your options does it not?

    There is no need to be so defensive. I asked where you are from as I may have had some ideas of people you could hit with, places you could train and perhaps some events you could enter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
    #27
  28. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    ok sorry, i didn't realise that you could help with me where to train etc. sorry for being a bit defensive the words i had choosen were a bit strong. yes you did formulate my options and i am very appreciative for that. AH i see that your from the uk now as well so i understand, i was being cautious for some reason. anyway i live in Brighton and Hove, know people there?
     
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  29. DJG

    DJG Semi-Pro

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    Moz has been playing in British Senior tournaments and the ITF Seniors (35+) tour for the last year - full time. He knows the UK levels and what it takes quite well :) At the very least I learnt something more from his detailed posts in this thread.
     
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  30. EikelBeiter

    EikelBeiter Professional

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    What US rating is 8.2?
     
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  31. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    oh ok, i now realise the importance of what moz has said considering what he does. secondly i'm lta rating 8.2 which i think is 3.0-4.0 ntrp. not very good.
     
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  32. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    No problem. After all that I can't help you if you live down there - sorry mate. Good luck in your tournaments.
     
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  33. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    OH, well thanks for the advice. good luck for your future tournaments.
     
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