Interesting blog from a journeyman player on financing life on tour

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by FedererWinsWimbledon2014, Sep 14, 2013.

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  2. tipsa...don'tlikehim!

    tipsa...don'tlikehim! G.O.A.T.

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    thx for this, always interesting to see the other side of professionnal tennis ! ;)
     
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  3. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    We only hear about Fed, Nadal and the places they stay at, so this is a good insight. The dude also narrates pretty well, I found it interesting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  4. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    Sobering for those who presume all pro tennis players lead a life of luxury.
     
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  5. victorcruz

    victorcruz Semi-Pro

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    It seems difficult to imagine a person born into poverty succeeding in tennis. At least different from these other sports such as basketball, football as well as soccer, baseball. I guess this is why it's hard for some people here in the US to get into tennis or golf. It's a gentleman's game that requires training and hard work that normally requires money/sponsorship for training, and if you don't have a parent with some money, you're out of luck.

    I guess if someone can join a school team, they can find the resources to train. But by then, it's likely too late for someone unless they are late bloomers. I am not well versed on the history of tennis, can anyone tell me some all-time greats that grew up poor?
     
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  6. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    What people don't understand ANYONE ranked in the top 100 or close to it is a DAMN GOOD TENNIS PLAYER. Think about it, people from around the world compete in pro tennis. To be in the top 100 in men's tennis or close to it means you are very good. It just shows the guys outside the top 100 I think are in a different world, they can't get into main ATP events, they have to qualify for grand slams, they got to play challengers to get their ranking up. It is very tough for those journeymen.
     
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  7. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    His blog post paints a bleak and depressing picture of what it's like to try to make it as a pro tennis player. You got to have some serious love for the game to endure all that.
     
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  8. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    read that blog before its great!
     
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  9. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    No the reason a lot of people do not play tennis in the USA is due to RACISM and corrupt nature of the USTA.

    Tennis is a VERY EXPENSIVE sport, unless you are white, have money, connections, a lot of minority parents could not be bothered getting their kids into tennis.

    The Wall Street Journal published an explosive article about the USTA racism against Taylor Townsend last summer where she was admonished about her weight and funding revoked.

    The USTA is currently being SUED by a young woman and her family for giving her an eating disorder. The young woman says the USTA put her under a lot of pressure with weekly weight ins ect. The Wall Street Journal also publsihed another article blasting the USTA for being MEAN SPIRITED, CRUEL, and ABUSIVE to young players.

    Patrick McEnroe is a CREEP, JERK, LOSER, who got to his USTA position due to nepotism. I think it is funny a guy who wasn't even a champion or a great tennis player is head of the USTA.
     
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  10. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    thanks for posting OP
     
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  11. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    racism?

    there are poor white people too. and i dont think because they 1 person fat who was black that makes them racist.


    usta is certainly not a brilliantly run organization but that has a lot more to do with ineptitude than conspiracy.

    why the goverment is willing to but tons of money into football, basketball and baseball but not so much tennis.

    i dont know
     
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  12. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    i did a repost
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  13. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    i dont think the williams were that well off growing up in compton. not sure if agassi family was that well off either (working class family)
     
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  14. andre09

    andre09 New User

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    I left a comment telling him to add a PayPal donation button. I'm sure many of us would love to support his journey. As well as live vicariously through his blog posts :)
     
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  15. andre09

    andre09 New User

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    #15
  16. Excellent blog.

    James is doing quite well now, he just won a futures in Gabon. He is playing the Izmir challenger next week in Turkey.

    He recently had a big win over Ryan Harrison coming back from 5-1 down in the 3rd set to take him out!

    It is a different life for a player at his ranking like trying to find host families to take him in for the week.

    He is at his highest ranking now of 226. Had a tough loss against Kukushkin last week with them both winning the same amount of points in the match but unfortunately not the important ones.

    https://www.facebook.com/jamesmcgeetennis

    This is his facebook, give it a like and he regular updates on what its like for someone at his ranking.
     
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  17. AudreyBlue

    AudreyBlue New User

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    I'm with you Andre.

    Thanks for sharing OP.
     
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  18. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Forget about slow courts, the ATP calendar etc, the main issue in tennis that needs to be resolved badly is the lack of lower level prize money. The more people that can earn a decent living playing the sport, the better for the health of the sport overall. Overall tennis has a very poor investment/payout ratio compared to team sports or golf, and all that does is severely reduce the number of people who want to take up the sport and the overall talent pool.

    As I've said numerous times, the various costs of playing on the tour have only increased in time with inflation, while the prize money at challenger and futures events has barely risen since the 80s, making it harder and harder for players ranked outside the top 100 to cope financially.

    The costs of producing a professional tennis player are huge, weather they are paid by the player's family themselves, a generous national federation or an academy. Players like Seles, the Williams Sisters, Agassi etc, who didn't exactly come from poverty but from more modest backgrounds than most other tennis players, received a lot of financial assistance and freebies during their development year from the likes of Bollettieri, Macci etc because of their talent. Most tennis players come from wealthy, middle class families.
     
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  19. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Wow, it's a slap in the face when your own government doesn't help you at all.
     
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  20. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    The expenses for a tennis player are just ridiculous.

    In team sports, players pay nothing at all for coaching, travel expenses, meals; all of those expenses are paid by the team owner.

    In tennis, one player assumes all of the expenses of a TEAM owner.

    What is the situation like in golf?
     
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  21. I have added a couple of links to the first post for anyone interested.
     
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  22. I don't really know about golf but I do know a golfer with the same ranking would be earning a lot more and living a slightly easier life.
     
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  23. Why should the government help someone in their private job? That's absurd. And the cost of travel and expenses are not too high either. Life is expensive in general. Everyone has to deal with that.

    The real problem is simply that the prize money is not enough. If you're the 200th best lawyer in the world you are raking it in. Does the 200th best tennis player in the world break even?

    The top guys in basketball and football are getting large amounts of guaranteed money. Maybe the winner of a major should make 10 million, and the 1st rounders take home 200 grand or so. Make tennis so attractive money wise that the top athletes don't go into basketball or football and want to try tennis instead. What if Kobe Bryant or Lebron James had taken up tennis?

    There just isn't enough money in tennis.
     
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  24. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Hmmmm....

    1. If it's so absurd, then why is the ATP and WTA dominated by the Europeans and Latin Americans? The blogger stated that countries including Spain, Germany, etc. has programs that support their players when they are on the tour. In the US, the government wastes billions of dollars on frivolous socio-political, educational and 'counter-terrorism' programs (refer the Black Budget for more details.) The Irish already has its issues with literally everything, so the blogger has bad luck there.

    2. I already know. The players that are sitting on the benches are making more money than the #200 player in the world.

    3. $200,000? I don't know about that. You get around >20,000 for making the first round of a major. I think 60,000 should be the max amount for the first round (15,000 for quallies).

    4. I haven't watched Basketball in a while, but I remember Bryant and James being very outspoken in and outside of the court. I bet if they were tennis players, their charismatic abilities would launch a widespread campaign to increase the prize money. They even have an NBA players Union! The NFL has one as well... so does the MLB and NHL..

    I don't know why there isn't a huge campaign in tennis already! Instead of blogging about it, the Irishman and several thousand male and female players should start a petition.

    Anyone with me on this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
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  25. Incognito

    Incognito Hall of Fame

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    People like the big 4 should donate some of their winnings to futures and challengers. That will encourage these players to play better and the tour will be more competitive in the future..
     
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  26. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    ^

    How many tournaments and how long would they do that? That wouldn't work.

    I know unions wouldn't work in tennis because it is more of an individual sport, but these players need to start a petition and take it to the ATP and WTA. If several big name tennis stars and legends did it (plus several thousand signatures from former and active pros), the ATP and WTA would be inclined to have a response.

    If the American people could start a petition with over 35,000 signatures to build a freaking Death Star, then there should be a higher prize money for tournaments!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
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  27. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Tennis is such a crapshoot unless you're among the top guys. The expenses and poor payouts etc.. compared to other sports. Hell even bench warmers in other pro sports make 600 grand a year or better. a GREAT living.

    Yet Tennis is more of a North Korea dictatorship (Or really how America is turning out this day in age) . A select few living the life of luxury while the good majority just squeak by to make ends meet.

    The rich keep getting richer, the poor keep getting poorer
     
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  28. Fedinkum

    Fedinkum Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the OP links, awesome read.
     
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  29. happyloman

    happyloman Semi-Pro

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    that's really depressing when you think about being 200th / 150 th best in the WORLD at something (and which requires incredible dedication, skill, years of training) and still to barely be squeaking by.
     
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  30. An absolute joke and they give AMurray 1.8 million pound for winning Wimbledon.

    AMurray will make a £100 million from winning Wimbledon, he really doesn't need that 1.8.



    The blog is a regular thing, the finance article was just one section.
     
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  31. mikejsb876

    mikejsb876 Rookie

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    As a former Collegiate Golf and Tennis player on scholarship and playing some mini tour golf events, I can say the situation is very very similar to Tennis.

    The major differences are that in golf the tournament entry fees can be upwards of $1,200 (Adams Golf Pro Tour Series)... and there is no guarantee of making any money. You have to make the cut (Which is usually being in the top half of the field). To break even you have to finish in the top 12-15% of the field.

    The costs of golf are more expensive... i.e. having to pay for practice rounds, caddie fees, equipment, travel etc... Usually the mini tour events are played on nice courses which mean that paying for practice rounds can be upwards of $75 - $100 even more at times depending on the season/time of day. Golf equipment is much more expensive and carries much higher up front costs.

    Its True, Golfers can earn more money... but it is just as cut-throat as tennis just not quite as direct. At the end of the day golfers really have to rely on a strong financial support system to play an entire season worth of events.

    Most Top Collegiate Golfers I know that have tried going pro have only had the financial backing to play 3-4 events max, and if they dont produce in those events their financial assistance drys up.

    After looking at James McGee's Blog, he estimated his weekly tennis expenses to be 1200 euros. Playing Pro Golf would EASILY Be double that number.

    At least playing a few Domestic Tennis Futures events wont really break the bank the same way Golf events do.
     
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  32. BHud

    BHud Professional

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    Great idea to add a Paypal button to his site. If everyone on these boards kicked in a little, we could actually sponsor our own player! Say goodbye to the tiresome Fed/Nadal GOAT threads, we could focus on raising our own GOAT!
     
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  33. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    BOOOO RIIIING!

    We need another Fedal thread instead. Come on let's talk about the h2h or DC!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
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  34. Who would beat James McGee by a bigger margin, Federer or Nadal?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2013
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  35. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not sure 2013 Fed would be able to beat him but Nadal would no doubt straight set him unless they were to meet on grass in which case he would probably get straight-setted by McGhee! ;-)
     
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  36. McGee. James McGee.
     
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  37. Defcon

    Defcon Hall of Fame

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    Tennis has an amazingly bad risk/reward ratio compared to American sports.

    Look at most American sports like NFL, NBA, Golf, baseball - except for golf (which is not a comparable sport so lets drop it), they are all team sports. Compared to tennis, they need minimal skill (yes this is going to be inflammatory but its true), and very little decision making.

    There is tons and tons of money even at the lower levels, and all kinds of other rewards like scholarships without having to study. You can get on a team, hardly step foot on the court during a season, and make millions in the pro leagues.
     
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  38. As a RFederer fan in 2013 I fear every player. I wanted TRobredo to beat DEvans as I didn't think I'd be able to cope with the humiliation of a defeat to DEvans. :):p
     
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  39. James Mcgee gave an interview on Irish Radio today about the Tour. It was very interesting I will try and put it up.

    Did you know it takes 100,000 euro to fund a top 100 player on the tour every year!
     
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  40. #40
  41. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    How do you even afford airfare and hotel stays? To me that seems un-doable with how little some people make. When I go traveling (even in cheapo hotels) I spend a sh*t load. Hotels are like what $150-$250 a night? And food? I would seriously sell my autographs on the street to try to raise some food money.
     
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  42. James tries to stay with families that will take him in for the week to save money! Host families
     
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  43. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    It looks like he's playing in a challenger in Sacramento this week, beat CA in the first round in three sets then lost to Donald Young. Played with Klahn in the doubles.
     
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  45. Federer302

    Federer302 Guest

    James McGee qualifies for his first ever Grand Slam!

    Yes. Amazing. Something to show for his career.

    On the topic of the thread, a nice pay day.
     
    #45
  46. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Why, then, does it seem that every time the Tennis Channel does some news story about up-and-coming US juniors, a third or half of them are black?

    Townsend's physique and fitness level was disgraceful for a professional athlete in any sport more taxing than golf (and I consider golf to be a real sport in all ways, albeit, not requiring tremendous endurance or fitness). Unless there was a legitimate medical reason she could not lose weight (and it would thus seem that such a condition would prevent her from competing in sports at all), she was slovenly and clearly did not take being a professional athlete seriously. That extra 15-20lbs she lumbers around with on court is costing her points in every single set. I'm not familiar with the communications between the USTA and Townsend, but unless they gave her basically no warning at all, why should they sponsor someone who won't take being a professional athlete seriously when there are dozens more people who would love that opportunity and who are serious about their fitness? OK, well, I guess there is one reason and it was a pretty good one - she was the #1 ranked junior in the world.

    Amelie Mauresmo, the WSJ did not discuss or even hint at racism. Judge for yourself:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444273704577635530959121916?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10000872396390444273704577635530959121916.html

    The issue is weight, not skin color. Blame the USTA for bias, bias against poor physique, not what protected group to which she belongs. Shame on you for blaming racism. Crying wolf like this does not help minorities.
     
    #46

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