I first tried playing tennis around the age of 5, but I didnt start playing on a regular basis until I was 7 or 8. Even then I only played a few times a week. I would say I got a lot more serious about my training when I was 10 or 11 years old. I don't really remember how much I played exactly back then, but it wasn't as much as I needed to, as I had trouble finding hitting partners.
I find this fascinating. Rafael Nadal was already playing 4 - 5 hours a day when he was a ten-year-old. I'm very impressed by your success considering that you didn't play all that much. How did you solve the problem of a lack of hitting partners? What type of drills did you do back then with your dad? What was his knowledge of the game of tennis? Was he a good player himself? It's interesting how many parents had a determinative impact on their children's development as tennis players. What do you make of that? Malcolm Gladwell in his bestseller Outliers
cites scientific studies that purport to show that practice time is the biggest predictor of acquiring expertise in any field. Typically, 10 000 hours of practice time is required to be an expert in a field such as music or sports. In sum, it's not the nebulous quality called "talent" that makes one a champion but how much time one spends working/practicing. What's your take on this?