Is there any pro who started to play after 18 years old?

G A S

Hall of Fame
And even IF it was true, when Borg played, it was a completely different time.
Less people were trying to become professional, the game was 90% talent 10% training, and now it's completely opposite.
I agree, it was a completely different time indeed, though I saw a topic these days around this site saying that tennis has not changed much since borg's era...:neutral: haha
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
Wait. Guess you start to play at 18 years old, practice really hard every day, and progress as much as you can during many years. In ten years, why you wouldn´t try to play a qualy in a future tournament? I think at least you would play a decent match, no? And you would feel you came to be close of the world of proffesional tennis. With 26 you can try the same too.
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
Wait. Guess you start to play at 18 years old, practice really hard every day, and progress as much as you can during many years. In ten years, why you wouldn´t try to play a qualy in a future tournament? I think at least you would play a decent match, no? And you would feel you came to be close of the world of proffesional tennis. With 26 you can try the same too.
yeah, it is a personal decision, sure there are "old" people competing somewhere at a certain level, on the limit they could reach.

In a certain way it feels that if a random tennis player that has no "time experience" in tennis talks about winning a prestigious tournament, it is because they disrespect the top players. This feels similar to players in interviews talking about the match, can they say the match was easy? or this will end up being viewed as hubris? Must a tennis player say that all the matches were difficult or else it is disrespectful? The word easy does not exist in an athletes vocabulary during interviews. All this is PC in the end.:-|
 

Fuji

Legend
Wait. Guess you start to play at 18 years old, practice really hard every day, and progress as much as you can during many years. In ten years, why you wouldn´t try to play a qualy in a future tournament? I think at least you would play a decent match, no? And you would feel you came to be close of the world of proffesional tennis. With 26 you can try the same too.
The biggest thing stopping this is the peak that all players hit. Whether it be due to injuries or natural talent running out. Plus, to hit that level you need to spend a boatload of $$$ on coaching and usually travel for tournaments unless you're in an area that is heavily concentrated with constant tournaments.

There comes a point with every player where they won't progress anymore. I highly encourage everyone to find that point.

-Fuji
 

tennytive

Professional
I don't know for sure, but I want to say Brad Gilbert may be the only one. Another name I remember in this regard for some odd reason is Eddie Dibbs. LeeD might know more about him.

I was watching the finals of some tournament that Gilbert was in and the announcers couldn't help but push the point across that Brad learned the game by hitting balls against his garage door. I suppose they were trying to add human interest, but it came across as how the heck did this hack make it into the pros, much less the finals??!! I can't remember who he played or if he won or lost, but it was 30 to 40 years ago when I believe it would have been possible. He did win a bunch of tournaments, I just don't remember if that one was one of them. :confused:

Today, no.
 

KineticChain

Hall of Fame
he also played D1 tennis before turning pro (at age 23 not 25).. which is basically the path of every single college player that turns pro. so becker isn't unique in that regard. and the higher D1 levels of tennis are basically challenger level already
 

tennytive

Professional
Like I said, I wasn't sure when he started, just recollecting what I had heard which made it sound like he may have started late. If he started at age 5 and played from then on then my post is totally wrong.

I started playing at age 12. But that means little because I only played in the summer. We had dime store rackets and one brown ball that barely bounced.
 

Govnor

Professional
There are no sports (Ok maybe some track/athletics events) that someone is going to take up at 18 and then become a good pro at. Sports are so competitive these days, that's just not possible. And you could argue tennis is right at the top of the "start them early" chart when it comes to becoming a pro.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Like I said, I wasn't sure when he started, just recollecting what I had heard which made it sound like he may have started late. If he started at age 5 and played from then on then my post is totally wrong.

I started playing at age 12. But that means little because I only played in the summer. We had dime store rackets and one brown ball that barely bounced.

That's my background as well. A warped wooden racquet and a chewed up ball. The court I played on had an armory right behind it, so if someone hit the ball over the fence, the fun was over. And that happened a lot.
 
Borg started playing at 11 and first played davis cup for Sweden at 15. So only 4 years since first picking up a racket.

It could be done if you were a phenomenal once in a lifetime athlete with machine like discipline and work ethic
Borg started playing at 9.

Source: Steven Tignor - "High Strung"
 

gameboy

Hall of Fame
There are no sports (Ok maybe some track/athletics events) that someone is going to take up at 18 and then become a good pro at. Sports are so competitive these days, that's just not possible. And you could argue tennis is right at the top of the "start them early" chart when it comes to becoming a pro.
That is not true. There are many NFL players who did not start playing till college (Christian Okoye, Jason Pierre-Paul started when he was 17).
 

mrc3

New User
I read in Calvin Peete's obituary today that he did not take up the game of golf until he was 24 and was self taught, joined the tour at age 30, and won 12 times, and beating Jack Nicklaus out for the Varden trophy in 1984 (low stroke average for the season on the tour). All with a left arm that he couldn't fully extend due to a broken elbow as a child.

I consider that feat to be no more probable than an athlete reaching the pro tennis tour having not picked up a racquet before age 18.

Mike
 

LuckyR

Legend
I read in Calvin Peete's obituary today that he did not take up the game of golf until he was 24 and was self taught, joined the tour at age 30, and won 12 times, and beating Jack Nicklaus out for the Varden trophy in 1984 (low stroke average for the season on the tour). All with a left arm that he couldn't fully extend due to a broken elbow as a child.

I consider that feat to be no more probable than an athlete reaching the pro tennis tour having not picked up a racquet before age 18.

Mike
Uummm... not so much. There is the issue of the athleticism. Taking up the guitar, darts or painting at age 24? Sure. Tennis with the goal of winning 12 ATP tournaments? It will never happen.
 

mrc3

New User
Lucky, I don't believe I said anything about winning 12 ATP tournaments, I actually said "reach the ATP tour". I recognize that the type of athleticism required for Tennis different than say Baseball or Golf, but I disagree that excellence in golf or baseball is any easier than excellence in tennis. Govner also said "No sports.

Calvin Peete was one of the most accurate drivers ever in golf. Now while the ball isn't moving when you hit in golf, the sweet spot of the club is much farther away, much smaller, and slight inaccuracies in club squareness relative to desired flight path are much more demanding in golf than tennis. If you want to argue that the best tennis players in the world are the best tennis players and no other professional athletes compare to pro tennis players in playing tennis.... it seems like a bit of a truism.

Mike
 

LuckyR

Legend
Lucky, I don't believe I said anything about winning 12 ATP tournaments, I actually said "reach the ATP tour". I recognize that the type of athleticism required for Tennis different than say Baseball or Golf, but I disagree that excellence in golf or baseball is any easier than excellence in tennis. Govner also said "No sports.

Calvin Peete was one of the most accurate drivers ever in golf. Now while the ball isn't moving when you hit in golf, the sweet spot of the club is much farther away, much smaller, and slight inaccuracies in club squareness relative to desired flight path are much more demanding in golf than tennis. If you want to argue that the best tennis players in the world are the best tennis players and no other professional athletes compare to pro tennis players in playing tennis.... it seems like a bit of a truism.

Mike
I can see that accuracy and clarity are required here. Your post on the accomplishements of Peete have veered a bit away from the OP's specific question about Pro tennis, so my commentary shifted a bit as well. On the new topic of drawing conclusions on late starting aspiring Pro tennis players from the documented results of an actual Pro golfer, equating 12 PGA tour wins to 12 ATP wins is completely reasonable. Secondly no one, certainly not I, is saying that becoming a Pro tennis player is "easier" than a Pro golfer or MLB player. I will say that getting on the ATP is more age dependant than getting on the PGA tour, and frankly your post is perfect evidence of that statement.
 

Govnor

Professional
Lucky, I don't believe I said anything about winning 12 ATP tournaments, I actually said "reach the ATP tour". I recognize that the type of athleticism required for Tennis different than say Baseball or Golf, but I disagree that excellence in golf or baseball is any easier than excellence in tennis. Govner also said "No sports.

Calvin Peete was one of the most accurate drivers ever in golf. Now while the ball isn't moving when you hit in golf, the sweet spot of the club is much farther away, much smaller, and slight inaccuracies in club squareness relative to desired flight path are much more demanding in golf than tennis. If you want to argue that the best tennis players in the world are the best tennis players and no other professional athletes compare to pro tennis players in playing tennis.... it seems like a bit of a truism.

Mike
I didn't make it totally clear, but I'm talking about "these days". Modern sports competition. $10M contracts, etc etc. There are obviously some areas (like being an NFL lineman etc) where the learned skills you need are very very few. So there will be some outliers. Fair enough!
 

RoosterDJC45

New User
I heard in a commentary that Miloslav Mecir just like to play some tennis between fishing. It would be great to hear he picked up a racquet about 18 for fun...
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
The biggest thing stopping this is the peak that all players hit. Whether it be due to injuries or natural talent running out. Plus, to hit that level you need to spend a boatload of $$$ on coaching and usually travel for tournaments unless you're in an area that is heavily concentrated with constant tournaments.

There comes a point with every player where they won't progress anymore. I highly encourage everyone to find that point.

-Fuji
The peak is THE barrier, this coupled with all the money one could spent is significant. Certainly I would not spend all that money on coaching and be frugal with traveling.

There are no sports (Ok maybe some track/athletics events) that someone is going to take up at 18 and then become a good pro at. Sports are so competitive these days, that's just not possible. And you could argue tennis is right at the top of the "start them early" chart when it comes to becoming a pro.
yeah, tennis is at the top indeed, this can't be argued. It is the common view, so it ends up a challenge the limit one could go despite all that. Or it is not a challenge at all and one would really not care about competing.

I read in Calvin Peete's obituary today that he did not take up the game of golf until he was 24 and was self taught, joined the tour at age 30, and won 12 times, and beating Jack Nicklaus out for the Varden trophy in 1984 (low stroke average for the season on the tour). All with a left arm that he couldn't fully extend due to a broken elbow as a child.

I consider that feat to be no more probable than an athlete reaching the pro tennis tour having not picked up a racquet before age 18.

Mike
Is there a age limit to golf at all? does not seem to be the case. Golf is like poker, like bowling, like fishing, all I can think of is a health problem on the arm.

Lucky, I don't believe I said anything about winning 12 ATP tournaments, I actually said "reach the ATP tour". I recognize that the type of athleticism required for Tennis different than say Baseball or Golf, but I disagree that excellence in golf or baseball is any easier than excellence in tennis. Govner also said "No sports.

Calvin Peete was one of the most accurate drivers ever in golf. Now while the ball isn't moving when you hit in golf, the sweet spot of the club is much farther away, much smaller, and slight inaccuracies in club squareness relative to desired flight path are much more demanding in golf than tennis. If you want to argue that the best tennis players in the world are the best tennis players and no other professional athletes compare to pro tennis players in playing tennis.... it seems like a bit of a truism.

Mike
it is a completely different sport, the view is that golf can be played all life, even a sixty , seventy years old could win the top tournament. At what age does the vision starts troubling the players?

Hewitt started pretty late around 12?
He was playing Aussie rules footy till then
So Hewitt started playing tennis at 12 and became number one tennis player? this is already a way higher age than what many have said.:)

I can see that accuracy and clarity are required here. Your post on the accomplishements of Peete have veered a bit away from the OP's specific question about Pro tennis, so my commentary shifted a bit as well. On the new topic of drawing conclusions on late starting aspiring Pro tennis players from the documented results of an actual Pro golfer, equating 12 PGA tour wins to 12 ATP wins is completely reasonable. Secondly no one, certainly not I, is saying that becoming a Pro tennis player is "easier" than a Pro golfer or MLB player. I will say that getting on the ATP is more age dependant than getting on the PGA tour, and frankly your post is perfect evidence of that statement.
Golf is all precision, I can't think of many problems related about old age there, more than vision problems and a arm problem there is nothing much.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
There's a difference between just being able to play decent golf and competing on the tour. Just like tennis. It's not about what you can do on a bublble, it's how well can you do compared to everyone else. As you get older, you lose distance and power, your body wears down and you don't recover as quickly (which is important when playing 72 holes in 4 days), if you have a bad back or knee you are pretty much done. The younger guys are extremely for and strong these days.
 

mrc3

New User
Agree,

In addition, flexibility and strength throughout range of flexibility is one that tends to decrease with age. Along with that there is reaction time... :) (I hear you all thinking "Reaction time"... "In GOLF????") well yes, sort of. Top level golfers have the ability to correct swing issues in mid swing. If they feel that they are blocking their swing, they can make up for it with their hands. That ability decreases with age as the mind slows down. The ability of pro golfers to put the club head on the ball in the same freakin' spot every time while in the midst of a violent swing (Watch a video of how hard Tiger Woods swung at his drives in his early 20's) it is just amazing.

Mike

There's a difference between just being able to play decent golf and competing on the tour. Just like tennis. It's not about what you can do on a bublble, it's how well can you do compared to everyone else. As you get older, you lose distance and power, your body wears down and you don't recover as quickly (which is important when playing 72 holes in 4 days), if you have a bad back or knee you are pretty much done. The younger guys are extremely for and strong these days.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
The peak is THE barrier, this coupled with all the money one could spent is significant. Certainly I would not spend all that money on coaching and be frugal with traveling.



yeah, tennis is at the top indeed, this can't be argued. It is the common view, so it ends up a challenge the limit one could go despite all that. Or it is not a challenge at all and one would really not care about competing.



Is there a age limit to golf at all? does not seem to be the case. Golf is like poker, like bowling, like fishing, all I can think of is a health problem on the arm.



it is a completely different sport, the view is that golf can be played all life, even a sixty , seventy years old could win the top tournament. At what age does the vision starts troubling the players?



So Hewitt started playing tennis at 12 and became number one tennis player? this is already a way higher age than what many have said.:)



Golf is all precision, I can't think of many problems related about old age there, more than vision problems and a arm problem there is nothing much.
So much misinformation in one post.

Hewitt started playing tennis at age 3.

The oldest golfer to win a major was 48, not 60 or 70, and that happened in 1968. I believe in the last 25 years only one person older than 40 has won a major golf title and that was Hale Irwin in 1990.
 

mrc3

New User
My original post was in response to Govnor's comment regarding "no sports..."

I will agree with you that top ATP tour player has a shorter period of peak performance than a top PGA player. However, just for the sake of argument, I'll point out that Peete went from non-player to tour player in 6 years starting at the age of 24. The original post was regarding the possibility that an sufficiently motivated and talented 18 year old could EVER make the ATP tour. I believe it is possible. Every now and then a person comes along in most any profession, who have astounding natural talent, where a particular activity seems to be incredibly easy for them, where the rest of us struggle competence, they make excellence look easy. Take that person in Tennis, hold them back until they are 18... I can see them making the tour.

Mike


I can see that accuracy and clarity are required here. Your post on the accomplishements of Peete have veered a bit away from the OP's specific question about Pro tennis, so my commentary shifted a bit as well. On the new topic of drawing conclusions on late starting aspiring Pro tennis players from the documented results of an actual Pro golfer, equating 12 PGA tour wins to 12 ATP wins is completely reasonable. Secondly no one, certainly not I, is saying that becoming a Pro tennis player is "easier" than a Pro golfer or MLB player. I will say that getting on the ATP is more age dependant than getting on the PGA tour, and frankly your post is perfect evidence of that statement.
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
My original post was in response to Govnor's comment regarding "no sports..."

I will agree with you that top ATP tour player has a shorter period of peak performance than a top PGA player. However, just for the sake of argument, I'll point out that Peete went from non-player to tour player in 6 years starting at the age of 24. The original post was regarding the possibility that an sufficiently motivated and talented 18 year old could EVER make the ATP tour. I believe it is possible. Every now and then a person comes along in most any profession, who have astounding natural talent, where a particular activity seems to be incredibly easy for them, where the rest of us struggle competence, they make excellence look easy. Take that person in Tennis, hold them back until they are 18... I can see them making the tour.

Mike
the word EVER here shall not be neglected :)

So much misinformation in one post.

Hewitt started playing tennis at age 3.

The oldest golfer to win a major was 48, not 60 or 70, and that happened in 1968. I believe in the last 25 years only one person older than 40 has won a major golf title and that was Hale Irwin in 1990.
At 3? What a bummer.So there is really no 'old' person winning majors...

There's a difference between just being able to play decent golf and competing on the tour. Just like tennis. It's not about what you can do on a bublble, it's how well can you do compared to everyone else. As you get older, you lose distance and power, your body wears down and you don't recover as quickly (which is important when playing 72 holes in 4 days), if you have a bad back or knee you are pretty much done. The younger guys are extremely for and strong these days.
Yeah, it all depends on the opponents indeed. Losing power is certainly a handicap.
 

LuckyR

Legend
My original post was in response to Govnor's comment regarding "no sports..."

I will agree with you that top ATP tour player has a shorter period of peak performance than a top PGA player. However, just for the sake of argument, I'll point out that Peete went from non-player to tour player in 6 years starting at the age of 24. The original post was regarding the possibility that an sufficiently motivated and talented 18 year old could EVER make the ATP tour. I believe it is possible. Every now and then a person comes along in most any profession, who have astounding natural talent, where a particular activity seems to be incredibly easy for them, where the rest of us struggle competence, they make excellence look easy. Take that person in Tennis, hold them back until they are 18... I can see them making the tour.

Mike

You may very well be correct that someone will prove you right. But I seriously doubt it and until someone does, I'm more right than you are.

I see there being two problems, only one of which you have addressed, namely the slim chance of acquiring enough tennis skill fast enough to pass up all the players who have greater than a decade's worth of a head start on you.

The other issue is psychological: what 18, then 19, then 20 year old is going to have the patience to stay with the practice schedule necessary to become a Pro when they are getting their a55 kicked by 12 year olds (at first)? Especially when their peers are moving ahead with their lives and careers. Late teenagers are not known for their grasp of the longterm benefit of a plan.

Lastly, what the heck was this theoretical future tennis pro doing when all of the actual future tennis pros were... playing tennis?
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
Lastly, what the heck was this theoretical future tennis pro doing when all of the actual future tennis pros were... playing tennis?
He could be doing a lot of things, maybe he decided to postpone the time when he would finally pick up a racket and start playing for sure. haha :)
 

DrumWizOHBD

Semi-Pro
There are no sports (Ok maybe some track/athletics events) that someone is going to take up at 18 and then become a good pro at. Sports are so competitive these days, that's just not possible. And you could argue tennis is right at the top of the "start them early" chart when it comes to becoming a pro.
Not a direct comparison to becoming a professional tennis player, but In July 1999, GEENA DAVIS was invited to try out for a spot on the US Archery team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She placed 24th of 300 and did not qualify for the team. Davis has stated that she was not an athlete growing up and that her introduction to archery was in 1997, two years prior to her tryouts.

*from Wikipedia-The source of all factual information on the world wide web* :shock:
 

mrc3

New User
You may very well be correct that someone will prove you right. But I seriously doubt it and until someone does, I'm more right than you are.

I see there being two problems, only one of which you have addressed, namely the slim chance of acquiring enough tennis skill fast enough to pass up all the players who have greater than a decade's worth of a head start on you.

The other issue is psychological: what 18, then 19, then 20 year old is going to have the patience to stay with the practice schedule necessary to become a Pro when they are getting their a55 kicked by 12 year olds (at first)? Especially when their peers are moving ahead with their lives and careers. Late teenagers are not known for their grasp of the longterm benefit of a plan.

Lastly, what the heck was this theoretical future tennis pro doing when all of the actual future tennis pros were... playing tennis?
What 18-20 yr old is going to have the patience?... Not an issue. This person would want to do little else. The hard part would be getting them off the court. This person would probably get their *** kicked by a 12 year old for only about 2 months (if male) due to the physical advantages of maturity. I keep coming back to it, but Peete at age 24, was breaking 80 in 6 months (which 95% of the golfers NEVER DO. I would equate to being 4.5 in tennis) and breaking par in 1 year (roughly equivalent to top collegiate players).

Re what were they doing... Not everybody has the opportunity to know and do what they want to as a child.

Mike
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
Re what were they doing... Not everybody has the opportunity to know and do what they want to as a child.

Mike
Yeah, I liked cartoons, trading cards when I was a child. I had not idea about tennis :-?
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
Yeah, I liked cartoons, trading cards when I was a child. I had not idea about tennis :-?
yeah, some cities don't really have tennis courts too, not my case though. But here at my city there is no single golf or baseball court...:(
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
Even if there were a snowball's prayer in hell, you should be training instead of posting on the internet.

You should also already have lots of money for that training because you'll need a coach who's nothing short of a miracle worker. And miracle workers don't come cheap.

And then when you're ready for tournaments[circa age 30yr], you'll need more money still because you'll be spending way more on travel and expenses than you will be making in earnings. I read that $75,000/yr is normal. Meanwhile, some Futures only pay out about $1,000: And that's for winning the entire tournament.
 
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Kei_Nish

Rookie
Look at the personal profile of hewitt on the atp website it said 12...?
My bad it doesn't :(
It actually doesn't even tell you when he started playing?
 
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My bad it doesn't :(
It actually doesn't even tell you when he started playing?
No big deal. This is a subject we talked about a bunch on the old juniors forum. It turns out that no only do you have to start tennis early you have to be a world class junior to have any hope of a pro career. We all looked and no one could find any top 100 players who were not amazing juniors. We did find plenty of great juniors who never made it as pros.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
Look at the personal profile of hewitt on the atp website it said 12...?
My bad it doesn't :(
It actually doesn't even tell you when he started playing?
HELLO! I just posted a link to the itf site which states Hewitt started at age 3.
 

LuckyR

Legend
What 18-20 yr old is going to have the patience?... Not an issue. This person would want to do little else. The hard part would be getting them off the court. This person would probably get their *** kicked by a 12 year old for only about 2 months (if male) due to the physical advantages of maturity. I keep coming back to it, but Peete at age 24, was breaking 80 in 6 months (which 95% of the golfers NEVER DO. I would equate to being 4.5 in tennis) and breaking par in 1 year (roughly equivalent to top collegiate players).

Re what were they doing... Not everybody has the opportunity to know and do what they want to as a child.

Mike
I see that I was less clear than I need to be in my post.

Tennis, unlike golf, needs to have an opponent to practice or play. It is easier psychologically to hit buckets of golf balls at the range until you groove your stroke to the point you can break 80, than it is to trade shots with guys of your age who are way, way, way better than you are (or girls way younger than you who are also way better than you). You are right it CAN be done, but it is also true that most 18 year old male egos don't deal with that sort of thing well.

Similarly, my comment on what the guy was doing, is not a dead end question, rather it is a commentary on the fact that anyone who is going to be world class at something has to be very self motivated, so in this context, what was this very self motivated guy doing while all of the other self motivated guys were honing their tennis game? True it is POSSIBLE they were watching TV, but guys who spend all their time watching TV don't have the discipline to stick with something, especially when the going gets tough, which it would, to the point of mastery.
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
I see that I was less clear than I need to be in my post.

Tennis, unlike golf, needs to have an opponent to practice or play. It is easier psychologically to hit buckets of golf balls at the range until you groove your stroke to the point you can break 80, than it is to trade shots with guys of your age who are way, way, way better than you are (or girls way younger than you who are also way better than you). You are right it CAN be done, but it is also true that most 18 year old male egos don't deal with that sort of thing well.

Similarly, my comment on what the guy was doing, is not a dead end question, rather it is a commentary on the fact that anyone who is going to be world class at something has to be very self motivated, so in this context, what was this very self motivated guy doing while all of the other self motivated guys were honing their tennis game? True it is POSSIBLE they were watching TV, but guys who spend all their time watching TV don't have the discipline to stick with something, especially when the going gets tough, which it would, to the point of mastery.
That is true as you look at all those players breaking rackets, haha.
Well, 20 years is no small amount of time anyway.
 

okdude1992

Hall of Fame
As far as the 10,000 hours theory, I really believe that to be partly true. It takes a certain amount of time to make progress, and the research leads to those figures. The issue is finding the right people to ensure that practice is worthy, "purposeful" practice.

OP, let me give you a personal example. I know of a guy who picked up a racket for the first time at 15. Started training immediately with a coach who had worked with pros in the past. Played his first tournaments at 16 and became ranked top 50 in the state. By the end of his junior career he was 2nd in the state, and top 40 in the nation. He played 4 years of d3 tennis. Then tried to go pro and reached a high ranking of around #400. True story, I promise.
*caveat: said player was 6'4. Could consistently serve 130. Incredibly good athlete. With elite coaching/hitting partners.

So with that being said, lets assume you are a very good athlete, coordinated, and you learn extremely quickly. Lets also assume you can find a world class coach, and hitting partners. (You might notice how this is already a ton of big ifs). I believe that in this case you can surely become at least 5.0. Again, that is assuming great coaching, good skills to begin with, and lots of time/money. Thing is getting past this level you have to be truly special in at least one way. If you are special, than sure you can get an ATP point, making you a "pro". Maybe even a few. But I sincerely doubt it would be possible to ever become a good challenger player let alone ATP level. Slam winner? You must be joking.
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
As far as the 10,000 hours theory, I really believe that to be partly true. It takes a certain amount of time to make progress, and the research leads to those figures. The issue is finding the right people to ensure that practice is worthy, "purposeful" practice.

OP, let me give you a personal example. I know of a guy who picked up a racket for the first time at 15. Started training immediately with a coach who had worked with pros in the past. Played his first tournaments at 16 and became ranked top 50 in the state. By the end of his junior career he was 2nd in the state, and top 40 in the nation. He played 4 years of d3 tennis. Then tried to go pro and reached a high ranking of around #400. True story, I promise.
*caveat: said player was 6'4. Could consistently serve 130. Incredibly good athlete. With elite coaching/hitting partners.

So with that being said, lets assume you are a very good athlete, coordinated, and you learn extremely quickly. Lets also assume you can find a world class coach, and hitting partners. (You might notice how this is already a ton of big ifs). I believe that in this case you can surely become at least 5.0. Again, that is assuming great coaching, good skills to begin with, and lots of time/money. Thing is getting past this level you have to be truly special in at least one way. If you are special, than sure you can get an ATP point, making you a "pro". Maybe even a few. But I sincerely doubt it would be possible to ever become a good challenger player let alone ATP level. Slam winner? You must be joking.

A lot like the window of opportunity that has closed long ago, I really don't have any penny, so no chances ever of this world class coach, ahaha. I just wondered about how far a late player has ever come to, it seems no one really reached far.:oops:
 
As far as the 10,000 hours theory, I really believe that to be partly true. It takes a certain amount of time to make progress, and the research leads to those figures. The issue is finding the right people to ensure that practice is worthy, "purposeful" practice.
First of all, I think the 10k hours thing is complete BS. Second of all, Gladwell himself has said it doesn't apply to sports.

My take on this whole thing is that late start to pro only really happens in sports that require extraordinary bodies. The best example I can think of is basketball. Tim Duncan was a nationally ranked swimmer until Hurricane Hugo destroyed the island's only Olympic-sized pool. He didn't play organized basketball until his freshman year of high school (although I'm sure he played pickup games before). Hakeem Olajuwon, arguably the greatest center of all time, didn't play basketball at all until the age of 15. Hasheem Thabeet, former 2nd overall draft pick, also didn't play until 15.

I think there are examples of this happening in the NFL as well (Michael Oher of Blindside fame), and to a more limited extent in MLB.
 
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Flyingpanda, all those players you mentioned played team sports where you can plug in someone with a narrow skill set--like being really really tall. Tennis is an individual sport that requires a wider range of assets, like great timing, foot-work and technique. If a tennis player has a weakness his opponents will pounce on it on every point.
 
Flyingpanda, all those players you mentioned played team sports where you can plug in someone with a narrow skill set--like being really really tall. Tennis is an individual sport that requires a wider range of assets, like great timing, foot-work and technique. If a tennis player has a weakness his opponents will pounce on it on every point.
True, I don't see it happening it tennis, however it does happen in MMA, which is an individual sport. Former UFC light heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos was a dishwasher and didn't train in MMA until the age of 21. Journeyman Nate Quarry grew up a Jehovah's Witness and didn't train until the age of 24, making his pro debut at 29. Going back a little further, all time great Frank Shamrock, didn't train until 22.
 
OP, let me give you a personal example. I know of a guy who picked up a racket for the first time at 15. Started training immediately with a coach who had worked with pros in the past. Played his first tournaments at 16 and became ranked top 50 in the state. By the end of his junior career he was 2nd in the state, and top 40 in the nation. He played 4 years of d3 tennis. Then tried to go pro and reached a high ranking of around #400. True story, I promise..
Great story. I am sure you would be glad to give us this persons name.
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
You should also already have lots of money for that training because you'll need a coach who's nothing short of a miracle worker. And miracle workers don't come cheap.

And then when you're ready for tournaments[circa age 30yr], you'll need more money still because you'll be spending way more on travel and expenses than you will be making in earnings. I read that $75,000/yr is normal. Meanwhile, some Futures only pay out about $1,000: And that's for winning the entire tournament.
All this money for coaching and for travelling is a big halt, no meager and feeble chance whatever of it ever happening, :shock:

Even if there were a snowball's prayer in hell, you should be training instead of posting on the internet.
quite right, that is all there is to it. There is not really even a snowball in hell, maybe some molecules of water, vacuum or high purity hell is hard to "create", there is always some elusive molecule, pesky things .:)
 

okdude1992

Hall of Fame
Great story. I am sure you would be glad to give us this persons name.
I could, but I don't want to reveal someone elses identity on the internet. That seems inappropriate. If you don't believe the story, fine. I just looked up the player I was referring to on the ATP site. Reached #432 in '91. Feel free to do some detective work if you have the time...
 
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