Jamie Baker's break point: A tennis nomad exits the planet’s cruellest sport

An interesting read of the real life on tour... I was suprised how low the prize money is in the futures etc.

Check it out here: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...xits-the-planets-cruellest-sport-9046491.html

On an obscure tennis court just outside Athens in May last year, Jamie Baker stared at the 19-year-old Canadian kid winding up his serve on the other side of the net, and asked himself what the point was. The match was five minutes in, and Filip Peliwo, the number one junior player in the world in 2012, was pumped. It didn’t matter that this was a crappy tournament thousands of miles from home; it didn’t matter that, win or lose, the prize money would be pitiful; it didn’t matter that no one was watching. There were ranking points at stake, and the more of them he could amass, the fewer tournaments like this he would have to play in the future. Peliwo was hungry.

When Baker was 19, he had been hungry, too. For as long as he could remember, he had wanted to be a tennis player. He had given up parties and lie-ins and A-levels and home because he had wanted it so much. The prospect of 30 weeks of the year on the road, trekking from shabby hotel to shabby hotel in pursuit of his dream, was never going to deter him. But that was seven years and many injuries ago. He was 26 now. He was ranked 237 in the world. A couple of months previously he had beaten this guy easily, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was going to beat him today. I have done this so many times, he thought. I used to be like him. His foot hurt.

The match unfolded, but Baker wasn’t really there. Stiff and inhibited, he lost in straight sets to a man ranked 300 places below him. He congratulated Peliwo, and thanked the umpire, and packed up his bag. He went back to his room and wept.

He had to get out of there. He went online and booked a flight back to his native Glasgow for about £500. He took a shower. He packed his bags, picked up his losing quarter-finalist’s prize of €215 in cash, and went straight to the airport. When he got home, he told his mum and dad what he was going to do next. He was going to quit.

One year ago this week, Jamie Baker was getting ready to play in the first round of the Australian Open after battling his way through...

Continued online here: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...xits-the-planets-cruellest-sport-9046491.html
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
With no real-life professional skills and a minimal education, he now has a permanent job after tennis. What is he complaining about?


This time around, as Murray has accepted the Sports Personality of the Year award, Baker has been getting the Bakerloo line to his new job at Santander and working a nine-to-five. He has attended his first-ever office Christmas party. He has figured out how to use a photocopier.
 
except he isn't complaining at all..

way to miss the point.

I guess the most telling figure in the article was the relative earnings of the 185th rank tennis player in 2009 (about 40K) and the 185th rank golfer (around 550K)

There is plenty of money in thesport, but it isn't shared with any intelligence at all. There is no need for teh Slams to offer prizemoney of more than a million dollars to the winner, that's more than enough and would free up literally millions of dollars to support the lesser tiered events.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
What's he complaining about? I don't think he's complaining at all, but there is most definitely something wrong with only 100 people being able to make a living off of what is, arguably, the third of fourth most global sport.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
If he is blessed to live in a country where he can get a 9 to 5 office job seemingly regardless of any specific skills and not even need private transportation to go to work, then playing tennis is a risk that someone like him can take in their younger years.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I guess the most telling figure in the article was the relative earnings of the 185th rank tennis player in 2009 (about 40K) and the 185th rank golfer (around 550K)

I was in some holiday place between Christmas and New Year. I saw two tennis courts (one with a collapsed net) but golf course after golf course with resident hotels, restaurants, and condos. That just shows what the priorities are.
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
except he isn't complaining at all..

way to miss the point.

I guess the most telling figure in the article was the relative earnings of the 185th rank tennis player in 2009 (about 40K) and the 185th rank golfer (around 550K)

There is plenty of money in thesport, but it isn't shared with any intelligence at all. There is no need for teh Slams to offer prizemoney of more than a million dollars to the winner, that's more than enough and would free up literally millions of dollars to support the lesser tiered events.

He is complaining, he has admitted before he is incredibly lazy. What does the 185th ranked heavyweight boxer get? What does the 185th fastest 100m sprinter get?

He's talked before about how his dad could pull strings and get him a cushy job in the city despite him having no practically no education and no qualifications so I guess the laziness has finally completely won round, which is a pity because he really does have a lot of talent.
 

MindoverMatter

Professional
He is complaining, he has admitted before he is incredibly lazy. What does the 185th ranked heavyweight boxer get? What does the 185th fastest 100m sprinter get?

He's talked before about how his dad could pull strings and get him a cushy job in the city despite him having no practically no education and no qualifications so I guess the laziness has finally completely won round, which is a pity because he really does have a lot of talent.

Where in that entire article did you get that he was lazy? The entire thing was the exact opposite of that
 

AtomicForehand

Hall of Fame
He is complaining, he has admitted before he is incredibly lazy. What does the 185th ranked heavyweight boxer get? What does the 185th fastest 100m sprinter get?

Boxing and sprinting are hardly comparable to tennis in terms of global audience and market.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Boxing and sprinting are hardly comparable to tennis in terms of global audience and market.

Problem is that the market is restricted to the bigger tournaments. As the article said, the Challenger matches are often empty of spectators.

Also, genetics and drugs are a multi-billion dollar industry, but many post-docs in biology are unemployed or hardly employed.

American sports are unique in the sense that they are highly unionized and the public happily accepts it. Cricket and soccer are the national religions in many countries. Tennis is always second to something else.
 
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