Starting a pro career at 35, what do you think?

swedenparty

Rookie
Hey, an ex-college player here that never got past his dreams of making it pro.

Making a last push...considering all this Covid bu....it, it is for sure not easy, but who has it easy nowadays anyway?:) Decided I'll make a blog about it to make myself more accountable, maybe help someone trying to improve, or at least make someone smile a few times.

Let me know what do you think, and give me your odds of me making it to a Grand Slam:)

www.couchtograndslam.com
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
Hey, an ex-college player here that never got past his dreams of making it pro.

Making a last push...considering all this Covid bu....it, it is for sure not easy, but who has it easy nowadays anyway?:) Decided I'll make a blog about it to make myself more accountable, maybe help someone trying to improve, or at least make someone smile a few times.

Let me know what do you think, and give me your odds of me making it to a Grand Slam:)

www.couchtograndslam.com
Seems very unrealistic, but best of luck all the same. Don't forget to enjoy the journey. I'll follow with interest from my own couch.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Well some posters on here suggest Federer was at his peak at 35 so things are just getting started for you pal ;)

In all seriousness, go for it!! Turning pro in any sport at any age and have it be your primary source of income is incredibly difficult in general for a variety of reasons, but you'll never really know unless you try!
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
You talk about losing twice to a UTR 11 player recently on your blog which means you are probably a high 5.0 or low 5.5. That’s the level of a club coach and maybe below that of a Division 1 player at a good tennis college in the US. You are better off challenging TTW star @MaxTennis (who used to be a UTR11) to a match than dreaming of making it to a Slam after the age of 35. Why don’t you try to enter ITF age group tournaments for >35 and winning some titles there which will be a more realistic goal?

Anyway, as long as you are having fun, do what you think is best.
 
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MaxTennis

Semi-Pro
You talk about losing twice to a UTR 11 player recently on your blog which means you are probably a high 5.0 or low 5.5. That’s the level of a club coach and maybe below that of a Division 1 player at a good tennis college in the US. You are better off challenging TTW star @MaxTennis (who used to be a UTR11) to a match than dreaming of making it to a Slam after the age of 35. Why don’t you try to enter ITF age group tournaments for >35 and winning some titles there which be a more realistic goal?

Anyway, as long as you are having fun, do what you think is best.
Have to agree here. Wishing you all the best on your goal @swedenparty but I think you've missed the boat by 10-15 years.
 

ND-13

Professional
Tennis constantly evolves, players hit their peak in their 30's , they understand the rigors of the tour, diet, science, fitness and the whole nine yards...

Good luck , OP... For all we know you could be a big 3 opponent at 2022 AO R1.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I was talking to my coach who played futures on the tour till 7 years ago about what are some of the differences between him and some of his Russian junior peers who made it to the top of the Tour like Karen Kachanov and Daniil Medvedev. He said that unless you get financial backers who can pay for a coach, trainer, physio etc, to travel with you for 3-4 years on tour, you can never develop the body and physical fitness/strength to be a top player on the tour. For example, Kachanov had a rich uncle who backed him while Medvedev‘s family was rich enough to move to France. He said that it takes till your early twenties to have the body of a top pro these days and most of his top junior peers dropped out of tennis to make a living or go to college to get an education for a different profession.

My coach also mentioned that he wasn’t as mentally tough as he needed to be and lost too many close matches which affected his rankings. In addition, he had to get a ‘real’ job to pay his bills and had no financial wherewithal to hire traveling coaches/physios etc. on tour while he could train at a national center only when he was at home. So, he decided to come to the US on a tennis college scholarship and later became a coach. But, the comment about needing many years on tour to develop the body of a pro is what stuck in my mind.

All the players who are called ‘mugs‘ on this forum just because they can’t beat the ‘Big 3’ (who are the best of the best) have worked their butts off in the gym and on the courts for well over a decade to be where they are at in the rankings. Most of their talented peers either lacked their perseverance, work ethic or the financial resources while they rose to the top till they are in a position to make millions.
 
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RiverRat

Professional
If you can afford to do it, why not? Shoot for the stars and hit the moon. But your physical preparation seems to be a little modest, even your goals. A 20 minute 5k as a goal isn't going to cut it, if that's a true measure of fitness.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Hey, an ex-college player here that never got past his dreams of making it pro.

Making a last push...considering all this Covid bu....it, it is for sure not easy, but who has it easy nowadays anyway?:) Decided I'll make a blog about it to make myself more accountable, maybe help someone trying to improve, or at least make someone smile a few times.

Let me know what do you think, and give me your odds of me making it to a Grand Slam:)

www.couchtograndslam.com
I read your bio. I think you are a much better person to answer your own question, because almost all the posters on this forum are low-level recreational players and nowhere near your level. One thing though is that you seem to be married with 2 kids. How will you balance pro tennis with your family commitments?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
If you can afford to do it, why not? Shoot for the stars and hit the moon. But your physical preparation seems to be a little modest, even your goals. A 20 minute 5k as a goal isn't going to cut it, if that's a true measure of fitness.
That was one of my favorite threads when people were debating if top 10 ATP players could run a sub 20 min 5k and I said I could do it after doing nothing but drinking beer and eating wings in January not having run more than a mile in years.

J
 

taylor15

Professional
Hey, an ex-college player here that never got past his dreams of making it pro.

Making a last push...considering all this Covid bu....it, it is for sure not easy, but who has it easy nowadays anyway?:) Decided I'll make a blog about it to make myself more accountable, maybe help someone trying to improve, or at least make someone smile a few times.

Let me know what do you think, and give me your odds of me making it to a Grand Slam:)

www.couchtograndslam.com
What happened? After dec 25 there isn’t more posts. You had a solid weekly going there
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
Hey, an ex-college player here that never got past his dreams of making it pro.

Making a last push...considering all this Covid bu....it, it is for sure not easy, but who has it easy nowadays anyway?:) Decided I'll make a blog about it to make myself more accountable, maybe help someone trying to improve, or at least make someone smile a few times.

Let me know what do you think, and give me your odds of me making it to a Grand Slam:)

www.couchtograndslam.com
Dont waste your time or money to do that unless you are rich so you dont need to work.
It is very simple decision.
I know plenty of players over 30 that were top 300 players and some of them still play club matches .They can play match or 2 on high lvl but not in row .
Speed is down, muscle elasticity is down, recovery is down,hips are sore, tendons are stiff. You cant even work hard without therapy every single day , let alone move your limits which are low to begin with
Since you never played at that lvl of speed and power.
Top 200 guys that are that old warm up 1 hour before they even worm up on court before they play a single match and then 2 hours of recovery at least.
And they play very little matches per year.
Ivo Karlovic had like 30 matches per year to stay in top 100 .
For you to break in top 300 you would need at least 60 matches.
Plus qualy matches which i didnt count
 
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Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
Dont waste your time or money to do that unless you are rich so you dont need to work.
It is very simple decision.
I know plenty of players over 30 that were top 300 players and some of them still play club matches .They can play match or 2 on high lvl but not in row .
Speed is down, muscle elasticity is down, recovery is down,hips are sore, tendons are stiff. You cant even work hard without therapy every single day , let alone move your limits which are low to begin with
Since you never played at that lvl of speed and power.
Top 200 guys that are that old warm up 1 hour before they even worm up on court before they play a single match and then 2 hours of recovery at least.
And they play very little matches per year.
Ivo Karlovic had like 30 matches per year to stay in top 100 .
For you to break in top 300 you would need at least 60 matches.
Plus qualy matches which i didnt count
No need to sugarcoat it.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
If it's what you want and what you need, and you have the means and ability to give it a shot, then you owe it to yourself to do it.
Please keep us updated.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I was talking to my coach who played futures on the tour till 7 years ago about what are some of the differences between him and some of his Russian junior peers who made it to the top of the Tour like Karen Kachanov and Daniil Medvedev. He said that unless you get financial backers who can pay for a coach, trainer, physio etc, to travel with you for 3-4 years on tour, you can never develop the body and physical fitness/strength to be a top player on the tour. For example, Kachanov had a rich uncle who backed him while Medvedev‘s family was rich enough to move to France. He said that it takes till your early twenties to have the body of a top pro these days and most of his top junior peers dropped out of tennis to make a living or go to college to get an education for a different profession.

My coach also mentioned that he wasn’t as mentally tough as he needed to be and lost too many close matches which affected his rankings. In addition, he had to get a ‘real’ job to pay his bills and had no financial wherewithal to hire traveling coaches/physios etc. on tour while he could train at a national center only when he was at home. So, he decided to come to the US on a tennis college scholarship and later became a coach. But, the comment about needing many years on tour to develop the body of a pro is what stuck in my mind.

All the players who are called ‘mugs‘ on this forum just because they can’t beat the ‘Big 3’ (who are the best of the best) have worked their butts off in the gym and on the courts for well over a decade to be where they are at in the rankings. Most of their talented peers either lacked their perseverance, work ethic or the financial resources while they rose to the top till they are in a position to make millions.
Some truth right here. Tennis is definitely one of the hardest sports to turn pro at.

@swedenparty I say follow your dreams, give it a shot. Train like crazy and enter some futures quallies. See how you do...I wish you success.
 

blablavla

Legend
Hey, an ex-college player here that never got past his dreams of making it pro.

Making a last push...considering all this Covid bu....it, it is for sure not easy, but who has it easy nowadays anyway?:) Decided I'll make a blog about it to make myself more accountable, maybe help someone trying to improve, or at least make someone smile a few times.

Let me know what do you think, and give me your odds of me making it to a Grand Slam:)

www.couchtograndslam.com
let's assume that you will succeed and get to the top 200 or even top 100 pro players in the world
are you ready to be called a mug, journeyman, clown, pigeon by the residents of TTW?
 

Milanez82

Professional
In a sea of Big dumb 3 threads this is actually quite a refreshing one.
I assume the idea is to get some support for that moment when you feel you are stuck, no measurable progress and want to give up.

As others said conditioning and strength are key so keep us updated!
 

Jonesy

Hall of Fame
For your luck 35 is the new 25.

The 2 best players in the world are around your age, so this means you are in the best stage of your tennis to enter the game.

Looking anxiously to watch you beat some next gen.
 
That was one of my favorite threads when people were debating if top 10 ATP players could run a sub 20 min 5k and I said I could do it after doing nothing but drinking beer and eating wings in January not having run more than a mile in years.

J
what is the fastest you ever ran a 5k?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I feel like I remember in my early TTW days reading something about you making a push to the pro circuit -is my memory serving me well?
I wanted to play ITF seniors when I turned 35, still do. Tournament scene is very bleak here though, local 35s are a joke, I could easily be #1 in Eastern. Nationals are good level but only a few tournaments, very few opportunities to earn ITF points in the US I assume because of some sort of feud between the USTA and the ITF?

I thought it would be cool to play some pro circuit events, just to say I did it even if I got trounced in the qualies, but there weren't any futures in NY and I could only play one or two tournaments a year that gave top 500 list national ranking points, so it seemed kind of dumb to travel to another state or country to get turned away because the draw was full and I didn't have a national ranking. I never held any illusions of getting points or anything, it would just be for the heck of it.

I'd still do it given the opportunity, I'm better at 38 than I was at 28. Heck, I just want to play and have a reason to train, win or lose but there is nothing out there for guys like me.

J
 

taylor15

Professional
I wanted to play ITF seniors when I turned 35, still do. Tournament scene is very bleak here though, local 35s are a joke, I could easily be #1 in Eastern. Nationals are good level but only a few tournaments, very few opportunities to earn ITF points in the US I assume because of some sort of feud between the USTA and the ITF?

I thought it would be cool to play some pro circuit events, just to say I did it even if I got trounced in the qualies, but there weren't any futures in NY and I could only play one or two tournaments a year that gave top 500 list national ranking points, so it seemed kind of dumb to travel to another state or country to get turned away because the draw was full and I didn't have a national ranking. I never held any illusions of getting points or anything, it would just be for the heck of it.

I'd still do it given the opportunity, I'm better at 38 than I was at 28. Heck, I just want to play and have a reason to train, win or lose but there is nothing out there for guys like me.

J
The lack of adult tournaments is really baffling for me. I'm in the Atlanta area, and don't know of any ITF tournaments closer than going to FL. I was talking to a parent of one of my daughter's friends who is about 10 years older than I (I'm 37). He was telling me that in the early to mid 90s our area would host tournaments that drew players from SC, NC and all of North GA. So big that they would use courts at 3 locations, including a local country club that has a lot of courts. He and his brother both played D1 and would struggle in some of these tournaments by the time they were in mid-late twenties. We still have these local tourneys, but not near the turnout.

I don't understand why adult tennis for our age range is so weak. There are a ton of older players still in our area, and there seems to be an up-tick in younger players but not a surge. That said, I don't think it's just tennis, seems that adult sports in general are dying out. I played baseball in college and after I graduated I played in a wooden bat adult league for two years. It was ultra competitive, lots of ex collegiate and low level minor league players. I had a great time playing with those guys but I moved on due to being a catcher and an ACL tear. Now those leagues no longer exist either.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
what is the fastest you ever ran a 5k?
I don't know, running was never my thing. I ran cross country in high school just for something to do but I was slower than drying paint, the whole team would be in the bus waiting for me to finish the race. After college I ran distance and started working out in the gym for something to do to stay in shape since my shoulder still sucked, then once I got mobility back in my shoulder and started playing 'seriously' I did a lot of speed work, intervals, and heavier weights because I would never get tired on court but I wasn't fast at all, then I started to get quicker but nothing special, I never ran a sub 5 min mile or anything like that. My mom got into running and sometimes I would do these NY State Park series races with her just to see here once a week or so but I would run the first mile with her in like 10 minutes until the pack cleared out and then finish on my own. I ran a few on my own but I was more into the girls in short shorts and sports bras than actually winning the race, I think I came in first in my age group here and there but it was against people just out for exercise and beer.

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
The lack of adult tournaments is really baffling for me. I'm in the Atlanta area, and don't know of any ITF tournaments closer than going to FL. I was talking to a parent of one of my daughter's friends who is about 10 years older than I (I'm 37). He was telling me that in the early to mid 90s our area would host tournaments that drew players from SC, NC and all of North GA. So big that they would use courts at 3 locations, including a local country club that has a lot of courts. He and his brother both played D1 and would struggle in some of these tournaments by the time they were in mid-late twenties. We still have these local tourneys, but not near the turnout.

I don't understand why adult tennis for our age range is so weak. There are a ton of older players still in our area, and there seems to be an up-tick in younger players but not a surge. That said, I don't think it's just tennis, seems that adult sports in general are dying out. I played baseball in college and after I graduated I played in a wooden bat adult league for two years. It was ultra competitive, lots of ex collegiate and low level minor league players. I had a great time playing with those guys but I moved on due to being a catcher and an ACL tear. Now those leagues no longer exist either.
Yea, we are very close in age, there are just a handful of 5.0s in my area within 5 years of my age, most are over 40 or under/around 30.

Even in the early 2000s tournaments were great. I started playing again right at the decline.

Last time I played tournaments was 2017, I played 5 men's opens, won 3, ended up ranked 20 in Eastern. I beat the guy who was #5 2&2 and it has only gotten worse since then.

It used to be fun to go to all these different clubs and meet new people and stuff, even if the rankings were a joke, now it's like why do I want to pay $65 to play a tournament with 4 people in it.

Every few years I would get the bug to play tournaments and then after a few months I realized it was all the same people playing and I could just call them up and ask if they wanted to play a couple sets and save myself a bunch of time and money.

J
 

swedenparty

Rookie
First of I am really surprised to see such a big amount of positivity for me! Thank you very much! Just so you know it is really appreciated!

You talk about losing twice to a UTR 11 player recently on your blog which means you are probably a high 5.0 or low 5.5. That’s the level of a club coach and maybe below that of a Division 1 player at a good tennis college in the US. You are better off challenging TTW star @MaxTennis (who used to be a UTR11) to a match than dreaming of making it to a Slam after the age of 35. Why don’t you try to enter ITF age group tournaments for >35 and winning some titles there which will be a more realistic goal?

Anyway, as long as you are having fun, do what you think is best.
UTR does give me a 12.36 at the moment, which makes me at about 6.5. But I think it would be higher if it had all my results. And also at the same time it's me only getting of the couch which I was on for a good few years. Lets see what happens in few months, maybe you are right:).

I like your ambition

And I'm rooting for you

As other poasters have mentioned, you need better fitness goals.

And I think you should also make some strength goals, so that your body can handle the demands of the tour.

Wish you all the best!

GO DO IT!
Thank you for the support and what do you think would be some better fitness goals. I made a goal of 5k in 20 mins because it seems that tennis players on average don't run much faster than that, and everyone who I know that can run 5k in 20 is super fit and can easily survive a long tennis match. Also what do you think would be a good strength test? Isn't it kind of very specific to each individual?

I read your bio. I think you are a much better person to answer your own question, because almost all the posters on this forum are low-level recreational players and nowhere near your level. One thing though is that you seem to be married with 2 kids. How will you balance pro tennis with your family commitments?
My wife fully supports me, so it's all good:) I wouldn't be able even to dream about without her support:)

What happened? After dec 25 there isn’t more posts. You had a solid weekly going there
Christmas and New Years happened:) I will do better, I promise)

let's assume that you will succeed and get to the top 200 or even top 100 pro players in the world
are you ready to be called a mug, journeyman, clown, pigeon by the residents of TTW?

Great question actually, I think in the past I would get angry and argue about it(because of pride most of all), but thankfully I matured enough to realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you compare them to the best in the world - sure 100-300 players are big time losers, it makes sense why people would think that -the difference in money, status, fame, fanbase is staggering. But if you ask me, I believe than anyone in top 300 has an amazing level of tennis and are great athletes. If you compare them, for example, to top 300 soccer players in the world, the respect would grow. But it is an individual sport after all, only few players get to the latest stages, and those players are in the spotlight and get all the money too:)

In a sea of Big dumb 3 threads this is actually quite a refreshing one.
I assume the idea is to get some support for that moment when you feel you are stuck, no measurable progress and want to give up.

As others said conditioning and strength are key so keep us updated!
Not really! Actually I wanted to record my thoughts, make myself more accountable, and didn't want to do it on my own:) the thought that there is someone supporting you, cheering for you or even laughing at you is very motivating! After all, who are tennis players - entertainers :)
 

swedenparty

Rookie
I'd go with ping pong if I were you.
I actually beat Rafa in pingpong in European Tennis Championships(under 16) in England - true story! There was a room with table tennis and many tennis players would hang out there in the evenings, that was the time before smartphones. If I am not mistaken he lost to Tsonga in first round of that tournament. I lost to Dudi Sela in second:)
 
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