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

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
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:)
Great story. I think you should definitely enter some ITF Futures and see how you do. Sounds like you'd be competitive there. Do you have any near you to enter?

Definitely follow your dreams, would like to hear how you do.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
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!



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:).



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?



My wife fully supports me, so it's all good:) I wouldn't be able even to dream about without her support:)



Christmas and New Years happened:) I will do better, I promise)




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:)



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 :)
The man who falls and gets up is stronger than the man who never fell.

J
 

Wander

Professional
@J011yroger Your story sounds like you got right at that level where the are barely any amateurs left to play against, but trying to become a pro didn't quite make sense (other career opportunities with better prospects I assume). It's a bit of a shame that it leaves you in that kind of a limbo when it comes to wanting to compete.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
@J011yroger Your story sounds like you got right at that level where the are barely any amateurs left to play against, but trying to become a pro didn't quite make sense (other career opportunities with better prospects I assume). It's a bit of a shame that it leaves you in that kind of a limbo when it comes to wanting to compete.
Well, I didn't have much in the way of resources growing up, and hurt my shoulder at 17 so I kind of gave up tennis, then at 23ish my range of motion came back so I started to hit around for fun until I figured out if my body would hold up then I played seriously just to see how good I could get.

Now I am a full time coach and can't just take 12 weekends off to go play tournaments, so I mainly play singles against some guys from my 5.0 team and other pros and stuff, and kids in the academy, and doubles for fun.

I am not particularly gifted, so it's not like I missed out on being a real pro; I'm just trying to become a has-been before I end up being a never-was and have some fun along the way.

J
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
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!
I know a guy who said he wanted an atp point so bad that it was his only goal .
He was not that bad , 20 years old just couldnt get atp point in 2,3 years of playing futures.
He ended up being top 300 in the end.
My point is there needs to be a realistic goal.
This is just a wish in my opinion.
Its nice to hear something new as you said but it needs some realistic start if nothing else.
Either you are young and crazy or old and skilled .
But even the skilled guys know their limits and try stuff like this rarelly and stop on time .
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
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.
No its not.
 

Tmano

Professional
If I am correct, I remember there was a guy on this board that decided to try to go pro a while ago, maybe 5-7 years ago and I think his name was Larson.
Your story made me think about him, because of some similarities, like he started this late in life maybe late 20s, very good player, with a family and he had a lot of support from the guys here on TT.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Know a player who over 30 yrs ago spent time at a tennis camp???/academy in Florida and while there played dubs in tourneys and actually earned an ATP point. Came back with a 120+ mph serve. We never saw anything like it. Literally Got married and ate his way into shape.............................round
 

Milanez82

Professional
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
Well that's sad to hear especially since we live worlds apart where things are a bit different i guess.
My area(think adria tour basically), its truly about camaraderie with tourneys in exotic locations throughout the year(from Croatian coast to Slovenian Alps) where its more about then just tennis. As far as 5.0 level goes, usually there is an outsider(like a former ranked player from hungary, romania or etc) that comes and cleans up to get those ITF points but most people there are to have good time with like minded people.
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
Take steroids and then once you’ve improved your ranking enough to enter some decent tournaments, start throwing some matches.
 

Wander

Professional
I know a guy who said he wanted an atp point so bad that it was his only goal .
He was not that bad , 20 years old just couldnt get atp point in 2,3 years of playing futures.
He ended up being top 300 in the end.
My point is there needs to be a realistic goal.
This is just a wish in my opinion.
Its nice to hear something new as you said but it needs some realistic start if nothing else.
Either you are young and crazy or old and skilled .
But even the skilled guys know their limits and try stuff like this rarelly and stop on time .
There's also this guy Gregory Howe who quit his job as a school teacher at 34 to try pro tennis with the goal of getting just one ATP point and wrote a book about it. I think he managed 2 ATP points (or so) over the course of a couple of years.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
THere was a guy who did this at 34, Gregory Howe. He wrote a book about it, Chasing Points. I think he started in ITFs in Africa. I'll read it and report back.
 

blablavla

Legend
THere was a guy who did this at 34, Gregory Howe. He wrote a book about it, Chasing Points. I think he started in ITFs in Africa. I'll read it and report back.
there was a time when Futures and Challengers in Africa were considered relatively weak, and therefore it was kind of easier to get points there
but since this knowledge is public for 20 years or so, it leveled out, as many players are trying to follow this easy route

another shortcut, the Futures played around New Year are probably as well gone since the famous Artem Bahmet match
I'd be surprised if players from all over the world, chasing their first ATP point didn't close that gap
 

taylor15

Professional
another shortcut, the Futures played around New Year are probably as well gone since the famous Artem Bahmet match
I'd be surprised if players from all over the world, chasing their first ATP point didn't close that gap
I had forgotten about that match. Man, that dude seriously looks like he's never picked up a racquet. The worst thing is that he played so bad he should be embarrassed to be in the 'just to say I played a futures match' club.
 

Tmano

Professional
If I am correct, I remember there was a guy on this board that decided to try to go pro a while ago, maybe 5-7 years ago and I think his name was Larson.
Your story made me think about him, because of some similarities, like he started this late in life maybe late 20s, very good player, with a family and he had a lot of support from the guys here on TT.

His name was Tony Larson

 

Wander

Professional
I had forgotten about that match. Man, that dude seriously looks like he's never picked up a racquet. The worst thing is that he played so bad he should be embarrassed to be in the 'just to say I played a futures match' club.
I had to check because I thought that sounded too unbelievable but you're right. I've seen people play tennis for the first time in their lives and look better than that guy.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
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
But remember? You're only a 4.5. (Ahhhh! That thread was a legend, wasn't it?)
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
There's also this guy Gregory Howe who quit his job as a school teacher at 34 to try pro tennis with the goal of getting just one ATP point and wrote a book about it. I think he managed 2 ATP points (or so) over the course of a couple of years.
Yeah just checked it out, he did have few nice wins even tho it was in africa but it still counts. If he got it in europe at this time period his point would be worth like 5 to 10 atp points
Before when satelites were a thing if you got a single point it ment you are top 700 at least with your skill lvl .
Still even then to get first points as 35 year old is very very hard.
But this guy wants many points 150 plus ....like top 300 to be able to play slams qually.
And points that matter are from semis up . That means 2 seeded players and at least 5, 6 wins before even starting a real tournament plus 20 weeks at least.
How many matches is that already??
If he plays 20 tournamets per year : 10 futures and 10 challangers he needs to win 1 in 5 futures and at least 2 semis in challengers.
Thats about top 300 if you are lucky with 40 to 50 matches totall , this is what body of 35 plus could hold in best case scenario.
Now who has the quality with 35 plus for such things is the question.
Just ex top 200 players .
If quality is only bit less you need probably 2x that amount of matches which no 35 plus can do just like that.
 
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Teslar

New User
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:)
I'd like to see Tsonga playing ping pong.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
A couple of years ago, in UK, a British teaching pro maded it into main draw of Wimbledon and his first round opponent was RF. Lost of course. He was ranked in the 1,200s before doing a series of qualifying tournaments just to get into the Wimbledon qualifying tournament.

Ivo Karlovic is #142 and has 25+ years at 20-50 in the world. Wimbledon is his best surface.

If you have $30K saved up and take a year off, go for it. Travel the world, began in ITF Transition Circuit.
 

blablavla

Legend
A couple of years ago, in UK, a British teaching pro maded it into main draw of Wimbledon and his first round opponent was RF. Lost of course. He was ranked in the 1,200s before doing a series of qualifying tournaments just to get into the Wimbledon qualifying tournament.

Ivo Karlovic is #142 and has 25+ years at 20-50 in the world. Wimbledon is his best surface.

If you have $30K saved up and take a year off, go for it. Travel the world, began in ITF Transition Circuit.
he actually made it through the R1, by defeating Berankis
not sure if he met Roger in R2 or R3

but outside that Wim, he never made it past Challengers

and he actually was one of the top juniors, but for some reasons didn't persuade a pro career

in a similar way, M. Zverev was one of top juniors, and as his pro career didn't take off, coupled with injuries he pretty much settled for being a teaching pro
but as he was hitting with A Zverev, and A Zverev was rising fast, he decided to try as well again, and, well you know the story

but, the common thing is that these both players were among top juniors
 

blablavla

Legend
I am making the same question as OP here, and I am 55.
Please advise if the answers above also apply to me.
you need to start taking lessons at the STC affiliates
in order to be ready for the glory that is waiting for you on the tennis court, you first need to master the Top Internet 3.5 Glory
 

Pmasterfunk

Hall of Fame
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
There aren't any ITF tournaments in NY State? How is that even possible?

Also, I'm kinda disappointed there are no Johnny Groove references in this thread.
 
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
Post some match play
 

nyta2

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
i think getting a single atp point would be amazing.
gl!
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Create a Virtual World Tennis Tour. Convince some sponsors to come on board. And away you go.


Can become World number 1 without leaving your living room. Age won't be a barrier either.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Perhaps the OP should try (American) football. I watched a round-of-eight playoff game yesterday and the two star quarterbacks were in their 40s.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Go Pro...Teaching Pro! Teaching tennis that is. No travel, no hotel stays, no stress on winning. Must be able to sell yourself and tell potential clients that you can improve their game. Must be sociable to groups and individual setting.
 
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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Go Pro...Teaching Pro! Teaching tennis that is. No travel, no hotel stays, no stress on winning. Must be able to sell yourself and tell potential clients that you can improve their game. Must be sociable to groups and individual setting.
Don't teaching pros need credentials?
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
Don't teaching pros need credentials?
Then there would not be any teaching pros left.
99% credentials are made up or exagerated .
So it looks like this: top junior player in all ages ( hard to trace that on internet) stop because an injury or no money, licence a,b,c,d ( when you dont play tennis there is enough time to get all the licences ) then say you coached or were sparring traveling coach to all the players (you hit with once , spent a day or just put players that dont mind if you put them on the list .)

If you are older then you just say you coached and traveled with top player on slams (name some player this is a top tip ) or at least 20 top players in a country but 20 years ago( very important) ... coz those people you coach were not born yet or played tennis.

, licence is easy to get for anyone and you barely need to know how to play yourself.
All you need is good marketing and to talk a lot of crap about other coaches in which you see potential danger ,while being extra nice and friendly yourself.
 
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