Tennis is an extremely popular sport among many people. People all over the world enjoy this sport. Many people aspire to become professional tennis players. Professional tennis is quite competitive. It requires utmost persistence and dedication.
Young athletes have always dominated professional sport. Most professional sports leagues have a certain age limit. But tennis is not a short career. Previously in tennis just like other games, the young players have been the center of success.
But recently, the game has seen the rise of older players. Thirty-seven-year-old Radek Stepanek defeated Murray to a fifth set in the first round of the French Open.
Again, Thirty-four-year-old Roger Federer ranked third in the world. These are some examples that prove that tennis is no longer restricted to age barriers.
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How to Become a Professional Tennis Player at 30
1. To become a professional player, you will need rigorous training. This applies to players of any age. If you want to play tennis professionally, you have to be in shape. There are some exercises you can do to stay in shape:
- Some lightweight training so your body is strong enough to survive the court.
- Cardio training. You can try running every day. Then there is cycling, jogging, swimming, aerobics, walking, etc.
- You can make a routine exercise plan by consulting a trainer.
2. You have to put hours into practice if you want to play pro tennis. With practice, you will improve your game. You can prepare a schedule where you time everything accordingly.
As someone training to be a professional tennis player, tennis needs to an important highlight of your life every day. You need to put in hours of practice to become an expert.
3. If you see the life of any pro tennis player, you will see they have always maintained a strict routine. They have certain habits that they follow to keep them fit. Try to adopt those approaches. Some of the important attributes to look into are:
- Professional players are more agile and faster than their competitors. They have achieved this agility and speed through training.
- Professional players spend less time on practice.
- Professional players are slimmer than their competitors. They follow a strict diet which keeps them fit and on track.
- Professional players spend a lot of time on fitness training.
4. Always try to find different elements of your game. Every pro player has said that they use every practice session to improve their game. You will be benefitted if you can develop this approach. With continuous practice, you will improve your game.
5. Always find your strong suit and embrace that. Don’t try to follow other player’s techniques. A specific technique that worked on another player will not necessarily work on you. So, practice as much as you can and try to find and improve different elements of your game.
6. Surround yourself with players that challenge you. Playing against challenging opponents will improve your game. You can improve your skills. You can join a club or a league.
Try to play with players who are better than you. If you play against players who always beat you, then there’s a scope to learn from their tactics.
7. Find a coach. You need someone who can guide you through your training. There is only so much you can learn on your own. Take some time and find yourself a good coach.
8. You need to understand what it means to be a professional tennis player. You will need to make plenty of sacrifices. A professional athlete has to follow a strict routine.
So, you might miss out on a lot of things. Your social life might not thrive. But you need to be able to make those sacrifices for your career.
9. There will be a concern of financial issue. Make sure you know all the aspects before you start on the journey. Becoming a professional tennis player needs will be costly.
There are coaches fee, cost of tennis equipment, travel costs when you travel for different tournaments, etc. There are many financial aid organizations, check them out.
9. Each country has an association for its professional-level athletes. Look into them and make sure to be associated with them. Without them, you can’t play on national and international levels.
Below we have made a list of professional tennis players who started late so that you can know there is still time. These players have proved many assumptions made upon them.
Professional Tennis Players Who Started Late (Near 30)
Ivan Lendl is a professional tennis player of a Czech-American descendant. He won around ninety-four singles titles. He has eight titles in the major and 11 runner-up records. Ivan Lendl won his first grand slam at the age of twenty-four which was a huge shocker.
A rule was prevalent that if you have not won a grand slam before twenty-one then you can’t win anything. He was down on two sets and break. But then he proved by winning the Australian Open. After that, he held on to his success.
He was world no. 1 for two hundred and seventy weeks. He showed and played a new style. He hit with heavy topspin. Ivan is said to have popularized the current style of playing which includes an aggressive baseline. After his professional tennis career, he took the role of a tennis coach.
Stan Wawrinka has been among the top four tennis players. He achieved his first Grand Slam at the age of twenty-nine which was the Australia Open Tournament of 2014. He won the game against Rafael Nadal. Wawrinka won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the doubles.
His teammate was Roger Federer. Wawrinka also has won the 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open. Wawrinka has been described as ‘’Tennis’s great latecomer’’ by The Economist. He is said to have the best backhands. Wawrinka was able to cross Roger Federer’s record by 2019.
After winning the Grand Slam, Stan Wawrinka said –
“Before today, for me, it wasn’t a dream. I never expected to play a final. I never expected to win a Grand Slam. And right now I just did it.”
Malek Jaziri is a professional Tunisian player. He was ranked world no. 49 on the ATP Tour in January 2019. Jaziri played the 2011 US Open and defeated Guillaume Rufin, Michael Ryderstedt, and Brian Dabul. He reached the main draw of the Australian Open at thirty-two.
Malek Jaziri was the first Arabian who reached the round – 3 in a decade. He beat Mikhail Kukushkin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the first and second rounds. He started playing pro in the year 2003.
Malek reached the quarterfinals in Barcelona defeating player Alexander Zverev. He has been coached by Haythem Abid – a Tunisian legend, his whole career.
Janko Tipsarevic is a Serbian professional tennis player. He has four ATP world tour titles, one ATP doubles title, fifteen challenger titles, and three futures. Janko won the 2001 Australian Open Junior title. He defeated Novak Djokovic and won world no. 1 twice.
Janko Tipsarevic made it to the top ten at the age of twenty-eight breaking the Grand Slam before 21 rule. He has thirteen victories over the top 10 players.
He has also defeated Tomáš Berdych four times and has defeated players like Fernando González, David Ferrer, Mikhail Youzhny, Juan Mónaco, James Blake, Gaël Monfils, and Andy Murray.
Goran Ivanisevic won his first grand slam title at the age of twenty-nine. He is regarded as the best Croatian player. His struggle is a bit different than the rest of the players. He had great success at the early onset of his career. He was ranked 16th after his 2001 victory.
But he couldn’t hold on to that glory. He couldn’t win a grand slam after reaching three Wimbledon finals. He made it to the top three at the age of twenty-two.
But after that, he couldn’t stay in the race. But as he approached his 30th birthday, he won the grand slam. He is the only player who won the men’s singles in Wimbledon as a wildcard entry.
Right now, he is a tennis coach. He has coached Marin Čilić from the year 2013 to 2016. He has led Marin Clic to his biggest achievement – the 2014 US Open title.
No rulebook tells when and how you will become a professional tennis player. It depends on the player. It depends on the player’s hard work and confidence. Age is never an issue. The above article is a perfect example of this.
We have mentioned players who have achieved their success at a later age. The age where no one thought they could. The age where most people thought they would go for their retirement. But these players struck back with their persistence and passion for the game.
If you want to become a professional tennis player at 30, then gamble on yourself. Believe that you can do it and start working towards your goal.