A question that seems to get asked all the time is “how much does it costs to be a professional tennis player”? I personally have played all over the world but on tour all of the time and Ive never been good with money, so I thought I would discuss what players on the pro tour have to pay for.
- Travel expenses and also Hotel costs
- Gear, shoes, etc
- Training facilities
Possible additions include:
- PR or agent
I know that most players on tour are sponsored by large clothing and racquet suppliers, but you still need to be in the top 200 in the world to have this full subsidised. However, at tournament you are always paying for re-strings and food costs. Some tournaments have subsidies for training facilities, hotels at the tournament and food.
The big killer is the travel between tournaments. I know a player who used to be in the top 10 in the world for Doubles and one year he spent $100,000 on flights alone. Planning your tournament schedule is very important when playing on tour. Additionally, you have to think about travel, accommodation, training and food in between tournaments.
Finally you might have additions such as Coaches, Trainers and PR or agents. Coaches and Trainers normally get a wage, plus you have to pay for their travel and accommodation, etc.
Of course these prices will change dramatically depending upon what tour you are on and what prizemoney tournaments you are playing.
Professional on the ATP or WTA tour = $200,000 per year (est.)
Challenger tour = $70,000 per year
ITF tour = $40,000 per year
All these amounts above are just complete estimates, but im sure you could do it cheap. Plus the longer you are on tour, the more you know about planning the right schedule, keeping costs low, etc.
If you put this in perspective saying that your a professional player just outside the top 100, but you constantly get into Grand Slams. If you play all 4 Grand Slams in one year and only win 1 round at each event, then you will receive $25,000 per Grand Slam, thus $100,000 per year. Hence, if you play well and get to the 2nd round of every Grand Slam, then you are able to possibly cover half of your costs per year. Normally, the average player on tour will play around 25 tournaments per year. You do the math!
Verdict – To make good money playing tennis you need to be inside the top 50 players in the world. If you can do this then you have a good chance of being a millionaire. If you are around the 50-150 mark then if you are able to keep control of your costs, then you could make a good living from tennis and travel the world at the same time. However, if you are below the 150 mark making money from tennis is going to be a little difficult. There is only so long you can hang around the 150 mark or low and make just enough money to live off.