We all know about the truly sensational top 20 or 30 players who play all the major events, fly around the world, and are well-funded with endorsement deals and so forth. But what about the players in, say, the rankings below 100? What sort of money do these players make? For example, Chilean Paul Capdeville is stuck around the 130s, usually having to play qualifiers to get into tournaments. What is the cost curve for these types of players? Is it worth it for them to fly to wherever to play the qualifying tournaments? Perhaps the players ranked 101-200 are still well-funded and they make a handsome living. But at what ranking does the cost curve get dicey? 200 and up? 300? I'd love to hear from anyone who is knowledgeable about costs and benefits of the men's pro tour, especially for those outside of the top 100.
I remember to have seen probably more than a decade ago now a documentary centered on some rather unknown US tennis players that had a breakthrough in the US Open, one of them reaching the third round and commenting that it was his dream to be broadcasted live on tv with his hero McEnroe as commentator. In the documentary they were following these two players and you got a decent peak at the life of a person that is struggling to have a professional tennis career. Unfortunately I don't remember the documentary name.
Thanks for the links. Those are some really good discussions. It appears that if you are in the top 200 you pretty much have your costs covered. Lower than that it is a crapshoot. So players who are hanging in there on the tour buried in the 300s and below are really showing some fortitude without many promises of returns. The really excellent players come out of the low rankings really quickly. Check, for example, how fast Nadal made it out of the 700s at the beginning of his career. For everyone else, mere mortals, it is a huge grind.