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Old 04-06-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

I've always wondered what traveling around the world to all the tournaments is like for a pro tennis player, say for a player ranked around #50. When they fly to a tournament in a foreign city, do they typically have a lot of time for sightseeing or exploring the city, or do they usually just spend the time in the hotel resting and practicing? Do they usually fly first class? Or do they fly business class or coach? What kind of hotels do they stay in - just an average Hilton type of place or the best 5 star hotels? Do they always stay in hotels?

Is flying to a foreign city to a tournament like a vacation to them, or more like a business trip? Do they ever get tired of flying/traveling?

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Old 04-06-2010, 12:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

I think most players outside of the top 50 come to a foriegn city to play and maybe sightsee. When you are outside of the top 50 , you dont have the money to just go to the city and stay a few days , most players probaly pack up and leave because you dont want to rack up a big debt.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

Rob Steckley [coach of Aleksandra Wozniak - ranked #39 WTA] has an interesting 'day in the life' type of blog with some nice video clips of life on the road ...

http://www.robsteckley.com/news/?link=read&id=62
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

For Federer it's like this:





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Old 04-06-2010, 01:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

it that way for federer because fed make 50 million lets talk about player who dont make 50 milli and only make 1 milli or less
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

Just from reading some player's tweets, I think the 70+ ranked players usually fly coach, and most of the time it's all business. If they lose, they just want to get the hell out of there. And if I were to venture a guess, some of the top players are probably not big fans of the social events just before the 1st round. I feel like it could disrupt their mental rhythm and routine.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy neyer View Post
For Federer it's like this:





and this too ...








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Old 04-06-2010, 02:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

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Originally Posted by tennisfan856 View Post
Just from reading some player's tweets, I think the 70+ ranked players usually fly coach, and most of the time it's all business. If they lose, they just want to get the hell out of there. And if I were to venture a guess, some of the top players are probably not big fans of the social events just before the 1st round. I feel like it could disrupt their mental rhythm and routine.
Wow, so even if you're one of the top 100 players in the world, you're still probably going to be flying coach for 12 hours? Ouch.

Do you think the top players (top 10 or so, Djokovic, Tsonga, etc.) probably spend more time sight-seeing and having fun in the various cities they travel to? Or do they just want to leave and go home as soon as they are beaten in a tournament?

What are these "social events" you're referring to that happen before the first round?

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Old 04-06-2010, 02:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

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Originally Posted by cloudeleven View Post
I've always wondered what traveling around the world to all the tournaments is like for a pro tennis player, say for a player ranked around #50. When they fly to a tournament in a foreign city, do they typically have a lot of time for sightseeing or exploring the city, or do they usually just spend the time in the hotel resting and practicing? Do they usually fly first class? Or do they fly business class or coach? What kind of hotels do they stay in - just an average Hilton type of place or the best 5 star hotels? Do they always stay in hotels?

Is flying to a foreign city to a tournament like a vacation to them, or more like a business trip? Do they ever get tired of flying/traveling?
ATP tournaments are required to provide hotel rooms for all main draw singles and doubles players. If you want to know what kind of hotels they stay in, look at the tournament websites for any mentions of hotel or recommended hotels for fans attending the event, the players are usually booked in the same places (Slams are different, players get per diem and book their rooms from a recommended list or whatever they want to do).

As for sightseeing, it varies, but I can tell you based on my experience as a tournament driver in two cities and multiple conversations with Justin and Jan-Michael over the years that it's not something they often get to do during tournaments. So many of the lower ranked guys play both singles and doubles, and they have to practice for both, so it is very rare to get a full day off to go out and do some sightseeing. Trips out can also be hindered by a language barrier for the players, depending where they are. I know some of the tournaments will try to have something available to show players around, but that may not always fit in with a player's schedule so they miss out.

When I drove in LA, we took a few players to the beach if they had spare time, and there is always a group that goes to the Playboy mansion photo op each year, but outside of hotels and dinner, it seemed the only side trips we made were to golf courses or shopping malls. In San Jose, we often took players to dinner in San Francisco, if they knew were they wanted to go, but I can only recall one time in five years of driving there that I heard of a player specifically requesting to be 'shown around' for a few hours (he got lucky, there was a driver there who happened to be perfect for that request, 4 of us shrugged our way out of it).

That's not to say they don't ever get out. Now that there are so many players with legitimate Facebook profiles you can see for yourself in their photo albums that they do sometimes get to be tourists when they go to tournaments.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

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Originally Posted by cloudeleven View Post
Wow, so even if you're one of the top 100 players in the world, you're still probably going to be flying coach for 12 hours? Ouch.
Yes, that can happen, it just depends on what they can afford, or what they can use their airlines miles to get upgraded for. The smart ones at least try to volunteer for the exit row, get a few extra inches of leg room if they can.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

What I always want to know is what kind of traveling deal they get. If they lose early than expected and want to get the hell of the city as soon as possible, it's like last minute booking, wouldn't that be expensive? They can't really know which round they will lose. So traveling like 30 weeks a year, I can't imagine how much $ they spent on plane tickets.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

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What I always want to know is what kind of traveling deal they get. If they lose early than expected and want to get the hell of the city as soon as possible, it's like last minute booking, wouldn't that be expensive? They can't really know which round they will lose. So traveling like 30 weeks a year, I can't imagine how much $ they spent on plane tickets.
They get screwed is what they get, especially if they are not organized enough or smart enough to belong to every mileage program on the planet. Some of them routinely make their flights out for Thursday or Friday and figure if they are still playing and have to change their flight, they can afford it at that point.
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Best twitter posts of the epic match:

@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.

@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.

@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.



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Old 04-06-2010, 05:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: What is traveling like for a pro tennis player?

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They get screwed is what they get, especially if they are not organized enough or smart enough to belong to every mileage program on the planet. Some of them routinely make their flights out for Thursday or Friday and figure if they are still playing and have to change their flight, they can afford it at that point.
Interesting. So being a top tennis player doesn't get you any breaks from the airlines, and you still have to pay the fees/much higher prices to change your flight at the last minute. How much do you think a #50 player spends on airline tickets total in a typical year?
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