According to Comparably, the amount of money professional tennis players make in the United States can vary from around $18,000 to $70,050 per year on average. The median tennis player’s annual income is $31,000 and the top 75 percent of pros earn $70,050 per year.
The Chron reports that players are able to increase their income with time and years of active play. The primary factors that determine remuneration are in relation to level of skill and the number of times a player has stepped onto the court.
To put this into perspective, the men’s tourneys on the USTA futures pro circuit handout prize money ranging from $15,000 to $25,000. These tournaments feature the best juniors and college players in the country. The corresponding sum is anywhere between $75,000 and $125,000 for seasoned professional players.
U.S. Open qualifiers, who are effectively among the top 100 players in the world, each get a cash prize of $50,000 for simply showing up and competing in their initial match. As a player advances through the rounds, their total purse increases by a substantial amount.
In 2017, the U.S. Open winner was awarded $3,700,000 in prize money.
Below we further explore the nuances of being a pro tennis player and answer some frequently asked questions as they relate to the profession.
Who Can Call Themself a Professional Tennis Player?
Tennis events that are sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) are attended by professional tennis players in the United States. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is in charge of managing the professional tennis circuit and cultivating youth players.
Tennis is a sport that is played at certain times of the year and, for many, competing in matches may only be a minor portion of the employment. The rest of the time, players are at the gym working on strength and conditioning, rehearsing different match strategies with coaching staff, and putting in endless hours of practicing foot movement, strokes, and gameplay strategy.
How Many People Around the World Are Pro Tennis Players?
There are around 14,000 individuals who earn their living as professional tennis players. About half of these players never make a single penny from the events in which they participate.
On the other end of the spectrum are top-ranked players, such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams. These players earn tens-of-millions of dollars every year thanks to a combination of competition prize money, appearance fees, and sponsorship deals with major sports brands.
If you are skilled enough to qualify for the U.S. Open, you are guaranteed to make more money in two hours than the average person does in a whole year. This is because the U.S. Open is the most lucrative tournament in the world.
What’s the Path to Becoming a Tennis Pro?
A tennis racket, a tennis ball, and a tennis court are the only items that are strictly required in order to become a tennis player. However, in order to become a professional player, you need to educate yourself on the game, put in a ton of practice hours, and gain ranking points by taking down tourneys.
There are several key things you need to do to improve your chances of being successful on the tennis court if you are serious about becoming professional in the sport of tennis.
1. Get Physically Fit
Get your body in shape. You have to make sure that you are in good enough shape to compete on the court whether you are a player of any age, whether you are a teenager or someone in their thirties.
2. Practice a Log
You need to get as much practice as you possibly can. The only way to become better at tennis is to put in the work and practice.
It goes without saying that in order to compete at the highest-level tennis players have to put in a significant amount of practice and playing time.
3. Join a Tennis Program
If you are in elementary school or college and aspire to be a pro player some day, you should participate in a tennis program. Students who are enrolled in high school or college have access to a plethora of different tennis programs.
Participants in tennis programs are immersed in the sport and given a first-hand introduction to the world of competitive tennis.
4. Attend a School with a Tennis Program
Be sure to sign up for your school’s tennis team as soon as you can, if you are in a middle school or high school that offers a program.
If you play while you’re in school, you’ll have more time to dedicate to developing the skills necessary for your future career.
If you want to play tennis professionally, you should try to look at school tennis contests as a stepping stone on the journey there.
5. Compete Outside of School
Even though you’ll be playing tennis in school tournaments while you’re in middle school and high school, many of the greatest players also compete in tournaments that aren’t affiliated with schools.
In this manner, you will have two paths to success, in addition to more time to hone your skills and acquire experience.
6. Seek a Scholarship
You should consider the paths to obtaining a tennis scholarship to colleges that offer a strong tennis program while you are still in school and participating in local tourneys.
These scholarships not only provide financial support for your study but also provide you the opportunity to focus a significant portion of your time as an undergraduate on the game of tennis.
7. Follow the Same Path Pros Have Taken
Take on the mentality and routines of the best professional players. The top players do things a little bit differently than the other competitors they face.
The best players in every sport have distinct playing styles and routines that help them stand out from the rest of the competition and catapult them to the pinnacle of their sport.
Despite the fact that most individuals play tennis for recreation or as a pastime, there are others who have their sights set on a career as a tennis professional. Tennis at the professional level, like all other pro sports, is extremely competitive and requires unwavering commitment, dogged determination, and innate ability.