A typical day for tennis professionals can be atypical. They can be found
traveling worldwide for tennis tournaments or working at tennis clubs and
associations training junior- and senior-level players.
Hours for tennis professionals vary. They usually work on weekends and
holidays, too. A six-day week is not unusual for a tennis pro -- it's not
strictly a 9-to-5 job. Ten to 12 hours per day on the court can be standard.
In the U.S., tennis pros are ranked according to a four-step system designed
by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA): master, professional
one, two or three, and associate. Master level is the highest level, with
associate being the lowest level. Rankings are based on how well individuals
score on USPTA tests, which are held several times a year nationwide.
Tennis professionals are generally found either playing professional tournaments
worldwide, or teaching private or group tennis lessons at clubs and resorts.
On-court lessons can range from $25 to $50 per hour or more, with the tennis
pro receiving a part of the hourly fee or the entire amount, depending on
the club or resort.
Tennis pros making the tournament rounds can register for all tournaments
through the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) or the Women's Tennis
Rankings are determined by computerized statistics based on the total number
of points a professional player has accumulated during the previous year.
Professionals must continue playing tournaments in order to keep their point
totals (and their ranking) up.
On average, tennis professionals on the tournament circuit play about 25
to 30 tournaments per year. Some of the well-known tennis pros play around
15 per year.
For tennis professionals on the active tennis tour, travel is the largest
expense. The cost to join the ATP runs at about $200 per year.