Professional Tennis Players Who Started Late

Professional Tennis Players Who Started Late

It is not easy to start playing professional tennis at 40 or 50, but some legends managed it. Roger Federer started when he was six years old, and Andy Murray just turned pro when he was 16. But there is a player who started playing after 30 and reached success later on in their career. There is no specific age to follow your passion.

There are various examples of people who started their career late but still managed to make a good name without bothering about their age. Here are a few other players who delayed their start to becoming one of the best in the world in their 30s and 40s.

  • Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka is among modern-day greats whose career is still in progress even at the age of 36 years. All his career, he faced allegations as the shadow of Roger Federer, but it’s his dedication and hard work that now he is compared with some of the legends of this game. Stan started his professional career in tennis in 2002, and the first Grand Slam for him came after a long wait of 12 years.

In 2014 when Stan won his Australian Open to debut his career in grand slam tournaments. As of nor Stan claims three Grand Slam titles, including Australian Open 2014, French Open 2015, and US Open 2016. Despite starting late as a professional, Stan has made a great fortune in his career in tennis.

  • Carlos Moyá

Moyá is a former Spanish tennis player and has also represented Barcelona in football and played baseball in his early days. Moyá started playing tennis at the age of 22 and reached the finals of the Australian Open in 1997. He won his only Grand Slam title at the French Open in 1998 when he was 22 years old.

Despite being late to begin his journey, he never looked back but only focused on the future of his career in tennis. He also managed to reach the number one spot in the worldwide rankings of tennis tournaments. Carlos also represented his country in the 2004 Olympics games but couldn’t grab any medals. 

  • Thomas Muster

Thomas Muster is yet another former world number one player who started late but also enjoyed success in his 30s. Thomas took retirement from the game in 2011 at 43 after enjoying lots of appreciation in his career.

His wait for Grand Slam ended in 1995 when he won the French Open tournament. During his reign, Thomas was considered one of the greatest players of the clay court and was known under the name of “The King of Clay.” He is among the nine players to win a thousand titles in ATP Masters Series/ World Tour Series/Super 9 in his lifetime. 

  • Jana Novotna

Jana Novotna won Wimbledon when she was 32 years and took a long time to establish herself as a master player. She turned pro in 1985 and made her first Grand Slam final at the 1990 Australian Open, where she reached the finals. Her third and most successful run came in 1998 when she reached the French Open and Wimbledon finals.

She retired from professional tennis in 2002 as a Grand Slam champion. Jana managed to win 12 women’s doubles titles in Grand slam tournaments. She had impressive gameplay based on the “serve and volley” strategy.

  • Malek Jaziri

Jaziri is another gifted Tunisian player who started playing tennis at 10. He was still a junior and was completing his education when he turned pro. He reached his first Grand Slam open draw when he was 32 years old.

Jaziri made great results career as a player and is making the most of his career. Unfortunately, he became a part of the political issues of his country’s government as he was forced to withdraw from a tournament in 2013. 

Playing Tennis In An Older Age

Tennis is a game that can be played by any individual of any age. It’s not like other games that need the player to be physically fit to play them, but it demands quick thinking and reflexes. Nowadays, players are starting their career even at the age of 10 which gives an insight into how physically demanding this game is.

If you want to win a tournament, then you need to be physically and mentally fit all the time and not let your body down at any stage of the game. If you are planning to start your journey as early as possible; but do not neglect the fact that there is no age limit for this sport.

There can be many other players who started playing as early as you and became masters at the game, but there can also be many other individuals who took a little longer to master the art of tennis. So, don’t let anyone stop you from becoming what you want to become. It is your choice when it comes to how long are you are going to play this game and what you want to achieve from it.

For professional players, there might not be a few years left in their career and they need to play while they can and while they are still physically fit for this game. But there are many individuals who started playing tennis when they were already adults but still managed not only to make a name for themselves but also managed to win some matches.

So, you should never let the fact that you started late in this game limit your dreams and ambitions. Just keep on practicing and be optimistic about your career and one day, we might see you at the top of the rankings.

Tips For Starting Tennis Later In Life

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Many people are afraid of starting again at the age of 30 (or any other age for that matter) after not playing since their childhood. But you should never think like this as there are many professionals out there who will help you get rid of your fears and take you to the top. So, if you want to be a player then take the help of a good coach who will teach you everything about tennis and keep on motivating you until you can manage to get on the court and play.

Don’t limit yourself.

It is not necessary that all players start playing at a young age; there are many who started later in life and still managed to make their way through the ranks of tennis. So, you should never think that if you started late then it is going to be an issue for your career. Just remember that there are many great players who have started playing tennis at a later age and have still achieved greatness in this game by becoming legends of the sport.

It is a great way to stay in shape

Most people think that starting tennis at a later age means their body is not going to be able to withstand the demands of this demanding sport; but if you speak to those players who started playing tennis as their professional career after 30, then you will know how wrong these thoughts are.

With such a late start, you might not be able to achieve the same spots in the rankings like other players but you can surely make up for it by becoming physically fit if not better than most of your competitors. So, don’t let this fact hold you down; think positively and work towards achieving greatness in this game.

You can still improve your game, even if you’re starting late.

Even though most people believe that starting late means they are limited in what they can achieve, but there are many examples out there which say otherwise. There is no age factor when it comes to professional tennis; with the right kind of mindset and motivation towards the game, one can become a star even if he started playing at an older age.

There are plenty of tournaments and competitions for players of all levels.

If you think that older players cannot participate in tournaments and other competitions, then it is time for you to change your thought process. There are many events and tournaments held for such players which will allow them to showcase their talent and skills against other talented individuals who started playing at a later age in this game.

So, if you love the sport and strive to become a great player, then there is no age limit and you should participate and enjoy this game to the fullest.

You can find free lessons online.

If you don’t know where to start and find it difficult to find a coach or a club that would give you free lessons, then there is nothing to worry about. The internet has made the situation easy for those who want to learn tennis at an older age; as they can take online lessons from great coaches and trainers who really know what they are talking about.

Tennis is the sport which requires the least amount of gear so you can start playing with whatever you have at home and later on, if you feel like a pro tennis player then you can upgrade your equipment accordingly.

Follow these tips if you want to become a professional tennis player after an older age or at any other age for that matter. All you need is a positive mindset and passion towards the game then nothing else matters, as it will help you become a better player with time.

Start Playing Right Away

If you haven’t started playing tennis yet, then start now. It is the game that needs the least amount of gear so go out there and get started with whatever you have at home or can afford. If you want to improve your game later on , upgrade your equipment accordingly.

It is an easy sport to learn

Tennis does not require a lot of strength or power, which is why it can be played at any age. There are many people who started playing at an older age and have achieved legendary status in the game.

Join a tennis club

If you have been playing at home or just thinking about tennis as a sport, then it is time for you to take the next step towards becoming a great player. Joining a club or an academy will help you learn from real tennis coaches and players who know the game inside out.

If you cannot afford lessons or clubs, then take online lessons from great instructors. There are many free resources available on the internet which have helped people improve their game at an older age.

Difficulties By Starting Late In Tennis

Even if you started playing tennis late and yet achieved a lot in this game, it’s not like any other individuals who start their journey early make things easier for you.

It is actually more difficult to play the professional level of the game by starting later because most of the tournaments are physically demanding and older players might find it hard to move around on the court. As a result, they might not be able to play as well as those who started early in their career.

Age is also a critical factor as you age your body as well as the mind gets weaker which makes it harder for you to become an experienced player at a later stage of life. But if you are determined to play this game for longer, then you should keep practicing every single day so that you are able to compete at the highest level.

It’s all about practice and sheer determination which will help you to become a professional tennis player even if you started late.

Start Late – Start Strong!  

There is no age limit when it comes to tennis which means that any individual can play this game after taking up lessons and training as soon as he/she reaches an age where he/she can enjoy this game.

There can be various examples of tennis players who started playing later in their life but still managed to reach the professional level of the game and defeated all odds to become a successful player. There have been many players who have achieved great results in this sport even if they did not start playing until they were 18 or 20 years old, but it did not stop them from achieving their dreams.

Chances Of Succeeding In Tennis While Starting Late

The chances of succeeding in tennis whether you start playing as a teenager or as an adult are always going to be difficult, but it is true that those who start early have better chances of becoming successful players. But there are many individuals who despite not getting the right guidance at the very beginning, still managed to become senior level players and even win some matches against well-known opponents.

So, you should never let yourself get demotivated just because you started playing late in this game. Just keep practicing and regularly participating in various tournaments so that you can master the art of tennis and become a professional player in the future.

Even though this game does not have a limit of age, but it still puts a lot of pressure on the player as he/she gets older. So, you might find it difficult to compete at the highest level when you are an adult because your body and mind cannot handle all that pressure which is why most professionals retire from tennis after they turn 30.

What Is The Ideal Age To Start Playing Tennis?

It is not easy to independently decide the right age to play tennis. Only you can decide when you feel ready to give your best and invest in yourself. Aspiring players can take many mock exams, or they can visit some other places, where they can have a chance of meeting coaches who will guide them in the right way of playing.

Becoming a professional player means investing time, money, energy, and many other things into yourself for years. You must find the right path for yourself so that you don’t lose focus over the years and feel displeased with your career.

How To Start Tennis Practice At Young Age?

Depending on your age, skill, and interest, you can start playing tennis. If you are under eight years old, it is best to play with softballs as hard ones can cause injuries. You need good coaching for that to learn the basics of playing tennis at an early age. If you are eight years old, it is best to start playing with soft tennis balls.

It is good that you practice having fun and playing good tennis for the first few months. If you are 8 or 9 years old, you should try out different surfaces like grass courts, hard courts, and clay courts. You can try out these different types of balls while practicing your skills.

Playing Tennis At Teen Level

When you are in the age group of 13 years or more, it is best to play tennis with other students or players at the same skill level. You can also try tennis camps in your city or online if they offer proper coaching to juniors. You can even register yourself in a local tournament, where you will have a chance to compete against others and improve your game with proper training under an expert coach and guide.

When practicing with harder balls, a lot of injuries can occur. This will be a great problem if you don’t know how to receive injuries since they frequently happen during the game at this age. Understandably, you want to get into action as soon as possible, but it is equally important that you maintain safety for yourself.

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