Tennis Pro  What They Do

Just the Facts

Athletes and Sports Competitors Career Video

Insider Info

dotA 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.

dotTennis 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 Association (WTA).

dotRankings 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.

dotFor tennis professionals on the active tennis tour, travel is the largest expense. The cost to join the ATP runs at about $200 per year.

At a Glance

Be a player and a teacher

  • You can tour the world as a pro player or teach private lessons
  • An average pro plays 25 to 30 tournaments per year
  • A background in business and physical therapy is recommended