Inside the World of Professional Tennis: An Exclusive Interview with Juan Pablo Paz

Being a professional tennis player is a constant challenge. In a world in which thousands of players compete for access to a limited number of places in tournaments, each athlete must strive to maintain rigorous daily training and an orderly financial balance, while organizing their schedule to travel to competitions that take place in all of them. parts of the world.

In this framework, iProfesional spoke exclusively with the Argentine tennis player Juan Pablo Paz, 29 years old, and born in Berazategui (province of Buenos Aires), to get to know the world of tennis inside.

Paz became number 1 in Argentina and today is ranked 570 in singles and 238 in doubles of the ATP (the men’s Professional Tennis Association). From Mexico, he revealed unpublished details about the financial support he relies on to maintain his competition schedule and the projects he recently launched to maintain his career in the most optimal way possible.

How does a 500th tennis player in the world live?: “Surviving”

“The truth is that a tennis player in my ranking lives by surviving. It is very difficult. This is the biggest funnel that tennis has. Until you enter the qualy (pre-qualification) of the Grand Slams, which would be when you are 230th in the world, it is very big. The money you win in tournaments is very little and, if you do not have sponsors, as in most cases, it is very difficult to sustain yourself. That means you don’t have a coach or you can’t travel with him or her and a physical trainer. Players with a little more money have that system. It is difficult to get the advantage if you do not have financial support,” says Paz, who has just played tournaments in Mérida, Potosí and Mexico City.

The economic and emotional aspects and the lack of equipment are just some of the issues that a tennis player in this ranking must experience, since the competitions they can access do not offer the best conditions. “Also, the conditions of the tournaments are much worse than those seen on TV. You play with much longer changes of balls, which leaves them much more worn. The standards are much lower. It is not just a tennis match , is playing against all those extra conditions,” adds the Argentine tennis player in this regard.

The man from Buenos Aires clarified that only two years ago he managed to organize himself financially to “be calmer”, since before he could not earn “200 or 300 dollars” and lived “day by day.”

To give you an idea, during the three weeks he was playing in Mexico, he kept approximately $2,000 in prizes (just the ticket from Italy, where he was, cost him $600).

At the beginning of their career, financial support becomes essential for any player, who must travel every week to maintain their competitive pace. At this point, Paz assures that the difference between the future and challenger tournaments is relevant. Along these lines, he clarified: “In some tournaments (like the challengers) you have to pay for the hotel and that is a great help. In the future, you have to pay yourself everything. These weeks, when I came to play challenger, although the results did not go well for me, financially it was better for me than if I had gone to play futures, because I have very few expenses. “Just the ticket and some other food.”

For athletes, the existence of sponsors can be of great help. Although Paz warned about the contracts that are offered -especially in Argentina- and that they may not be so convenient.

“The best players receive offers. Others go looking for companies or family members to support them financially. Then you have other types of sponsors. Today, they give me rackets, strings and all the tennis elements; I have clothing sponsors (an Italian brand) and another that gives me all the supplements. That is a great help. With my ranking it is difficult for them to give me money. Others pay a certain amount to support your career and in exchange you give them a percentage of your earnings”, regarding this last detail, Paz warned: The problem is that in Argentina the sponsors are terrible. It is an incredible abuse. They are the worst contracts. You sign a contract that gives you an amount of money that is not even ideal and you practically owe them your life (you have to give 80% of your earnings for I don’t know how many years. Many people take it because they have no other choice). In that situation, I analyzed the contracts with my family and preferred to fight it the way I fought it.”

And he added: “Now in Argentina a very good system has come out, which is Slice Token, to prevent players from having to sign this type of contracts.”

Juan Pablo Paz spoke exclusively with iProfesional, from Mexico.

Interclubs: economic rescue for some tennis players

Paz explained that – in exchange for losing the rhythm of competition – he began to register for interclub tournaments in Germany, Italy or France, where he can obtain a good amount of money to sustain himself at the professional level for the rest of the year.

In this sense, he noted: “At one point I thought that I couldn’t continue like this and I developed a system by playing several interclub matches, which make a lot of money. That allows me to sustain myself all year round. Now I start in a couple of weeks to play at least a month and a half of interclubs in which I do not compete. “Last year I went three months without competing, in exchange for being able to be financially well off for the rest of the year.”

How much does the emotional aspect weigh in a tennis player’s career?

The economic aspect takes center stage, not only when playing a match, but also when the daily challenges become more intense. Regarding this, Paz warned: “I don’t know how much technical difference there will be between a guy who is 250th in the world and another who is 50th. If you put them to rally you won’t see almost any difference. You have to see the conditions, what happens to the player off the field, the confidence, the motivation. The difference is that if you are not fully concentrated, another guy who is and you lose.”

And he recalled the present of his compatriot, Diego “El Peque” Schwartzman: “What Schwartzman did in his career is crazy. He spent 6 or 7 years as 30 in the world and I don’t know how many years in the top 100. If we are going to compare shots, he never had much better shots than anyone and he was top ten. That was always mental. Today he may not find confidence on the court and that leads him to leave the top 100. The differences are very small.”

On this aspect, he concluded: “The thing about tennis is that you have to perform every day. In other sports you only play on weekends. During the week you can have bad days. If you win on Monday, you have to play on Tuesday. From a very young age you begin to realize when you have bad and good days. From a young age you learn to find motivation or habits.”

Ranking, team and own agency: Juan Pablo Paz’s objectives

Regarding his objectives for this year, Paz clarified that he will focus on accessing the pre-qualification of the Grand Slams (Wimbledon, Roland Garros, among others). “My goal is to qualify for a Grand Slam. If I can do it in three months, great. If I can do it in a year or two, great,” she said. And he added: “As for ranking, I would like to finish the year in the top 400 at least.”

Another big step will be to build your own team. This would allow him to travel to the tournaments accompanied by his coach and physical trainer. “Now I’m trying to put together my team: coach, physical trainer, psychologist and travel with them or help you improve and control the calendar. For that I need money. That’s what the interclubs are for and my personal brand to sell merchandising (“De Locos”). “I’m trying to monetize as many places as possible,” he mentioned.

Juan Pablo Paz launched “De Locos”, his own clothing brand to raise money and finance himself.

“I haven’t had a coach for years. And you start to wonder: ‘How do you improve?’. That way it would be easier to get out of this level. I am very lucky and I know that I have several places in the world where I can train and I don’t pay anything or I pay very little. In Italy I base and they don’t charge me a peso. It’s not like you have a coach, you can only use the court and the gym. The only thing I pay is my physical trainer in Argentina (where I am for two months). year)”, he deepened.

Finally, Paz gave details about his project to create an agency to get contracts for young players so that they can access interclub tournaments in other countries to obtain money and finance themselves. This is an initiative that is already underway and that today includes 10 Argentine tennis players.

“Before I didn’t play because I had no idea how they worked,” Paz said about this type of competition. And he added: “Then you realize that several players play and many clubs are looking for players. You have to grab the proposal that best suits you. Coming from Argentina, it may be difficult to know this area in depth. and that’s why I developed an agency that helps players find interclubs in Europe. I put it together because in my first years of my career I didn’t play because I didn’t even know they existed. I share it with Franco Egea, another tennis player. What we do is get a contract and keep a small percentage of what the club pays the player. It’s called Tennis Player Agency. “We got 10 players inter-club contracts this year.”

Paz echoes each of his experiences in your X account and on his YouTube channel, where he became known for telling unpublished details of his “Road to the Grands Slams.”

2024-04-17 18:28:00
#Argentine #tennis #player #revealed #day #avoid #losing #SILVER


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