The truth about Letour is we couldn't care less about the negative realities of professional tennis. We choose tennis knowing both the good and the bad. And you know what? The bad isn't all that bad. We still love it, and here’s why..
How many people can say they have travelled around the world, connected with the wonder and uniqueness of different cities, different cultures, different people and various ways of life? Our bet is the majority of people have been sitting behind a desk trying to plan and justify their yearly two-week vacation.
The reality of harsh financial conditions for players transitioning through Futures and Challengers, in hope of becoming a top 100 ATP Tour player, can sometimes be laid bare. Forbes Magazine’s 2013 article "How the 92nd Ranked Tennis Player In The World Earns A Comfortable Living", clearly identified the lop-sided disparity of prize money. That gap continues to grow.
However, the perception that if you don't find fame, play in front of packed stadiums and see confirmation that you’ve arrived in your bank balance, that you would wish away the time and passion invested in the journey, is just wrong. As we all know deeply in one way or another, it's just as much about the road travelled. It’s a road less travelled but it's an unforgettable, awesome road.
With all due respect, we don't know how people devote their youthful twenties to a safe office job and begin early the ground hog day of saving for an unaffordable home.
Okay, everyone is different, and each to their own, but to us tennis fanatics, we have grabbed an opportunity of other riches through the incredible experiences and personal growth that only tennis can provide. We relish this short period of real, wide-awake, often edge-of-your-seat living that can never be repeated. We are grateful to be in the arena.
And what about the struggle and the loneliness? Yes, you could argue that tennis is a lonely, difficult individual sport with few breakthroughs. Or tennis could be seen as a rare podium for rich self discovery and personal growth that could take you to other wonderful levels of greatness. Most important, let's not forget we have travelled and connected fiercely with a constant band of old and new friends along the way.
There's no youthful gamble we would rather take than pursuing a professional career in tennis. So we make that dash before the window of physical capability closes in.
Of course, we hope for continual change to help transitioning players financially. That would be a dream. But being a tennis player is a choice we have made and we choose tennis regardless. Without complaint, we love the sport and we play it with passion.
So next time you read an article about the struggling journey of a tennis player, realise this: It has tough moments, but we love that we are good at what we do, that we are on a continual quest to be better, and that we LOVE what we do. You won't catch us sitting in a rocking chair one day regretting the opportunities we should have had the guts to take. We are out there living them.
Enjoy the grind. Enjoy the tour.