What is a talented player in tennis

Oct 3, 2019
Gabriel Pimentel and Paulo Cesar Pimentel / GPTCA Members

We were at Larri Passos┬┤ training center in Brazil, where Gustavo Kuerten was practicing for his last tournaments as a professional. An old guy approached him and congratulated him for been such a gifted player, a real talent. He thanked the guy, always a gentleman, but as soon as he had the old man behind him, he looked at us and said:

“A talent? This guy never saw me arrive in practice prior to everybody else, prepare my own court, work harder than all other players, after more than at least ten hours of practice, prepared my clay court for the next day, and be the last one to leave the training center for a lifetime.”

We could not agree more with his idea of talent. The real talent in tennis is the capacity to work hard, with the same drive, the same intensity, the same passion, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, until your last day playing tennis professionally. And that means losing social occasions, being absent on┬árelatives birthdays, family celebrations. Even worse for most players, not recognizing a room as his own for at least 35 weeks in a year when playing the tour. And this whole story begins with most of the players when they are still…
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