Retiring Australian tennis player Sam Groth has given a rare insight into the financial strain for players on the professional circuit, and it’s not pretty.
Groth has revealed life as a tennis pro is not as glamorous as it seems, and that it was costing him between $250,000 and $315,000 a year to fund himself.
The 30-year-old says he has to pay for his own flights, hotels, meals, and he has to cover the same expenses for his coach and his fiancée when she travels with him.
On top of that, players need to pay their coach’s salary, which Groth says is around $3,100 a week plus bonuses.
That’s not even taking medical bills and the high tax rates around the globe into account.
“It’s a self-run business,” Groth told The Howie Games podcast.
“Expenses are high. I spend 40 weeks a year away, so it’s 40 weeks of being on holiday basically.
“Tell me what it costs you to go on a two-week holiday and then multiply it by 20 and that’s my expenses personally, plus my coach, plus his salary, plus the weeks where my fiancée Britt travels with me, her food and her flights.
“The good years you make money and you don’t worry about it… Other times you’re thinking ‘how the hell I can pay my coach’s bill that’s coming through at the end of the week if I don’t win this next match?'”
Groth brought down the curtain on his career following the Australian Open and is considering playing in Aussie Rules competition in Victoria.
As you can see above, he was in tears during his post-match interview after his final match.
"Just thanks to my fiancee Britt, obviously my family and all the coaches that have worked with me over time," he said.
"And especially the Aussie fans, I appreciate what you guys have done for me. Thank you everybody, I appreciate it."
SAM GROTH PROFILE
Turned pro: 2006
Highest ranking: No.53 (August 10, 2015)
Best grand slam singles results: Australian Open third round (2015), Wimbledon third round (2015, won a set against Roger Federer)
Holds record for fastest ever serve (263.4 kph at Busan Open 2012 Challenger tournament)