A lot of players aspire to match the feats of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic but find it difficult because they do not have enough talent and/or do not work hard enough. From a personal point of view, talent is the natural ability to learn the art and craft of tennis at a rate faster than others. Hard work is simply applying yourself to the tennis court and other physical routines day after day, month after month, year after year.
Is talent and hard work key to a professional tennis career? The short answer is no, but it would be of great benefit. Talent alone would not get you anywhere, but doing the hard yards would do a world of good. In fact, they can lead to two different careers and directions. Two players spring to mind.
1. Ernests Gulbis
– An unbelievably talented player but practice is lacking
– Made a Grand Slam breakthrough early in his career, results have been downhill since
– Has the physique and game plan to unsettle top players
– Reached a career high 24, currently at 136
2. David Ferrer
– Not supremely talented or tall but made the most out of himself
– Grand Slam results have gradually improved with age
– Doesn’t have a “weapon” instead using his speed and agility to beat opponents
– Reached a career high 4, currently at 5
While both players are unlikely to win a Grand Slam or achieve Federeresque greatness, only one player will stand the test of time when their careers are over. David Ferrer, the man who fought every point like his life depended on it will land his name in a special section of the history books. Ernests Gulbis on the other hand, looks to join the long line of players who should of made it but didn’t really want it in the end.