In an increasingly expensive sport, money can make the difference between breaking through and failing in the world of professional tennis.
Still working hard and progressing through the world rankings is 20-year-old Katy Dunne who, by virtue of a wildcard, plays her third Wimbledon qualifiers next week.
After a successful junior career where she reached a career high of number 9 in the world, Hemel Hempstead ace Katy has been working hard on the pro tour; within 18 months she has achieved a world ranking of 272.
Her focus for the next two years is to get into top-100 in the world, which she and her coaches see as a very achievable goal.
This will take more hard work but also access to training bases with other top players to spar with.
Players such as Taylor Townsend and Madison Keys – who Katy has competed against for GB in the Maureen Connolly Cup and other international junior events – are now breaking through and are at large academies with a wealth of competition.
Katy, who trained at Halton Tennis Centre as a junior, needs this standard of opposition to get to the next level; so options are either to get that training outside the country or to take a coach and train on the road.
Travelling 36 weeks of the year is expensive so, unless family money is plentiful or success has come very early, players need to find resources to help them through this transition until they can be self supporting.
At 20, Katy still has plenty of time on her side; many players are staying in the game well into their 30s due to better fitness programmes which allow them to stay healthy.
However, this is also making it more difficult for younger players to break through as quickly as they would like.
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