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The Worst Job in Sports?

Tennis Coaches Face Low Pay, Long Hours and Diva Clients; ‘Yo, Get Over Here!’


They stroll around the grounds at the U.S. Open and pack the player’s lounge. They chat up big-name stars and agents, eat at four-star restaurants and sit in the best seats in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the marquee matches.

To outsiders, the life of a full-time tennis coach seems glamorous, even glorious. Tennis insiders know the truth: It might well be the worst job in sports.

At the U.S. Open, tennis commentators argue there’s a slimming trend among men’s tennis players and wonder whether that’s hurting their game. But that concern may be unfounded. Plus, what tennis great Andre Agassi has to say about weight on the court. WSJ’s Beckey Bright reports.

At the very least, it’s not the high-paying, low-output job it looks like on television. To casual tennis fans, coaches seem to do little more than watch matches from the stands. But away from the spotlight, there’s work to do. A lot of work, much of it menial.

Someone has to book a practice court. Someone has to get rackets restrung. Someone has to push players in the gym and go on the court for as much as five hours a day, often in the sun. Someone has to count calories and plan proper meals.