Friday, July 17, 2020

My Article on Pros Loeb and Rybakov Serving as Har-Tru Sales Reps; ATP Talks with Brayden Schnur and Kevin Anderson

Har-Tru, known for its green clay, also provides
 hard court options and court accessories
When I talked to Jamie Loeb last month, the 2015 NCAA singles champion told me that she was playing exhibition matches while training in Florida and was doing her best to stay ready for whenever the Pro Circuit might return. The 25-year-old New Yorker also mentioned she had recently signed on with Har-Tru as an outside sales representative, after a conversation with Dustin Taylor, who joined the company whose name is synonymous with green clay late last year.

I later spoke with Taylor about this idea, which struck me as a clever way to promote the company's products and also produce some income for players who are in direct contact with Directors of Tennis at facilities across the country. Obviously the opportunities to talk to tournament directors and tennis operations managers face-to-face are limited now, but Taylor hopes the program can be expanded once some normalcy returns to the ITF World Tennis Tour and the USTA Pro Circuit.

When I spoke to the men's Har-Tru rep Alex Rybakov earlier this month, he told me he spent the first few months of the lockdown recovering from an injury.

"It was bothering me a little bit the last tournament I'd played March. I'd played a Challenger in Calgary and a Futures in Vegas," said the 23-year-old from Florida, who completed his eligibility at TCU last year. "I was playing pretty well and I came back and got an MRI. I had a stress reaction in my pubic bone, so I rested for a while and maybe two months of rehab, and now another month getting back in the gym, back on the court, and now I'm starting to play. I actually got lucky."

Taylor told me Rybakov was the player who spurred him to get the program off the ground, and once Rybakov reached out to Taylor during his downtime, the lull in competitive tennis provided a window to actually get it going.

For more on this initiative and Taylor's hopes for its expansion, see my article, posted today, at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Two other former college standouts have been featured by the ATP recently.

North Carolina's Brayden Schnur, currently 176 in the ATP rankings, talked to the ATP about his move to Newport Beach California, where he is training with Ernesto Escobedo, Jason Jung and Brandon Nakashima. The 25-year-old Canadian, who was the ITA Rookie of the Year in 2014 was able to use the break to recover from injuries he had at the start of the year.

Former Fighting Illini Kevin Anderson, who, like Schnur spent three years in college before turning pro, spoke with ATP Radio about his goals for this year and next after a lengthy battle with a knee injury saw the 34-year-old South African miss most of the 12 months. Anderson has several ambitious goals for the next several years, with the two-time slam singles finalist hoping to going one step further at the level, while winning Masters Series title. Anderson has not yet reached a final at the Masters level.


Nancy from Atlanta said...

I always wonder how a player like Jamie Loeb is able to stay on tour. 25 years old so not likely to improve much, 280th ranked, very little income from tournaments. I get that sponsors like Har-Tru may kick in a few thousand a year, but since it is estimated that it costs over $100000/year to stay on tour, where on earth do these low ranked players get the money? Family perhaps?

Colette Lewis said...

Loeb did receive the Oracle Collegiate grant of $100,000 last year.

Mr. Fernandez said...

I was also going to chime in that Loeb got the $100000 to help her career. At this point in time though her current ranking is lower than when she was given the award. Probably better to spread the award out to a few players as no one can tell who will make it. Collins was rare for college women's success to translate into the top 50. The best female players almost always go straight to the pros.