Thomaz Bellucci explains why tennis players often experience depression


Thomaz Bellucci explains why tennis players often experience depression

Former world No 21 Thomaz Bellucci believes the overwhelming pressure and expectations are the main reason why tennis players often battle and experience depression. Bellucci, 35, turned pro in 2005 and concluded his pro tennis career at this week's Rio Open.

Throughout his career, Bellucci experienced highs and lows. Between 2009 and 2012, Bellucci won three ATP titles and in 2010 he achieved a career-high ranking of No 21. Bellucci, who captured his fourth and final ATP title in 2015, didn't enjoy much success in his last years on the Tour as he was mainly playing on the Challenger level.

Bellucci on why tennis players often experience depression

“The best streak of my career was between 2010 and 2011. I played better in the big tournaments. At that time, I was thinking less, had fewer worries, played freely and didn't have as much pressure.

Later I began to think a little more, to doubt myself. I was always accompanied by psychologists who helped me improve my decision-making on and off the court. It was not easy to find the balance between the personal and the professional in a sport like tennis.

That is why you see so many players with depression problems, they are not well no matter how much they have money or good results. For me, the main thing was to take care of myself, to be mentally healthy and to be happy. I often felt depressed.

It happens to many tennis players because there is a lot of pressure and expectations. Over time you realize that the most important thing is not what people think of you. There are people who do not value you. The most important thing is not the approval of others, but to be happy on the court," Bellucci said, per Punto de Break.

On Wednesday, Bellucci suffered a 6-3 6-2 loss to Sebastian Baez in the Rio Open first round. Bellucci wanted to say goodbye to tennis in front of his home fans and the Rio Open organizers granted him wish by handing him a main draw wildcard.

Thomaz Bellucci