After numerous right elbow issues and surgeries, Pablo Andujarlost the place in the ATP rankings in 2017 for the first time since 2004, returning stronger in the following season and conquering the ATP title in Marrakech for one of the best stories of the entire year.
Settling into the top-100, Pablo is ready to extend his career as much as possible and stay in the elite group, still feeling great desire for the sport overall. Speaking about the coronavirus problems and the forced break from tennis, Pablo drew differences between team sports and tennis players, reminding that he and his colleagues are like bosses who have to take care of everything and pay their staff and everything.
Andujar also highlighted that the players are on their own out there, having to take care of all the injuries alone and pay taxes in the country where they play and in the one where they live. Still, he believes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic don't play for the money but the love for the sport and records, all chasing that GOAT spot at the end of a career.
"The tennis player shouldn't play for money but because you like the sport. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer don't play for money; they are trying to become the best player in history. At first, you play because you like it; then, it becomes a resource for living.
When a tennis player wins, he doesn't feel the same as a footballer or basketball player; victories are more important in our sport as you are earning them alone. It makes you more fulfilled. As freelancers, we don't get paid if there are no tournaments around.
You have your savings but those ranked around the 300th spot spend everything they earn. Team sports have no expenses while we act like bosses, investing money and paying coaches. One may think we all earn a lot but the expenses are also high, added to the taxes of the country where the tournament is held and the taxes of the country where you live.
If you get injured, you have to pay for everything yourself. Challengers are tournaments where they treat you very well: it is an essential part of the Tour. We have all experienced that and we all know how tough it is to win matches at that level.
You know you need those matches to play ATP tournaments; they are crucial. Five-star hotels or high-end cars are a bubble; I value any Challenger more. I will try to play until tennis for a couple of more years and stay in the top-100."