We keep reading how the tennis industry is 'aging out' and for the most part is dominated by a bunch of older male professionals.

So we set out to find young female tennis professionals who are really flourishing in our male-dominated industry. And we found them on the U.S. East Coast, West Coast, in England, and in Australia. We asked them a bunch of questions in order to learn how they got into teaching tennis, why they did it, and if they would do it again. We wanted to know their story.

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"HAVE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET"

Nikki Roth

USPTA Tennis Professional

Manifestennis.com & Rick Macci Tennis Academy

Mar-a-Lago, Florida

QUESTIONS FOR NIKKI ROTH

TCB: Nikki, where were you born (city, country)?

NR: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

TCB: How old were you when you started to play tennis and who introduced you?

NR: I was 4 years old. My parents introduced me.

TCB: Did you play tennis in high school, college?

NR: Yes, I played number 1 singles in both high school and college.

 

TCB: Was tennis your first choice of work after school? If not, please explain.

NR: I loved tennis. But I also played softball, football, basketball.

TCB: When did you start teaching, tennis and why?

NR: That was 1997.  I met John Evert and he offered me a job at their academy.  I got my degree in elementary education and I decided my talents really lied in teaching on the court. I was inspired because I had great mentors and coaches as a kid.

TCB: Did you get certified as a tennis professional?

NR: Yes, USPTA, 25 years ago.

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TCB: Where and in what position did you work as a tennis professional?

NR: At the Chris Evert Academy, the Hamptons, Mar- a- Lago ( teaching the first family) Palm Beach and Rick Macci Academy.

TCB: Where do you work now, and what is your position?

NR: I work at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy. I am head of Parks and Rec.

TCB: Do you like your current position, and why?

NR: Yes, I do. I like it at Mar-a-Lago because it's a unique time to be there. I was working there before Mr. Trump became president. At Rick Macci I love the idea of a great facility and it brings in people of all walks of life.

TCB: What are the challenges you are facing today? NR: Covid-19

TCB: How difficult was it for you as a woman to have a career in male-dominated tennis? (Please elaborate, if you like) NR: It has been very difficult in one way. Because of every director position I have known has gone to a man. People are not ready for a woman. When people think of someone in a position of authority they think of a man.

TCB: How did your past income, and how does your current income compare to similarly experienced male tennis professionals?

NR: I don’t compare myself to anyone. But what I do is hustle. My energy goes to my clients. Do the best you can within your own abilities and that’s what I tell my clients on and off the court.

TCB: What would you say to young women interested in tennis and undecided whether they want to make a career out of it?

NR: Hmmm. Be ready for the challenges. But do what I do. Have an entrepreneurial mindset. Which means when one door closes another door of opportunity will open. Stay positive and never give up!!!

TCB: If you had a chance to do it all over again, would you choose the same career again?

NR: Hmmm. I am fortunate that I have this talent, but it's important for young girls to understand it's physically hard. It's weather dependent and there will be discrimination. So would I choose this career path again? That’s a tough question.

TCB: Do you play or teach Pickleball? How do you like the sport?

NR: I love pickleball, and play it often. I do many exhibitions but I am not a certified pickle pro yet. It's a fantastic sport that can help enhance hand and eye coordination. The other advantage is a variety of all levels can play together at the same time.  It's a family sport, more than tennis!!!

TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?

NR: DIADEM. Great product!!! Fairly new! Great for club level players too!!!!

TCB: Thank you, Nikki.

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