The world of professional tennis is full of journeymen who are struggling to make a living in their profession. There is the category of solid Challenger players ranked in the 200's who are barely covering their expenses, despite being fantastic tennis players. But let me introduce to you another category of players, the guys who are fighting year in and year out to stay in the ATP rankings. Alex Reichel is 36 years old and has been touring the world of tennis since 1989. The Californian played a full schedule every year of the 90's. Having been sidelined with an injury at the start of this millennium, he returned to action in September 2001 and has been a frequent entrant into tournaments ever since. He peaked in the mid 90's reaching a career high of 204 in August of 2006. During a career that has spanned during half his life time so far, he has won three matches on the ATP level with the quarterfinal in Durban 14 years ago being the career highlight without any doubt.
Newport 1991 – defeated Francisco Montana
Durban 1993 – defeated Mark Woodforde and Filip De Wulf
His last appearance on the top level came in San Jose in 2004, when he took advantage of a week qualifying field and made his way to the main draw, losing 1 and 4 to Mardy Fish.
Year-end ranking history since 1990:
As of today, he cracked the top 1000 for the first time since September 2006, having played 17 tournaments during 2007 in three different continents. During his career, he has won $133 507 in prize money, which is slightly less than the amount the quarterfinalists at this year’s US Open pocketed in two weeks. Since the beginning of this millennium, his total prize money is just over $10 000, less than a second round appearance in most ATP events.
What makes a guy like Reichel keep on going? Will he celebrate his 40th birthday while playing a Futures event? No matter what it is that makes him continue playing; you've got to take your hat off to the persistence he has shown. Not many guys have had their name on the ATP ranking list for 19 consecutive seasons.
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|1. Djokovic||12 500 pts|
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