Wednesday night my son Owen and I played tennis on the outdoor hard courts of the Olympic Tennis School. He of course beat me 6-3 and we had a good time working on different aspects of our games. We were walking to the front gate after playing and we noticed on one of the clay courts a tall player hitting the ball extremely hard. It is easy to spot an elite athlete immediately because we both had that “wow” reaction. ATP professional tennis player Dennis Istomin was getting a workout at the school, just a couple of courts over from us. Istomin was born in Russia but moved to Tashkent when he was 3 years old and plays for Uzbekistan. Seeing professional athletes up close is always a thrill. Watching him for just a few minutes makes you realize how difficult it would be to return a serve from a professional. He is on the tail end of his career, but he still moved well and at 6-1 with long arms, he seemed to be able to cover both sides of the court effortlessly.
It was interesting reading through his career overview as he was a mid-level professional player and that earned him $6 million dollars in prize money over the past 15 years or so. This despite have an overall losing record on the ATP Tour (230-266). He reached a ranking high of #33 (August 2012) in the world and won two ATP tour singles titles and 3 doubles titles. Another career highlight for him was beating Novak Djokovic (2017) in the second round of the Australian Open. He also won 25 Challenger and ITF tournaments earlier in his career. He participated in 251 ATP tour events, winning 2 titles, and losing in finals 3 times. In Grand Slams his career record was 35-45 and he made it to the fourth round three times. He is currently ranked 310 in the world.