The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer

Rainer Schuettler, From Top Tennis Pro to Entrepreneur

June 21, 2020


Rainer
has lived the dream of any young boy/girl who grew up playing and loving the sport of tennis. From starting at the age of 10 to going Pro at 18/19, getting to a Grand Slam Final, cracking the top 5 ATP Tour ranking and retiring with an amazing career behind him at they age of 36 and then becoming an Entrepreneur by buying a license for an ATP event. Rainer has lived it and been there and is sharing his thoughts, emotions and learning from his amazing tennis journey.

 
Key Highlights

  1. Tennis professional by mistake – started playing at age 10
  2. At 16-17 starting to take it serious, playing ITF Junior Tournaments around the world, getting on Junior World Ranking
  3. His coach, Dirk Hordorff was instrumental in taking pressure off him and setting him up for a successful transition from Junior to professional player
  4. Making the ATP Ranking at the age of 18-19
  5. Learning from losing & winning, always look where you want to be 6 months in the future, improved ranking 11 years in a row
  6. Dealing with losing every week (at least once)
  7. Started early to learn other business beyond tennis from Coach
  8. Toughest loss – becomes winning the Silver Medal in Doubles at the Olympics with Nicolas Kiefer later
  9. Learning for business from his tennis career
  10. Taking over the ATP World Team Cup in Duesseldorf, now ATP 250 event in Geneva, partnered with Ion Tiriac
  11. His event also a Covid-19 victim and learning from this
  12. Thoughts on tennis and the rest of the season
  13. Life now, German Fed Cup Captain, his own event, attending the Grand Slams, etc

 

About

Rainer Schüttler is a retired German professional tennis player. As of 2019, he is the most recent male German player to reach the singles final of a Grand Slam tournament, finishing as runner-up at the 2003 Australian Open. Schüttler also won a silver medal in doubles at the 2004 Summer Olympics and achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 5 in April 2004.

He began playing tennis at the age of nine. He resides in Switzerland.

In 2003, Schüttler became the first German since Boris Becker in 1989 to advance to the fourth round at all Grand Slams. He became the first German to reach a Grand Slam final, at the Australian Open, since Michael Stich was the runner-up at Roland Garros in 1996. En route to the final, which he lost in straight sets to Andre Agassi, he defeated Andy Roddick who would end the season as world No 1.

In 2004, Schüttler reached his first career ATP Masters Series final in Monte Carlo by beating Gustavo Kuerten in the first round, Lleyton Hewitt in the third round, Tim Henman in the quarterfinal and Carlos Moyá in the semifinal. In the final, he lost to Guillermo Coria. That week, he would reach a career-high ranking of No. 5. Schüttler won a silver medal for Germany in men's doubles with partner Nicolas Kiefer at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. 2004 was the sixth straight year in which he finished in the ATP top 50.

Schüttler reached his first career semifinal at Wimbledon by beating Santiago Ventura, James Blake, Guillermo García-López, Janko Tipsarević, and Arnaud Clément 6–3, 5–7, 7–6, 6–7, 8–6. His match with Clément was over five hours, completed in two days to reach the semifinals, in which Schuettler saved a match point at 6–5 down in the fifth set. He was defeated by eventual champion Rafael Nadal 1–6, 6–7, 4–6. His achievement was a big surprise, since he entered the tournament ranked 94th and with a streak of 13 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments without making it past the second round.

His 2009 season, Schüttler started off at the Chennai Open, beating Prakash Amritraj 6–2, 4–6, 6–1. In the second round, he beat Simon Greul 6–4, 6–2, and in the quarterfinals Björn Phau, 6–2, 7–5. Unfortunately Schuettler had to withdraw from his semifinal match against Somdev Devvarman because of a wrist injury. He also withdrew from the tournament in Sydney. At the Australian Open, he was seeded 30th but lost in the first round to Israeli Dudi Sela 1–6, 6–2, 6–4, 6–4. He also participated in the doubles with Lu Yen-hsun, but they were defeated by Łukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach. In the first round in Rotterdam, he lost to Mario Ančić. He played the Open 13 in Marseille, defeating Laurent Recouderc in the first round 6–1, 6–4.

He competed at the ARAG World Team Cup in Germany, helping his country reach the final, where they lost to Serbia.
In the second round at Wimbledon, though seeded 18th, he was upset by Dudi Sela, 7–6, 6–3, 6–2.

He reached the second round of the Australian Open defeating Sam Querrey in four sets. However he lost to Feliciano López in four sets, too. At the French Open, he again suffered a first-round exit, this time against Guillermo García-López in straight sets. He reached the semifinal of the Aegon Championships at the Queens Club in London but lost to Sam Querrey in three sets 7–6, 5–7, 3–6. Despite his good form he was defeated by Denis Istomin in the second round of Wimbledon in five sets. At the quarterfinal of the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles, Schüttler could not manage to close out the match against Querrey despite serving for it at 5–4 and 6–5 in the deciding set. He was knocked out in the first round of the US Open losing to Benoît Paire. At the Thailand Open in Bangkok, Schüttler beat Ricardo Mello in round one for a second round berth against Ernests Gulbis. He lost 6–7, 7–6, 4–6 in a close match.

In 2010, Schüttler and his former Davis Cup companion Alexander Waske founded the Schüttler Waske Tennis-University, a tennis academy for professional tennis players.

Schüttler started the tour at the Qatar Open where he confronted Teymuraz Gabashvili in the singles, but lost 3–5, 6–7. He also played doubles with Guillermo García-López confronting Marco Chiudinelli and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, to whom they lost 1–6, 2–6. At the Australian Open, he played ninth seed Fernando Verdasco in the first round, but lost 1–6, 3–6, 2–6. He then played several Challenger series tournaments. At Wimbledon, he defeated Thomaz Bellucci in the first round, but lost to Feliciano López in the second 6–7, 7–6, 2–6, 2–6.

Schüttler retired in October 2012 and has coached Sergiy Stakhovsky and Vasek Pospisil.
Since November 2018, he coached former world No. 1, Angelique Kerber. In July 2019, Kerber announced they had split on social media.

 

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