51 year old ex-policeman Rob Peterson is known by many as Tennis’ Marathon Man and the world record holding American is aiming to create some more history in 2013 by hitting one million shots against tennis players of all ages and abilities in one calendar year.
This new record attempt is just the tip of the iceberg for Peterson, however, who has a long history of creating stories and breaking records on the tennis court. He grew up in San Rafael, California and began playing tennis locally at age nine, but it was when he moved to Australia the following year that his love for the game really took hold and by the time he returned to California three years later the game was always going to be a part of his life.
After graduating high school, Peterson joined the pro tour but after just a few years decided to focus on teaching the game to the next generation and became a well respected and talented tennis coach. There was a brief hiatus in Peterson’s coaching career when he left his teaching role to become a Floridian police officer and later joined the Sheriff’s Department, but tennis was always in Peterson’s soul and he couldn’t stay away from the game for long. Last year, the American returned to teaching the game in Florida.
It seems, however, that merely teaching the game isn’t quite enough for Peterson, who has already captured seven tennis-related Guinness World Records including the longest rally and longest volley which give rise to his Marathon Man nickname. Now, Peterson is embarking on his biggest challenge yet by aiming to train for two and a half years in an attempt to gain a place on the ATP Tour at the ripe old age of 54. Peterson’s plan is to train constantly from 2013 up to his 54th birthday on the 18th August 2015, when he hopes to take on a top ranked player in a showdown match in Las Vegas and win a possible purse of up to $225,000 as well as prove that he has what it takes to compete on the tour despite of his advancing years. The identity of the player who Peterson wishes to take on is as yet unknown, but he has stated that he would like it to be a “Roger Federer Calibre” player.
Peterson has no illusions about how difficult a task it will be for him to beat such a high class player, and to subsequently compete on the main tour but believes that his long training period, natural fitness and years of on-court experience will all combine to mean that he will be no pushover come August 2015. Others aren’t so sure however, with the likes of long-term tennis coach John Garber claiming that whilst Peterson’s skill might see him through a one-off match, the rigours of a year-long tour would be too much for a 54 year old.
Despite these protestations Peterson is determined to try and his latest record attempt, where he will travel the US to try and hit one million shots against all-comers, will form another part of his longer term training regimeon the road to his 2015 showdown and a possible place on the ATP Tour. Peterson’s first shot will take place on July 1st 2013 and he is currently scheduling tennis clubs and players across Texas in anticipation.
For more info, please visit Rob’s website Tennis Prounder Dog