The lives of most pro athletes is much different than you’d imagine. We see the full arenas on ESPNs and the mansions on MTV’s Cribs, but there are scores of minor leagues and lesser circuits around the world featuring thousands of professional athletes trying to make a living off their physical abilities. For every LeBron James, there are ten Paul Shirleys out there on the courts of places like Lebanon or, worse, North Dakota. For every Roger Federer, there are ten guys shlepping around the world, playing in out-of-the-way tournaments in off-the-beaten-path cities in countries you might’ve never even heard of. Millionaires? Some of these guys are just trying to make the rent back home, if their paychecks even clear, that is.
(Congrats on winning the Tajikistan Open - here’s a vase.)
One such guy is a pro tennis player by the name of Eric Butorac. He’s the #45-ranked doubles player in the world, but that’s an honorary that only gets one so far in places like Morocco. Like many globetrotting travelers on a budget, Butorac’s got some crazy stories to tell.