Limerick's Sam Barry
The documentary - Sam Barry: Beyond the Baseline, which recently aired on national television charted two years of the Limerick native’s life as an international professional tennis player.
Since then, Barry, from the Ennis Road has received plenty of feedback from viewers. Many of whom have been given a new perspective on the daily grind of the professional game in the lower rungs; seemingly Worlds apart from the glitz and glamour of the grand slam tournaments they are accustomed to seeing on tv.
The 25-year-old, however, who has been chasing the dream of making it to the top tier of the tennis rankings since his early years, says he’s lucky to lead such a privileged life, despite how gruelling his career choice may have looked to viewers of the documentary.
“It was a documentary about my career and not necessarily my life. I’m very lucky to live a privileged life and travel to play professional sport for a living. People think it can become a bit of a slog because I’m ambitious and I’m trying to get to the top of the game. In trying to do that there’s obstacles you have to overcome that are quite difficult and from that point of view it can seem quite draining.’
This year Barry whose career high World ranking is 255 has fallen to 380, he says this was in part because of a poor choice of tournaments earlier in 2017.
“I made a few mistakes with my schedule at the start of this year. I played some tournaments that maybe I shouldn’t have played, some tough qualifying events in Europe - competing against guys that were inside the top 200. You have to win three matches before you get any prize money or points on the board’
The Limerick man took to the court for the final of a 15,000 euro tournament in Israel earlier in June but unfortunately lost out in the final to Frenchman David Guez.
‘Recently it’s been going well, and I’m going into the busiest part of the summer now so I’m excited about what’s to come. Hopefully I can make it a successful summer’
The hectic summer has already begun for Barry. A world tour that will take him from Europe to Asia, while he will return home in July to compete in The Irish Open.
Last week he made the quarter finals of the Open de São Domingos in Lisbon, while this week the Limerick man suffered a disappointing first round defeat in the Spain F19 Futures in Bakio. Barry won’t have time to dwell on the defeat, however, as he sets off for North America next.
‘I’m going to Canada for a 25K and also a challenger event. At the end of July there’s The Irish Open, so I’m going to compete in that, and August is going to be spent in Asia.’
At 25, the Limerick man believes that his prime years are ahead of him, and his desire to break into the top 100 ranks in tennis is still evident.
“Hopefully this will be another year of progress where I’ll be closer to breaking into the top 100 at some stage in my career. The average age of players inside the top 100 in tennis is 28 and I’ve only just turned 25 so in that regard I’d like to think my athletic prime is going to be in my late 20’s early 30’s.