Dividend Yield: Finance Titan Matija Pecotic, 33, Earns ATP Tour Debut | ATP Tour
When one of the best tales of the tennis season are collated on the finish of 2023, Matija Pecotic’s journey on the Delray Seashore Open will definitely be amongst them.
The 33-year-old has a full-time job because the Director of Capital Markets for an actual property funding firm and is No. 784 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. So how did he find yourself in the primary draw of an ATP Tour occasion for the primary time?
Pecotic by no means broke into the Prime 1,000 within the ITF Junior Rankings, however he grew to become a star at Princeton College, the place he competed from 2009-13. The lefty was a three-time Ivy League Participant of the Yr and climbed as excessive as No. 2 within the school tennis rankings.
In 2014, the Croatian absolutely pursued skilled tennis and the next 12 months he ascended to a career-high World No. 206. However that was when he hit a roadblock. Simply earlier than the 2016 Australian Open he had a small surgical procedure on his abdomen.
“[I] ended up getting a severe staph an infection and I used to be mainly bed-ridden for eight months,” Pecotic mentioned. “That modified the trajectory of my tennis timeline and my tennis profession.”
The day without work gave him time to consider his future. Pecotic determined to sit down for the GMAT examination and apply for enterprise college with none expectations. He was accepted to Harvard Enterprise College, inflicting a dilemma: proceed taking part in skilled tennis or hit the books. Pecotic, who has competed in qualifying in any respect 4 Grand Slams, selected the latter.
Whereas at Harvard, Pecotic linked with Andrew Rueb, a member of the Harvard males’s tennis teaching workers, and have become a volunteer assistant coach.
“He mentioned, ‘We hear you’re again on campus, we’d like to have you ever out with the fellows.’ I had not been taking part in tennis for some time and he mentioned you’re welcome to come back out any time,” Pecotic recalled. “Quickly sufficient I used to be with the fellows six days every week and I began taking part in tennis once more and I rediscovered my love for the sport.”
Rueb, who in 2018 grew to become the top coach at Harvard, mentioned that Pecotic was clearly obsessed with tennis throughout his time in Massachusetts.
“All of us felt like he had one other few chapters left in his tennis profession. He served as our volunteer coach for a 12 months and made a giant distinction in our program by imparting a few of his veteran expertise to our youthful guys. I am so glad he took one other swing and went again on tour,” Rueb mentioned. “Matija has a excessive aggressive IQ and that made him an important coach. On Tour, you want so many items these days to suit into place to interrupt the Prime 100 and it’s a steep mountain to climb.
“Actually Matija has an enormous coronary heart and loves the grind of working laborious. His footwork can also be world class. We thought he had an opportunity to make it within the execs however making a comeback is at all times laborious – particularly if you end up in your late-20s. We want him one of the best of luck at Delray Seashore.”
After graduating from Harvard along with his diploma in hand, Pecotic allowed himself one 12 months to offer skilled tennis one other shot.
“I used to be taking part in one of the best tennis of my life,” Pecotic mentioned.
Though the lefty made progress, the Covid-19 pandemic closed that door. Now Pecotic is the Director of Capital Markets for Wexford Actual Property Traders, a subsidiary of the $4 billion funding agency Wexford Capital. He works a typical 9-6 schedule and tries to squeeze in tennis within the morning earlier than work.
“I completely love this recreation and I do know it’s not endlessly and I’m 33. I attempt to maximise every day. I attempt to practice each morning if I can, 5, six instances every week,” Pecotic mentioned. “Typically I practice with my boss, who’s 70 years previous. This week I educated with a man who might be in his late 50s. However you discover artistic methods to work round it.”
Pecotic additionally hits the fitness center every day and enjoys a run after work. That put him in ok place to reap the benefits of the chance he obtained this weekend in Delray Seashore. The Croatian signed in as an alternate for the qualifying draw Friday night and dropped off his racquets for stringing. He didn’t get in.
“I awoke on Saturday morning and I mentioned, ‘I higher drive all the way down to Delray to select up my tennis racquets.’ Once I confirmed up, the supervisor mentioned, ‘There’s an opportunity that you simply would possibly get in’. So half-hour earlier than the primary match he mentioned, ‘I feel one man’s going to tug out, nevertheless it’s unsure,’” Pecotic mentioned. “A pair minutes later he mentioned, ‘I feel you’re within the match.’ Truly once I was going out to play [Stefan] Kozlov they introduced my identify because the man who was initially alleged to play, in order that they mentioned Kozlov and Watanuki, nevertheless it was truly me. I ended up taking part in.
“I performed a troublesome match and to beat Tennys [Sandgren in the second round of qualifying] is an actual particular deal with, however completely surprising. I’m simply having fun with it and going so far as I can. And if not, I’ll return to work!”
What was it wish to qualify? “Simply kind of a second of disbelief,” he mentioned.
Pecotic will attempt to lengthen his fairytale run on Tuesday when he performs former World No. 8 Jack Sock.
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Pecotic was on Croatia’s United Cup group this 12 months. “I like the format, I hope it retains going and I feel there are going to be a variety of good matches within the coming years,” he mentioned. “It’s a good way to start out the 12 months, too.”
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