Maximiliano Rozas is 24 years old and has been playing paddle tennis since he was 16 years old. At the age of 19, he went to the United States with a sports scholarship to play tennis in Indianapolis and is now one of the pioneers of paddle tennis in that country.. Unlike other latitudes, that sport has only now begun to develop in the North American country, and Rozas had a lot to do with it.
‘Maxi’ graduated in International Business and is currently combining his Master’s in Finance with his work as a padel instructor and player on the fast-growing semi-professional American tour. “My goal is to be number one in the US”account in chat with AS Chile.
“If I’m one or two from the US, I could apply for a skilled visa and through that, in a few more years he could apply for US citizenship and a passport. That’s my mission,” he adds.
“Vedola tennis is coming in very strongly here. There are some Mexicans and Argentinians nationalized because the benefits of being an American are very high. Health issues, financial issues, job opportunities and the life that is managed here encourage many people to come and bet,” he says.
– Do you think you have the vision at the right time to devote yourself to paddle tennis in a country where it was not new yet?
– You could say that I was one of the pioneers. And I love that it continues to spread, because it indicates that opportunities are expanding for everyone, too.
– How do you support yourself financially?
– To be able to pay bills and survive, I take tennis and paddle tennis lessons, but today I only dedicate myself to paddle tennis lessons. Here it is advantageous to do them.
– How much do you charge for each class?
– Between 70 and 120 dollars an hour and people have no problem paying that amount. They are crazy to play. Obviously, I have to pay for the dish, which varies between 20 and 40 dollars depending on the location, but the income is still very good.
– Today the top 10 in the US circuit…
– I got in very quickly because the circuit is just expanding. I came and did semi-final, final, semi-final and champion. In this tournament I met Pedro Alonso, a former player on the World Pádel Tour, who played with Juan Lebrón (N. de la R: Lebrón is the current number one in the world) who started talking to me so we could play and invited me to tournament in Houston and we were champions. He is the manager of Sioux, which is a well-known brand, and he has provided me with clothing. He gave me a very big hand and little by little I am getting ahead financially.
– Was he losing money?
– In U no, because I didn’t pay a single peso, but now in Miami we are talking that the four of us are going to pay a rent of two million pesos. This is a residential area that is close to the university which was what we were looking for. But it is a considerable amount.
– Do tournaments in the US distribute money?
– Now about a thousand dollars, somewhere. There is silver, but you have to keep in mind that everything is more expensive than compared to Chile.
– Do you feel recognized in American padel?
– I don’t know if nationally, but in Miami, which is the stronghold of paddle tennis here, most people know me. The idea is that everything continues to be overflowing.
– How is the score compared to Chile?
– Here it is still less, but it is developing very fast. In New York they recently opened several clubs, in Texas there are four clubs and we are talking about huge cities. You need to give it two or three years and it will be new.
– What goals do you have for the future?
– If you ask me, I think I have the dough to play professional tennis, but if you tell me “do you want to go play prequally in Spain and have no pesos or unite in the United States and have your own business and a quiet life?” , I choose the latter. I have already lived competitively in tennis and today I want to have a more stable life than always hand in hand with sports. Now, if I play a few pro tournaments in six months and it goes well, I might change my perspective.
Maximiliano Rozas’ World Cup past
Before padel, Maximiliano Rozas represented Chile in the junior national tennis teams. He played for South America and came to play at the U14 World Cup in the Czech Republic along with Matías Soto and Ezequiel Martínez.
“I went with a scholarship, but I was already tired of tennis (laughs). I wanted to learn English, look for opportunities,” he says.
– What ‘burned’ you out of tennis?
– It’s very lonely, not many people practiced it and later when I compared it to paddle tennis there were 100 people watching a game and sharing a beer. I was playing a tennis final and my dad, coach and aunt were there. In tennis, you train for hours, you lose in the first round, and my parents didn’t have much money, so I always had to find sponsors. It wore off over time.
– Did you end up hating him like Andre Agassi?
– No, never that much. Actually, I play with my friends from college and I laugh at myself, but thinking about competing professionally, I don’t even think about it.
– When did you realize you wanted to play paddle tennis?
– Already in 2018, I was selected to go to the World Cup in Paraguay, but they had accepted the scholarship to come to the United States. It was a difficult decision, my parents told me to do what I wanted to do and I ended up choosing the scholarship thinking more about the future and because I wanted to study English.