Reid Feehan crunches another forehand during the championships.
Reid Feehan crunches another forehand during the championships.

No glamour for a tennis pro on the road, veteran warns

THINK being a touring tennis pro is a glamorous life?

Adrian Muscillo has a different story to tell.

The 34-year-old spent four years trying to carve out a professional career at tournaments across Australasia.

Muscillo, who is now a coach in Melbourne and made a rare competitive playing appearance at this year's Lismore Open Championships, said touring life wasn't all flash hotels and fine cuisine.

"You finish your match and then you realise you are in a small country town and it's 5pm with nothing to do," he said.

"It's service station-noodles or a pie for dinner because you're trying to save money.

"There were not too many four-star hotels at my level, either.

"I still loved it (though). You travel with your mates, and it was good challenging yourself and getting the best out of your game."

Muscillo, who was a pro from the ages of 17-21 and made the top 60 nationally, enjoyed a straight-sets win over Nicholas Thorpe in yesterday's first round of the competition's men's singles.

Victory set up a clash with Lismore player and top seed Brendan Moore today.

Muscillo was at the Lismore Tennis Club event with promising junior Nessa Pratt, whom he coaches.

"It is a lot easier coaching," he said with a wry smile.

"It's not as hard work from the sidelines and not as emotional.

"The best thing (about playing) was seeing so many different places and cultures. The worst thing was staying in dingy hotels and eating horrible foods.

"At that age you are still young and you think you have time on your side to make it. You always think you have a chance of breaking through to the top."

Top players from across northern New South Wales and interstate are in action at the four-day tournament.

Singles and doubles action in the senior and under-18 men's and women's divisions will be held over the next few days.

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