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Eric Butorac makes his Paddle Debut
October 10, 2016
Historically the upper echelons of paddle teem with former collegiate and professional tennis players. At the Patterson Open, Eric Butorac joined their ranks as the latest former ATP player to make his paddle tournament debut.
In his long and successful career as a doubles specialist, Butorac amassed 17 career doubles titles, reaching the finals of the 2014 Australian Open with Raven Klaasen and the semis of the 2011 Australian Open with Jean-Julian Rojer. Perhaps his greatest legacy in tennis, however, lies in his stint as ATP Player Council President.
As a long standing member of the Player’s Council, Butorac represented the players’ interests in negotiations with the tournament organizers and ATP leaders. Having earned the trust of both the players and the ATP leadership, Butorac served as Vice President during Roger Federer’s Presidency, and then as President himself. Often asked what its like to work so closely with Roger Federer Butorac notes, “He has this aura about him, but he’s really a normal, unbelievably nice guy. He’s as good as he seems.”
As President, Butorac led with the perspective of the mid-ranked player and successfully negotiated a better pension plan for the players as well as more prize money for players who lose in the early rounds. Appreciative that he could make a career out of playing tennis, Butorac is proud that he could help other players, not just the top ones, earn a viable living on the tour.
Having recently settled in Greenwich, CT with his wife and two children, Butorac is ready to take on the challenge of learning paddle. “I love the idea of starting something new and trying to get better at it, to see the rapid improvement. My good friend Trevor Spracklin asked me to play Patterson with him, and I’m looking forward to playing some more now that I’ve seen the game played at its highest level.”
Now that Butorac has traded in his frequent flyer status for a job with the USTA in White Plains, NY as Director of Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations, he’s sure to take the opportunity to play with the multitude of great players in the Westchester and Fairfield area. The Patterson Open marked his first foray into competitive paddle, and we can’t wait to see him again!