The Vince Spadea Comeback Story, Part II

We all know Spadea came back in 2002-3 from No. 242 to No. 19 at age 29. It is one of the greatest comebacks the sport of tennis has ever seen. The guy went from not being seeded at Challengers to being seeded at Grand Slams. Now, ten years late, at 38, Spadea is making another comeback, but this time, he’s been retired for three years.

Knicks’ fans are witnessing the comeback of Rasheed Wallace at 38 after he had retired two years ago. Wallace is playing so well, he’s supplanted Marcus Camby as the backup center. But basketball is played with four other guys around you to make up for whatever weaknesses you have in your game. Tennis is a one man sport, and Spadea, as he’ll come back playing Futures in Florida in January, will be giving up 20 years to some of his young opponents.

But after the Futures, Spadea hopes to win enough points to play the big Challenger in Dallas in February where Tommy Haas started to really roll on his comeback last year. The only thing is, Spadea is four years older than Haas and Haas never retired. Then Spadea hopes to get at least a doubles wildcard into his hometown tournament of Delray, where he was once a finalist. The ultimate test will come in the summer, where he hopes to quali at Newport, Los Angeles and D.C. before playing in the U.S. Open Qualification Tournament.

“If I win one round at the U.S. Open, it’ll be worth all the hard work,” says Spadea, who is tied for tenth on the all-time list of Grand Slam tournaments played at 54. You can follow Vince at YouTube as he is attempting to get his weight down from 199 pounds, starting last week, to a current 193 lbs, to an ultimate playing weight of 185 lbs.

Then watch out. Spadea says he’s hitting lines with his serves at 140 mph and he feels that he’s playing more like Agassi now, and if Agassi were 38 and got in shape, he’d probably semi at Delray Beach. Twenty-two years ago, Jimmy Connors reached the U.S. Open semis at age 39. In 2013, Vince Spadea hopes to reach the Rd. of 64 at the U.S. Open.

Spadea Ain’t Afraid A Ya!


  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This is exciting news Dan. Believe it or not Vince has a considerable fanbase out there, just check out the tenniswarehouse forums, it’s quite impressive. There was a thread started about your article of Vince serving as Djokovic’s US Open hitting partner and a lot of Spadea fans responded favorably calling Vince “legend” and many other compliments. GO Spadea!

  • koz kozlowski · November 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Dan, good to be informed about Vince. Good luck with the site. Koz best to Scoop.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    THANKS DAVE ) Thanks for checking us out and commenting.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Think Vince can get lighter than 189, that’s the weight he was at when he last played pro events and it was too heavy. He is around my height 5-10, he can get lighter (im around 165 now), Dan you always said his diet was not very good, if he’s gonna do this right he has to do it right, no more Cheescake Factory and all that junk. He has to turn into a fitness and nutrition freak if he has any chance to pull this off. 189 is not gonna get the job done.

  • Steve · November 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    No no no no. More Cheesecake Factory. Esp. the avocado egg rolls. Got for 220 pounds of pure power!

  • Terrence McIver · December 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the updates on Vince. It’s great to hear that he will make another run for glory in 2013. I know that there are a lot of us on the Tennis Warehouse forum “Talk Tennis” that would really appreciate some personal feedback from Vince and Talk Tennis is a place filled with fans from all walks of life so Vince would definately grow his fan base and add some support for next season if he’d make a guest appearance for us. I wonder if you would mind giving him an invitation?

    There has recently been other professional players showing up on the boards for Q & A and the response has been overwhelming! When you get a chance check out the thread started by the 2012 #1 ITF Junior Filip Peliwo

    It’s really an interesting thought to consider. Vince seems like a guy who likes to connect with his fans (twitter, youtube, facebook, ETC.) The TT Talk Forum really is a fan base outlet and I think Vince would quickly become a sensation!

    Anyway, thanks again for the time and info… keep putting it out there! Take Care, Terrence

    ~Nethawkwenatchee (AKA)

  • Dan Markowitz · December 3, 2012 at 7:20 am


    Good to hear from you. Welcome to the site. Right now, I’m awaiting a schedule from Vince that fully confirms he plans on coming back in 13. Until I get that, I can’t speak for Vince. But if you want to forward me five questions for Vince about anything I’ll get him to answer these.

  • Terrence McIver · December 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

    That would be great Dan. I’ll start a thread on TT so that I can get some question Ideas. I’ll post the five questions ASAP!

  • Terrence McIver · December 4, 2012 at 2:41 am

    1. Describe the challenge of starting in futures and qualifiers then making a main draw at a slam, or possibly making top 50 ATP (assume starting with no points, being 38, catching a few wild cards because of your past life, ETC.)

    2. You won the (18’s) Orange Bowl title in 1992, putting you in company with the likes of Courier, Medvedev, Federer, Roddick, Soderling, Baghdatis, ETC. Describe, if you would, that moment and what that meant for you as a junior entering the pro ranks. If you could go back to that age (knowing what you know now) what changes would you make? (trainning, mental approach, leisure time, diet, ETC?)

    3. You have traveled the world over. What is your (number one… don’t sugar coat it) favorite tournament, restaurant, destination (what’s the best place to be) and why?

    4. Describe what differentiates (in terms of difficulty) playing each of these guys: Fabrice Santoro, Andre Agassi, Marat Safin

    5. Are you for or against the slowing down of hard/grass surfaces? It seems likely that the “powers that may be” think the former “serve and volley” friendly fast courts aren’t as TV/spectator friendly. Any thoughts on the subject are appreciated

    Finally: there are lots of us who appreciate your candid ways and your blue collar style on the court. If you decide to make the comeback trail a reality, please let us be part of the journey and keep us updated from time to time via Dan! Take Care!

    Terrence (AKA “nethawkwenatchee”)

    Thanks a million Dan!

  • Dan Markowitz · December 7, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Terrence, thanks for the questions. Waiting on Vince to possibly answer them. Think he’s maybe upset with me for announcing his comeback before he was sure he was coming back. Sometimes we plan out things on the phone that might go beyond what he’s willing to do in real life. We’ll have to see if the Spadea will come back or answer the questions.



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