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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Best 14-year-old in the World

According to this recent article in the Sunday Telegraph, that's Carlos Boluda of Spain. (I'm assuming they mean 14-year-old boy; Michelle Larcher de Brito has beaten a WTA Top 50 player). Boluda gets unrestrained praise from Rafael Nadal throughout the piece.

It's going to be very important the next two or three years," Nadal said. "But he has a big chance to be a very, very good player because when you are young and the best in the world it's easier afterwards. I was one of the best but when I was 14 I don't have any control.

"When I saw him he had total control of the ball. He can do everything - maybe he's better than me. When I was 14 I can improve a lot of things, but I think he can also improve a lot of things, except [for him] it's just [a matter of] perfecting things."
Boluda was signed by Prince last September, (press relase is here) so there is no question that Boluda will be a professional tennis player. He already is, as is Bernard Tomic, who, ranked No. 55 in the world, is also 14 (he'll be 15 in October). But as we've witnessed with Donald Young, who was signed by IMG, Nike and Head at age 15, and is mentioned in the article as being "rushed to the tour", that precociousness doesn't always translate to immediate tour success.

Young, now 17, won his first Futures event last week in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sally Milano at usta.com provides the details.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Somebody may want to remind the Sunday Telegraph that Boluda has a 3 set loss and a 3 set win over 14 yr. old American Ryan Harrison and both matches were played over in Europe hardly making him the best 14 yr. old in the world.

Anonymous said...

"Boluda, who has never lost against one of his peers in competition..."

Well, there's a certain 14 year old from New Braunfels who has beaten him once (out of two times).

Anonymous said...

boluda is a year younger than harrison and is an amazing talent. and yes the best 14 year old in the world. He is better than tomic

Anonymous said...

What you guys think of Gabriel Flores out of the little island of Puerto Rico, lost a tight one to Bo Seal at the easter bowl. Starting to show good results and creating a buzz around the USTA watch out for him in the future.

Anonymous said...

flores '92 lost 6-4,6-2 to 12 yr. old christian harrison in the orange bowl who is a '94.

Anonymous said...

boluda has a jan. 3rd birtdate if its legit which would only make him 8 months younger than harrison who is still 14 and no he is not better than tomic either. let him get out of europe and play these kids and see how he does away from the red clay.

Anonymous said...

boluda is very talented.. heavy forehand and great footwork... he beat harrison in davis cup 14s.. i would also like to c boluda come and play our usa 14s.. as for flores he has a BIG forehand and is a good player.. he def wouldnt lose to little harrison now...

Anonymous said...

flores would rip little harrison right now. he is big and will be good no doubt when he gets older

Anonymous said...

they cant say hes best in the world till hes played our usta 14s.... king, cox, sarmiento, bernstein, flores, ore, kudla... and on hard court

Anonymous said...

Cox, Bernstein, King, and Sarmiento all played Les Petits As in 2006, which Boluda won. Boluda beat King 6-4, 6-0. I'm not sure about the surface, though. I thought I read that it's not clay, but I could be wrong.

Christian Harrison beat Flores in December. Has Flores improved so much in four months that he would "rip him" now?

Anonymous said...

By the way, Cox and King are 15, and you could add to that list Alex Domijon, Harry Fowler and Denis Lin, all top kids in that group of kids who are freshman give or take a few months. As for the best 14 year old in the world, we all need to get a grip here. It's a long way from top 14 year old to pro and if that kid blows off school to play tennis 24.7 he may end up with only a chest full of junior trophees. Querry who is the one American to pop through was never considered the best 14 year old, nor was Roddick, Sampras, etc etc etc. A lot of top 14 year olds, even ones considered they best at that moment in time, fade away casue they dont ahve the game to compete in the pros.

Anonymous said...

yes petits as is hard court but very slow.. flores has improved and yes he would "rip" christian... but christians still a hell of a player for being only 12 years old

Austin said...

Actually Roddick was featured in TENNIS magazine when he was in the 14's as one of the up-and-coming juniors in the country. Sampras was top15 in the 16's at age 13.

Plus I never have understood this whole "Sam Querrey comes from out of nowhere" theory. He won hardcourt nationals in the 14's, beating Donald Young in the finals. He should have been the top 14yr old prospect at that point. This has never made sense to me. Wins hardcourts in the 14's, wins it in the 16s, then the next year finals of the 18s.

Anonymous said...

agree w/ you Austin that all those pros were top juniors but no-one ever referred to any of those players as "the best in the world" and the best at 14 does not mean the best at 16, 18 or pro potential. that's why this whole blog debate is pointless.

Anonymous said...

Flores lost to Ryan Cheung 3 & 2 in the ISC Championships 2 weeks ago and Ryan Cheung is not even in the USTA Radar yet.

That's says it all.

I wouldn't trade Christian Harrison for Gabriel Flores anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

whatever... but i still would like to c boluda play cox, king, kudla or someone like that even if cox and king are 15... plus boluda did beat king but that was a year and half ago

Anonymous said...

Here is the list of thye top fresman of tennisrecruiting:
. A. Domijan
2. R. Harrison
3. T. Sandgren
4. H. Fowler
5. B. Van Overbeek
6. J. Cox
7. R. Sarmiento
8. S. Bernstein
9. M. Vutam
10. J. Lamble

dont even know who some are but too bad they dont get together to play more. Surprised Evan King and Denis Lin are around the same age but listed as sophomores. but more to the piont all these kids are good and we will be luck to see one pop through to the pros. we all forgets that the US has a lot of top juniors but so few make the real leap.

Anonymous said...

Boluda is from 93's. His peers are eager, berman, mika. So yeah he has not lost to his peers ever.
You guys are comparing him to 92's which he did won Les Pettits As last year too and it was an indoor hard court.
As flores and lil Harrison i dont about that but flores is from 92's while lil harrison is from 94's he is a hell of a player.

Anonymous said...

So you guys must have a crystal ball, since apparently you can tell that a kid is going to turn out to be a god when he is only 14. I wish I was that talented. Everyone was saying the same things about Donald Young. Donald is still a very good player, but he will never be a top pro. I bet all I have that every junior who has been "The Best", and not turned out to be a pro, would love to trade their entire junior career for a good pro one. So lets just wait and see, and not hype this kid like crazy and watch him turn out to be nothing. Lets give him a chance before we put all the pressure on him to be the best. Donald has had to deal with pressure his whole life, and its that pressure that forced him into trying to be a pro to soon. Hopefully this kid will learn from Donald, and develop his game, and not jump into things to early.

As for being the best 14 year old in the World, maybe he is. But he hasn't played everyone in the world. There are plenty of kids who dont go play Les Petits As who are extremely good. And don't forget that as you name the USTA kids, they are not the best either. Lots of great players were not USTA kids.

Anonymous said...

Well christian harrison beat boluda and has been training he will put up a strong fight next time they meet there ar far more greater players in the world

Anonymous said...

Christian Harrison lost to Boluda. Perhaps you're thinking of his brother, Ryan.

Anonymous said...

they both lost to Baluda

Anonymous said...

ryan harrison also beat him in his home country as well. but yes he did lose to him once in 3 sets on red clay in europe.

Anonymous said...

Hey GAbriel Flores recived a full sponsorship from adiddas and from bollitiery academies. So he will be training there for one year or so. I am curious of his results in clay coarts and Kalamazoo. What do you guys Think about these?

Anonymous said...

Tennis and sports in general is so techinical, many are called but few are chosen. Most of the now famous pros were not famous as juniors, which leads me to this question.
Have you ever heard of a kid named Andrew Adams from the Eastern NY section, I was privilage to see him play a few times. This kid is world class for a young 14 year old, he is coached by Gilad Bloom, is over 5ft9ins tall, very strong and has all the shots in the books. The way he moves and hits the ball and his head movement is something for the future. He will be most marketable one day, a parent told me his first serves are consistently over 100 miles and his volleys and slice are a joy to watch.
The problem here is that I have checked his record and he has a Sectional top 10 ranking but has never really played a top tournament. The word on the streets is that his parents who are always at his side for practice wants him to perfect the art of the game more than the "what it takes to win part". I wish them the best of luck but I wish my son who was a top 5 rankd in the 18's had half the skills that Andrew has at such an early.
Kids like him should be owned by the USTA because they come one and far.
Andrew Adams, keep up the hard work and as I have heard you are a High Honors student at a top school, I see you being either the next Roger Federer or Pete Sampras or even better with what I have seen of you.

Anonymous said...

Gabriel Flores is very good. He is a little on the short side though.