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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Junior tennis titles do not serve as a predictor of pro success

Two of the National Clay Court titles not being decided in South Florida, the girls 16s in Virginia Beach and the girls 18s in Memphis, will be followed closely by the local newspapers if today's articles are any indication.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal, which always does a great job of covering tennis, whether at the junior, Pro Circuit or WTA and ATP leavel, has this preview with top seed Lauren Embree and Tennesseean Claire Bartlett, the no. 2 seed, getting most of the attention. The TennisLink website is here.

The Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot opened its coverage of the girls 16s with a look back at what has happened to its former champions, twenty years' worth of them. The headline (the title of this post) is not exactly startling news, but it is interesting to hear from many of the women who took a shot at pro tennis the reasons why it wasn't ultimately a lifestyle they wanted. The TennisLink website is here.

4 comments:

Man in the Moon said...

Not exactly startling but certainly interesting, (especially the comments of the players) it is probably true among the boys, also.

Scott Humphvries (sp) the Wimbledon winner of '93, Brian Dunn and a host of others come to mind.

AndrewD said...

The argument isn't quite so clear if you look at the winners of the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open junior boy's title from 1980-2004. Of 25 winners at the French Open, 20 went on to achieve a top 50 ATP singles ranking, 17 US Open winners did the same, as did 11 Australian Open winners and 10 Wimbledon champions.

So, while junior success doesn't automatically translate into results on the ATP tour, the French and US Open can be a pretty good guide (80 and 68 % respectively).

I believe those stats also call into question the way in which certain countries perceive the junior 'majors'.

Man in the Moon said...

Andrewd

Top 50 in America just doesn't cut it.

It would be very interesting if you redid your work and see what happens if you look at the top 5 or 10 not the top ATP 50.

Good or bad, Americans are looking for the top players in the world.

Most Americans didn't even know who Todd Martin was, when he was ranked top 10.

Most Americans really only care about the top 1,2, or 3.

It depends on your point of view concerning success. America is a tough act. That is why anything below top 5 just doesn't cut it, for the majority of Americans, who don't even know the names of players below top 10.

martyn said...

Those women who were juniors in the 90s and 00s probably never had a chance to excel as pros. The trained for years against inferior competition locally and nationally, as well as receiving outdated coaching. From the description of their various injuries it also sounds like they did not prepare their bodies to be pro tennis players either.