Saturday, April 11, 2020

Best Professional Ranking for all ITF Girls World Junior Champions

Earlier this week I published the list of the best professional ranking for the boys ITF Junior World Champions that I had put together; today it's time for the girls.

Of the 42 girls who finished the year No. 1, three went on to be No. 1 in the WTA rankings: Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo and Viktoria Azarenka. That compares to 5 boys. Seven of the junior No. 1s have yet to reach the WTA Top 100, with four of those named Junior World champions in the past five years. That compares to 10 for the boys. I admit I have no recollection of 1991's Zdenka Malkova or 1993's Nino Louarsabishvili, so I'll concentrate on 2008's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, whose best WTA ranking is 149.

Lertcheewakarn, who is now 28 and has not played since 2017, did win a junior slam, but not in 2008. She reached the final that year, losing to Laura Robson, but managed to take the No. 1 spot based primarily on titles in four Grade 1s, all in Asia.  In 2009, when she won the girls title at Wimbledon, beating Kristina Mladenovic in the final, she also reached the semifinals at the Australian Open juniors and the quarterfinals at the US Open juniors. But she did not play any of the big junior events after the US Open and Mladenovic won the Grade A in Japan and made the Orange Bowl final to pass her.

I also looked at the best years for junior year-end No. 1s by simply combining the girls and boys rankings, the lower the number the better. After noting the names, it isn't really surprising that first year is actually the best, with Czechs Ivan Lendl[1] and Hana Mandlikova[3] at 4. 1996's French champions Sebastien Grosjean[4] and Amelie Mauresmo[1] and Roger Federer[1] and Jelana Dokic[4] are in second place at 5. 2013 was also a good year, and could still be better, with both Alexander Zverev[3] and Belinda Bencic[4] having many years to improve on their current best rankings.

Both lists are available here, on Google Documents. I have also added a jpeg of the girls list below, as some of you said you were unable to see the embedded spreadsheet for the boys.