Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

When I think "child prodigy", I think Hingis, Seles and Austin.

I don't quite think Maria, but would understand if someone did.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

Sharapova doesn't have 8 slams as a teenager (like Seles), and she can't hit every shot in the book (like Hingis). But people had been tipping her for huge success since she was a little girl. She was certainly an enormous young talent. She has also consistently outclassed her peers mentally. She's the prodigy of this generation, another Bolletieri muse.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:03 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

So when Sharapova made the 4th round of Wimbledon in 2003 it wasn't surprising? I hadn't been paying attention to tennis for very long but it was a surprise to me to see a WC make the 4th round, dominating Harkleroad (who was Top 40 at the time), Dokic, and Bovina in the process.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:10 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

I thought you were talking about Mari Andersson

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:11 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

I don't know how you would define "prodigy" but for me she is because she rose to the top of the rankings at a very young age and won three slams by twenty. Though she hasn't dominated the field, her mentality is very special and sets her apart from the other young players. Maybe her credentials aren't as spectacular as the ones you mentioned, but Maria plays in a different era from them and so far she is the very best of her age group.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:13 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

Most of the time people use the word prodigy for someone who didn't succeed as an adult and Maria has succeeded.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:14 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

3rd youngest to win Wimbledon, 3 slams by 20, 5th youngest #1, 1st ever Russian #1 at 18, YEC winner at 17... she may not have been an Austin, a Hingis or a Seles but these are still, without a doubt, the accomplishments of a tennis child prodigy.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

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Originally Posted by s_j View Post
3rd youngest to win Wimbledon, 3 slams by 20, 5th youngest #1, 1st ever Russian #1 at 18, YEC winner at 17... she may not have been an Austin, a Hingis or a Seles but these are still, without a doubt, the accomplishments of a tennis child prodigy.
Don't forget 1st ever Russian Australian Open and Wimbledon ladies singles champion!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

there realistically arent child prodigy's in tennis anymore before of the age restrictions. IMO tennis players should be able to play as much as they want at any age, don't let a few bad tennis parents take that away from the 14/15/16 year olds who can match it with the best...
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

I think the game is far too physical for girls that young to compete at the highest levels.

Cases where young children are seen to be abused look bad for the tour and the ITF. Those restrictions need to be there. If a 5 year old child could sew better than a 35 year old woman, does that mean she should be able to work 14 hour days in a factory?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

By "prodigy", it's often associated with winning a huge number of slams/titles as a 15-16 year old...

In that sense, Maria doesn't quite fit into that mould because her slam/big title successes have been spread out over a period of 4-5 years. I would argue that that's actually better for Maria, personally.

Serena. Simona. Ana. Petra. Venus.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

Who won a major at 15? A few in the history of the sport won at 16. Maria won soon after turning 17.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

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Originally Posted by faboozadoo15 View Post
Who won a major at 15? A few in the history of the sport won at 16. Maria won soon after turning 17.
Yeah, but compared to Seles', who won her second slam two slams after her debut.

Maria won her next slam eight tries after Wimbly, so while she doesn't quite fit the "child prodigy" label, she's certainly unique in that regard. She won a lot as a 17 year old, but never as much as say Hingis, Austin or Seles. Though, Austin won her second USO in 1981, when her first was in 1979. But she did really shake up the Evert/Nav monopoly on the game.

So I think she started off her career young, but never had the amazing string of big time successes like the aforementioned three. That's not a bad thing, because Hingis and Austin sorta burned out.

Serena. Simona. Ana. Petra. Venus.
Clijsters, Henin, Dementieva, Davenport.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:43 AM
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

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In that sense, Maria doesn't quite fit into that mould because her slam/big title successes have been spread out over a period of 4-5 years. I would argue that that's actually better for Maria, personally.
I agree that this is good for her because it forced her to work harder on her game and her fitness. Nothing was ever easy for her after that wimbledon win. It also relieved a lot of the pressure that was on her right after she won Wimbledon. Still the composure and focus that she has at this age is imo unique. Theres a reason why only 3 players aged 17 or under have won wimbledon in its long history.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Do you consider Mari a "child prodigy"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by faboozadoo15 View Post
Who won a major at 15? A few in the history of the sport won at 16. Maria won soon after turning 17.
Has anyone aged 15 ever won a huge tier 1 or YEC? I'm interested.

Serena. Simona. Ana. Petra. Venus.
Clijsters, Henin, Dementieva, Davenport.
Martina Hingis - "No one else played like Hingis - no one could."
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