Speaking of the AER
The last 'prodigy' who wasn't subject to the Age Eligibility Rules was Martina Hingis. (Although if memory serves, Maria Sharapova got some waivers. Correct me if I'm wrong on Sharapova.) The Williams sisters weren't subject to the AER, but their parents limited their play. Clijsters must have been, and I think Henin was, though she would have been close to the line.
Point is though, the whole idea of the AER was to keep players from having their careers cut short due to injuries. And Hingis's career WAS cut short due to injury. Ditto Kournikova. I got to thinking about this because Tracy Austin came up in another thread, and she had back and nerve problems by the time she was twenty.
Flashy teen prodigies are nice, but the limitations don't deter success. Consider, Steffi Graf was only playing 14 tournaments a year when she 18. She was 19 the year of the 'Golden Slam'. And Graf actually won her last slam after Hingis won her last.
Another vaguely Hingis-related AER story. Serena Williams was, of course, a teen prodigy, a 17 year old slam winner. But she only played 12 events in 1999. Only 11 in 1998, and in 1997, while Matina Hingis was winning three slams, Orecene pulled Serena off the tour for half a year cause she wasn't hitting the books hard enough. The point NOT being that Serena would have won any of Hingis' slams. Serena wasn't ready. The point is that an adult professional tennis schedule can cause injuries that are career-threatening. Adults gets injured too. See Venus, Serena, Davenport, Mauresmo, but their bodies seem heal in a way that allows them to return to something resembling their former level of play.
So, on the whole, has the AER been a success?
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
Last edited by Volcana; Feb 9th, 2010 at 04:22 PM.