Re: Is the 1993-1996 generation about to breakthrough?
Yulia Putintseva, Ashleigh Barty and Donna Vekic are standouts in terms of being able to win several $25Ks at such a young age (15/16 years old). Pretty much everyone knows about these three as they're constantly talked about here, although I guess Vekic is a bit more under the radar as her junior results are hardly stellar compared to her outstanding success in pro events. But all three of them are certainly heading in the right direction in their young careers. Of the 1993-1996 group these are the best three.
As for some of the others I pay attention to are Garbine Muguruza Blanco, Annika Beck, Carina Witthoeft, Irina Khromacheva, Elina Svitolina and Grace Min.
Players like Mladenovic, Garcia, Larcher de Brito and Tomljanovic and Diyas have been stalling forever. Although the latter two have been injured/sick I believe and are starting to get better results. But I really don't see any of them being top players.
Keys and Kontaveit are hardly living up to their hype with disappointing years so far, but they're both young. Townsend is doing great in juniors but hasn't played a professional event all year so it's really hard to gauge her potential.
As for 1997, Belinda Bencic and Veronika Kudermetova are really the two leading the field. Bencic has a 31-4 W/L 2012 record in juniors, winning two G1 events, and is currently ranked #21. Kudermetova reached the semifinals of a $25K in Moscow as a qualifier a few months ago.
Here are some players that are doing very well in challengers recently who nobody seemed to have mentioned and "fly under the radar" from all the TennisForum hype.
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor from Spain (born 1992) is on a 17 match winning streak, winning two $25Ks as a qualifier and a $50K+H. She thrashed Khromacheva 6-1 6-1 in the $50K+H. She's currently ranked #215. I know this thread is only for 1993-1996, but Maria-Teresa was out injured for several months last year and after May 2011 she only played two $10Ks at the very end of the year after she had recovered. She virtually has no points to defend for the rest of 2012.
Margarita Gasparyan from Russia (born 1994) is on a 15 match winning streak, winning three $25Ks in a row in Moscow. She beat Gavrilova twice and Witthoeft in this run. She's currently ranked #287.
Anna-Lena Friedsam from Germany (also born 1994) is on a 18 match winning streak, winning a $10K and then two $25Ks in a row, both as a qualifier. She beat Vekic in Padova. She's currently ranked #285.
Some of these players I mentioned are bound to be "flops" like Flipkens, Zahlavova Strycova, Krajicek and Karatantcheva. But there are signs that a lot of them will become very good players in 3-4 years time. It'll be interesting to see in a few years which ones breakthrough and which ones don't.