Re: Soo..Where's that Chinese boom Stacy predicted?
Chinese tennis has more depth than ever before if looking at the top-200, but not many of the girls have top-player/star abilities. Most are quite young and can reach top-100 but quite likely they won't become major players.
The major breakthrough will probably come as a result of 1122 Tennis Academy, in my opinion. The tennis academy co-owned by Zheng Jie and her husband established a few years ago offers scholarships and pays for player expenses, but is independent of the state system. Pretty much all the top U14 & U16 girls train there now, and they are receiving great guidance with the ability to travel to big junior tournaments in Europe and America. In the youngest categories (born 2000 and younger) there are Chinese girls doing very well internationally, but there is lots of depth everywhere so it's very difficult to determine what happens in the future.
There is a strong belief in Chinese tennis that girls from the West are maturing faster and at a younger age, and that Chinese players can't become strong and develop muscles and power until early/mid 20s. I have no idea about the science behind it, but players developing this mentality that they are too weak to compete against Western girls creates a bad mindset and lack of confidence, plus causes them to make slower transitions to the pros.