And that's a good point you made before, about Cici and her parents. But since Cici was just 15 when she hit the spotlight, I think her parents were smart to guide her away from turning pro immediately, even if that's what she wanted to do. I imagine the pressure on them, and on her, must have been huge. But since the family doesn't need the money, what's the downside of going slow? Maybe she'll be less messed up in the head in the long run because of that decision.
I can understand their wanting to keep Cici out of the spotlight at that age, but they're doing it in a way that seems harmful to her development. Which makes sense, if you don't want her to be a tennis player anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if she winds up going the college route, regardless of her talent.
There’s a part of tennis development that is due to physical growth, training, and endurance that trumps the talent of the top notch junior American players. When’s the last time that a 14 year old was able to transition to the pro level? All of this occurred before the William’s sister changed the game, which pushed the envelope up so many notches that we’re not even seeing how it has affected the play at an international level. Case in point, it’s not surprising to see no name kids from other countries get recruited to D1 American colleges and dish out a can of whip ass to the most promising and talented Blue Chip Americans.
American junior tennis is an exact mirror of the WTA, whereby the top players can be seen from other countries, especially when you take out the Williams sisters from the roster. Look at the Road to Singapore. You take out Venus at #10 and the next American is Madison Keys at #18. Even at #18, she’s not exactly lacking shelves to hang her trophies.
Getting back to Cici, the kid is undersized to compete at the WTA events. Sure right now, she can scrape by at the Challenger level, where players can’t afford a full-time trainer and travel outside the country. Having the financial resources that Cici’ parents have, they’re astute enough to know that it is not about money but about the intense competition level that Cici isn’t ready for at the WTA events. Sure she had a good showing at the US Open two years ago, but so did Melanie Oudin, who is now ranked #373.
A top junior player will typically beat everyone at their age bracket and the two years above that. If the competition level in America for those years are below par, chances are that a top junior player’s ranking is overinflated. Yes they have the wins and trophies to appear as a champion, but do they have the strength, skills, confidence, and mental ability to soar at the highest level, internationally?
Chances are NOT, yet all the hype is built up so high that if you layered it together, it would look down at the Sears Tower.
Does being the #1 Junior translate to success in WTA?
Taylor Townsend, ranked #277, 30th among Americans.
She won Juniors AO in 2012 in Singles and won Doubles in all Grand Slams except for French with Gabrielle Andrews (AO & USO) and with Eugenie Bouchard (Wimbledon).
Some of you who kept up know that Andrews couldn't qualify to a D-1 college, so she'll be attending a junior college this year.
From Junior Grand Slam winner to not even D-1 college.
As far as American tennis. It's all a hype, we just don't want to admit to it, yet.