Originally Posted by BlueTrees
How does that even make sense though, to compare a girl born in January 1994 to girls born in mid-1996 and act like she's going to be way better than them?
Vekic and Barty have had considerable more success than Laura at the same age, it's just the truth
Actually Robson was getting competitive results against top 100 players at a younger age than Barty is now. At Barty's current age, Robson had won sets against Benesova & Hantuchova and she had actually scored a win against Goerges. Her overall results against tour players was substantially better than what we have seen so far from Barty, who is 0-10 in sets won against against top 100 players.
Vekic is a bit different. She has had one outstanding tournament in Tashkent. It is possible that could be indicative of how she plays throughout next year. However looking at her remaining results I am not so sure. I think it is a sign of how good she is going to be but I have to say Donna's Tashkent results don't reflect the level she was playing at before that event or after it.
Anyway, surely you must know not to get trapped into "the youngest to do xxx will end up the with the best career" kind of thinking. It doesn't really matter a great deal if player A won more 25ks at 16 than player B once both players are in the top 100 and competing on the WTA tour. It is only then that we find out who is best. And frankly the amount of 25ks or whatever that a player wins as a teen I don't think has a lot of bearing on that.
When looking at teens I look for 2 things above all else. 1) How well they play against established pros and 2) A sudden shift in the level of results a player produces. If a player from out of nowhere suddenly puts together say 3 or 4 events that are substantially better than what they had been doing previously then it is a good indication they are ready for the next level. For example what impresses me about AKS is her steady improvement throughout the year. At the start of the year AKS had only one 10k to her credit. By the end of the year she was winning 25ks and taking sets off established tour veterans. She is making fast progress. But even those things only matter in the short term. What matters in the long term is how committed a player is and how hard they are prepared to push themselves. And when we look at players of 16 to 18 years old, those are things that we won't end up finding out about them until they are into their early 20s, and sometimes even later than that.