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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #88
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Re: Your Top 5 Youngsters to Watch in 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shvedbarilescu View Post
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. 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.
I agree that Barty's results against Top 100 players aren't good, but the rankings don't lie Barty's winning streak in ITFs is too much to ignore for a 16 year old. She's improved a lot over the course of the year. The only Top 100 players Barty has played since the beginning of the year (when she was just 15 years old!) are Kvitova and Vinci, and you're delusional if you think Robson would've taken sets off them. I'm not saying that Barty would necessarily be better than Robson, but it's not out of the question.

It's just really not right to compare a girl born in January 1994 to girls born in April/June 1996, because she won a few sets over some decent players, yet ultimately didn't win the match anyway. That's like comparing these girls to the likes of Azarenka, Radwanska and Wozniacki, going through the statistics and what they achieved at the same age. It's really barely relevant when the age gap is that wide.

Vekic's results since Tashkent have been fine? She reached the SF of $100K Suzhou where she lost to Hsieh, and QF of $125K Pune (where she was injured and lost to Tanasugarn). She had a bad loss in the QF of $25K Seoul but Yuxuan Zhang is another good player who nobody's talked about yet in this thread. Donna easily reached the final qualifying round of the US Open (dropping just five games) so the signs were there that she was ready for a big break through. I didn't expect it so soon, but it was always going to happen.

Larcher de Brito is a player who as a 15/16 year old had several Top 100 wins (including Aga Radwanska), took sets off the likes of Serena and Kuznetsova. On the other her results on ITF level were pretty awful in comparison, she never won her first ITF until she was 18, and it was just a $25K. So I'm guessing you thought Larcher de Brito was going to be a really great player and are shocked at how bad she's doing now?
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