Age Eligibility Rule conversation - any proof of success?
SO, here's my thing:
I'm a big fan of the Age Eligibility Rule. I think it's important to put a system in place to prevent, basically, child labor on an exploitative scale, and I think there's enough history of monstrous tennis parents using their kids as cash-cows/living vicariously through them, AND enough history of physical burnout as a consequence of playing too much, too big, too young, to justify putting some kind of system in place.
I'm also extremely suspicious of the current campaign against it (or, rather, questioning of it) being waged by so many in 'the media', seemingly because Federer has greenlit conversation of it all of a sudden (and the fact he has a financial stake in a 15 year old's success is, I'm sure, unrelated to that....)
The recent thread on Michelle Larcher de Brito got me thinking: is there any proof that the AER actually, you know, worked? Do we know that it reduced the number of burnout cases, or liberated young women from controlling fathers/coaches by providing them time to grow up before they become elite players?
Because I can think of an uncomfortable number of cases of burnout since the creation of the AER.
Michelle Larcher de Brito: won a match against a top 100 player at age 14, career high ranking at age 16, last notable results at age 20 and 22 (defeating Sharapova and Ivanovic, both in the top 10 at the respective time of the match), now a real estate agent (and maybe dog hotel owner?) at age 26.
Nicole Vaidisova: top 10 player at age 17, 2nd week of slams regularly at age 16, effectively stopped playing at age 20.
Tatiana Golovin: 2nd week of majors at age 15 and 16, reached #12 at age 20, retired at age 20.
Agnes Szavay: junior French Open title, skyrocketed up the rankings at age 18 (from outside top 100 to YE #20) by virtue of a strong clay season, a breakout US summer season (final New Haven, QF US Open), and a title at the Beijing Tier II, then a couple years of chronic back injury and she was effectively retired by age 22.
There are others in there who achieved career heights as teenagers and never came close to them again: Tamira Paszek, Sesil Karatantcheva, Michaela Krajicek, etc.
So the question is, do the Age Eligibility Rules have any proof of success? Some players (Anisimova, for example) have expressed gratitude to them, which is great, but are there any actual qualitative studies on teen burnout before the AER and after the AER?