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Gotcha.

I'll add in, Kostyuk has been somewhat disadvantaged by where she comes from. She was the youngest player to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open since Hingis, but she basically never got wildcards, and she never had a home tournament to play in of any real stature.

An American, Brit, Aussie, or French player doing what she did would be garnering all kinds of interest, and Kostyuk's disappeared as quickly as the Australian Open ended. A 15-year-old American ranked in the 130s would have gotten a wildcard into Indian Wells and/or Miami for sure, and Kostyuk was playing 60ks in China instead.
True, but she also wasn't that good, which was pretty evident whenever she played on the WTA tour.

She had an extremely fortunate run to the AO R3 before getting routined by Svitolina in under an hour, then continued having some good results on the ITF tour. She had some flashy results at WTA events like beating Cornet at Stuttgart qualifying and taking a slumping Garcia to 3 sets at the same tournament, but she also had losses like... losing to Ruse in QR1 at Prague, losing to Arruabarrena at Madrid in R1 (where she got a WC), not qualifying for RG, Wimbledon or the USO, losing in R1 of Mallorca (where she got a WC), as well as in R1 of Bol, Tashkent, and some 100K events.

I remember wondering why she was getting any WCs at all when she was only 15 and hadn't done much at the WTA level apart from a lucky run where she faced a slumping Peng and Rogowska. Someone like Gauff benefited from WCs due to her citizenship and was the same age as Kostyuk when she had her WTA breakthrough, but Gauff... won matches, lol. Kostyuk didn't.
 
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What do you think about Whitney Osuigwe - she had an impressive junior career but seems to have stalled somewhat in the months before the tour stopped. Do you think this was a just a blip or whether she is going to get stuck in the 100-200 range or even drop back further in the next few months? I am wondering whether she was been adversely affected by the rise of Coco Gauff who has totally overshadowed her in terms of being the next American star.
Probably tbh.

Osuigwe won RG juniors the year before Gauff and was being hyped up as 'the one', but then Gauff subsequently took the junior world by storm (USO F + RG W) and followed that up with tour success the following year while Osuigwe languished in ITFs.

I think it will take Whitney longer to make it (though she was nearly Top 100 off the back of strong results in US ITFs). She can be a top player due to her natural athleticism and foot speed but whenever I watch her, I kind of get confused. Her serve is mostly unusable, and she has no clarity in how she plays. Given her height and build she'll be better off trying to follow a Halep or Svitolina model of play because she can't be consistently aggressive.
 
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True, but she also wasn't that good, which was pretty evident whenever she played on the WTA tour.

She had an extremely fortunate run to the AO R3 before getting routined by Svitolina in under an hour, then continued having some good results on the ITF tour. She had some flashy results at WTA events like beating Cornet at Stuttgart qualifying and taking a slumping Garcia to 3 sets at the same tournament, but she also had losses like... losing to Ruse in QR1 at Prague, losing to Arruabarrena at Madrid in R1 (where she got a WC), not qualifying for RG, Wimbledon or the USO, losing in R1 of Mallorca (where she got a WC), as well as in R1 of Bol, Tashkent, and some 100K events.

I remember wondering why she was getting any WCs at all when she was only 15 and hadn't done much at the WTA level apart from a lucky run where she faced a slumping Peng and Rogowska. Someone like Gauff benefited from WCs due to her citizenship and was the same age as Kostyuk when she had her WTA breakthrough, but Gauff... won matches, lol. Kostyuk didn't.
But Kostyuk didn't get main draw wildcards, that's the thing. Her Australian Open entry was as a wildcard into the qualifying round, so she won 5 matches to reach that 3rd round. After that, she was ranked in the top 200 and played ITF and qualifying at a few WTA events (she made a run to the R16 in Stuttgart) and then ranked #130-ish got a main draw wildcard to Madrid and to Mallorca. According to Tennis Abstract, Mallorca was her last main draw WTA wildcard. So she got two tour-level main draw wild cards, total, in her career (thus far).

Take a step back from Gauff to someone whose career-high rank is closer to Kostyuk's: Caty McNally. In 2019 alone, McNally got main draw wildcards to Miami, Washington, Cincinnati, and the US Open. Only at Washington (the smallest event of the four) did she manage to win multiple matches, and there only one win was over a top 100 opponent. She was ranked at the US Open 2019 roughly what Kostyuk (younger than she and with better tour-level results at the time) was ranked at both the French Open and Wimbledon 2018.

It's a huge benefit to be from a country with a lot of events, and Kostyuk almost surely would have hit top 100 already if she could count on 4+ wildcards into big tournaments in front of home crowds. She came very close to it with basically no wildcards and no home events. And a top 100 ranking is enough to guarantee ~150k / year from main draws of slams alone, which is enough to rapidly improve.

I'm not arguing that Kostyuk SHOULD get wildcards (I'm on record opposed to main draw wildcards in all situations) but this is a prime example of nationality having a significant bearing on outcomes. Kostyuk had all these expectations stacked on her from that 5-match grand slam winning streak (qualies plus two rounds) and virtually none of the mechanisms to progress the way a player from a big country does. So she has all the negatives of young success with none of the positives.

Abolish main draw wildcards, I think we all agree that's the lesson, yes?
 

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But Kostyuk didn't get main draw wildcards, that's the thing. Her Australian Open entry was as a wildcard into the qualifying round, so she won 5 matches to reach that 3rd round. After that, she was ranked in the top 200 and played ITF and qualifying at a few WTA events (she made a run to the R16 in Stuttgart) and then ranked #130-ish got a main draw wildcard to Madrid and to Mallorca. According to Tennis Abstract, Mallorca was her last main draw WTA wildcard. So she got two tour-level main draw wild cards, total, in her career (thus far).

Take a step back from Gauff to someone whose career-high rank is closer to Kostyuk's: Caty McNally. In 2019 alone, McNally got main draw wildcards to Miami, Washington, Cincinnati, and the US Open. Only at Washington (the smallest event of the four) did she manage to win multiple matches, and there only one win was over a top 100 opponent. She was ranked at the US Open 2019 roughly what Kostyuk (younger than she and with better tour-level results at the time) was ranked at both the French Open and Wimbledon 2018.

It's a huge benefit to be from a country with a lot of events, and Kostyuk almost surely would have hit top 100 already if she could count on 4+ wildcards into big tournaments in front of home crowds. She came very close to it with basically no wildcards and no home events. And a top 100 ranking is enough to guarantee ~150k / year from main draws of slams alone, which is enough to rapidly improve.

I'm not arguing that Kostyuk SHOULD get wildcards (I'm on record opposed to main draw wildcards in all situations) but this is a prim
Right, but McNally's rise and path to getting those WCs was as much a consequence of her nationality as it was her results. She won a 100K in January, got some WCs into events at Indian Wells (125K and the QD of the PM), where she beat Top 100 players. She reached the SF of a 100K on grass where she lost to eventual Wimbledon QF-ist Riske. She successfully qualified for Wimbledon. She did get a lot of MD WCs in the summer NA season but at Washington she made the SFs (whereas Kostyuk still has 0 SF at tour level), and at the US Open she took Serena to 3 sets.

To compare - Kostyuk's 2018 season her W/L against Top 100 was 4-6. McNally's was 8-7 in 2019. I understand your thinking that WCs could have helped Kostyuk develop but she was also 15/16 and under strict AER rules. Getting those WCs into big events like Slams, IW, Miami could have meant losing early (which she did at basically every WTA event she entered anyways), and missing out on the chance to gain valuable points and playing experience. She wasn't ready mentally, emotionally, or physically to compete on the WTA tour off the back of a GS run where she beat 1 Top 100 player (a slumping Shuai Peng who actually ended up winning just 1 WTA MD match that season).

It was extremely telling when Kostyuk failed to qualify for subsequent GSs. McNally got a WC for the USO but she comfortably qualified for Wimbledon and the AO this year. The issue afflicting Kostyuk wasn't lack of WCs but pressure. She said as much last year:

I had this pressure last year and I went too crazy about that. It's like I was the first one who broke through, and I was the first one who fell. It's how it is for the 2000, 2001, 2002 girls.

Now there's so many girls that are so much better than me. Honestly I don't really feel that pressure because, like, Yastremska is like No.35 or something, Anisimova is Top 50 now. They both won already WTA titles. Potapova is 70 in the world. And I'm 320 (laughs).

I don't count myself like a big superstar, because definitely now I'm not.
 

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I agree. Marta definitely struggled for much of 2018 after that Stuttgart result for almost a year until the points came off and the pressure too. Her form picked up again spring last year on European clay and she regained a lot of the points she lost in the next few months. I don't think she was mentally ready to deal with the main tour over a whole year when she did well at the AO; maybe she could have continued to move up towards her previous high, had lockdown not stalled her momentum again. She qualified for WTA Lyon main draw in her last event after doing the same in Madrid, Strasbourg and Luxembourg in the previous 12 months and achieved good results also at $60k level, so she seemed to have a better base to build on for the future.
 

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Stollar had about 6/7 Int QF/SF's to her name by the age of 21; she also had back to back Rd16 at Charleston and a handful of top 100 wins......of all of that, maybe 30% was on Grass.
WTA Singles ranking 114.

Zhuk was a junior champion in singles at Wimbledon, and had a couple of quite nice wins in senior events before injury caused her to retire from tennis. Her last match was in the first qualifying round at Wimbledon a year ago, when she lost to Varvara Lepchenko. Her best win was when she beat Alize Cornet in the first round at Indian Wells in 2018, and she beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round. She beat Cornet again at Guadalajara last year.

Luckily her looks mean that she will always be in demand as a model.
WTA Singles ranking 116.

She's had 10 top 100 wins before her 18th birthday, or 13 if you stretch it to 109, and a lot of those were when she was 15 and 16 years old, so she's clearly capable of mixing it with those in the stated ranking range, as you can't fluke that amount of wins without having something about you. A slam 3rd round (which admittedly was a fortunate main draw), WTA Strasbourg QF (via qualifying), and reaching the L16 at Stuttgart after negotiating 3 rounds of qualifying.

She went off the boil a bit last year and her progress wasn't as quick as many were expecting, but there's signs she's getting back on track, and I personally don't think it'll be too long before she's in the top 100 if/when the tour gets properly going again.
WTA Singles ranking 116. Some tournament wonder, could easily go down even from the 60Ks. Yet again she has achieved a lot more than Jaqueline Cristian for instance but I see no long term consistency. Not sure she can make it. I forgot the name, but there's a much better youngster from Ukraine. Not very professional though if I remember well, kind of photo shoot like Sabalenka.

Stollar great play on grass, but that's all for me. Zhuk mediocre.

From these 3, only Kostyuk "tries" to enter top 100. CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG! But with lack of consistency. Stollar has very bad results, lost in Hungary 1-6 3-6 to Kovinic, and lost to many anonymous players. Zhuk had some results, then dropped big, played all of her career like the number 200 at her best.
 

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From those that didn't enter yet, maybe McNally will do it sooner maybe. She's more ambitious.

But Kostyuk can also. They only need a "click". I have expected more in the development of Kostyk, she's already 18.
 

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Kostyuk definitely has the potential to reach top 100 at the very least, even if she doesn't become a world-beater. I think that AO run and the pressure definitely got to her. She still has plenty of time to get it all together.

Also, I'm curious to see what will happen to Dasha Lopatetskaya. She did have that injury: Let's see if she can get back on track.
 

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There are a lot of young players whom could potentially become top 100 players maybe even top 50.

The former junior world no. 1 Clara Tauson has shown great potential on the ITF tour, having won a couple of titles already. She won her first junior grand slam at the Australian Open in 2019. At the age of 16 she made here WTA debut on her first year of being on the professional tour. She is definetly someone to look out for.

Daria Lopatetska has shown great potential on the ITF circuit. I hope she will return soon again after her injury.

Leylah Annie Fernandez has shown a great figure both on the ITF and WTA tour in 2019. She won the junior French Open in 2019 and reached the final at the Australian Open the same year. If she keeps on progressing she will become a big threat.
 

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Getting those WCs into big events like Slams, IW, Miami could have meant losing early (which she did at basically every WTA event she entered anyways), and missing out on the chance to gain valuable points and playing experience. She wasn't ready mentally, emotionally, or physically to compete on the WTA tour off the back of a GS run where she beat 1 Top 100 player (a slumping Shuai Peng who actually ended up winning just 1 WTA MD match that season).

[...]

The issue afflicting Kostyuk wasn't lack of WCs but pressure. She said as much last year:
True, and although she had a fair number of wins as well, and many over pretty good players (Cornet was top 50, Gavrilova was top 30 and near her best, etc.), I don't really disagree.

But I'll add to the nuance of it all: part of that pressure is financial, especially if you don't come from a powerhouse country. If she had gotten, say, a Charleston or Miami or Cincinnati wildcard (in this situation I'm pretending she's American) and won a round at any of them, which is hardly out of the realm of possibility (I mean, Stollar did so, and there are other wildcards to run into the way Gauff beat McNally last year, etc.) she'd have been a main draw entry to slams for some of the year, and that puts much less pressure on her.

There's a line from AK Schmiedlova when she won Bogota a few years back and reentered the top 100 that the thing on her mind the most wasn't winning matches, but getting direct entry into Roland Garros (Bogota was the last tournament before cut-off).

"I was much more nervous [in the] days before [the final]," said Schmiedlova. "Yesterday, for example, I played to get to Top 100 and to get to the main draw of Roland Garros, and also to get to final of WTA."

I am quite surprised she was so aware of everything that was on the line in that particular match. :eek: I would have always thought players would try to ignore these things. Really strong from her to pull through. :D
That's a bizarrely self-aware statement from a player. I'm kind of blown away that she knew all those details, because it's the kind of thing I can't imagine anyone on her team would tell her that information so I am guessing she knew/looked up all those facts herself.
As @Gold_Fangs said on page three of that thread (LINKED HERE), players on the cusp of certain ranking thresholds must be hyper aware of what it takes to get into that range, and being an American (or French, or British, or Aussie) player in the 100-200 range takes a huge amount of pressure of because chances are very good you'll get a wildcard, which is essentially a check for 50k.

Meh, I still think all main draw wildcards should be abolished.
 

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Stollar great play on grass, but that's all for me. Zhuk mediocre.

From these 3, only Kostyuk "tries" to enter top 100. CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG!
You ARE wrong. If Zhuk wasn't injured I'm quite sure that she would have been able to build on her success at Indian Wells. Unfortunately that's all in the past because, unless she is able to completely rehabilitate herself (and regain her enthusiasm for playing), we won't see her playing professional tennis again.
 

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Probably tbh.

Osuigwe won RG juniors the year before Gauff and was being hyped up as 'the one', but then Gauff subsequently took the junior world by storm (USO F + RG W) and followed that up with tour success the following year while Osuigwe languished in ITFs.

I think it will take Whitney longer to make it (though she was nearly Top 100 off the back of strong results in US ITFs). She can be a top player due to her natural athleticism and foot speed but whenever I watch her, I kind of get confused. Her serve is mostly unusable, and she has no clarity in how she plays. Given her height and build she'll be better off trying to follow a Halep or Svitolina model of play because she can't be consistently aggressive.
From reading posts about her, it seems she was painted as an undersized Madison Keys.

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With the exception of Coco, ’03 and ’04 seem like slow years worldwide. Plus, current situation does not help them at all with making a breakthrough (understatement). Who knows when any of them will play a 15 or 25K next time. These years may be royally screwed long term, despite their top-100 abilities.
 

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I have watched quiet some czech tennis the last month, and Im really surprised Tereza Martincova has never made it to the top100, and shes 25 already.
 
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