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Bryan Swartz
01-17-2011, 02:47 PM
Came across something interesting while working on my latest project.

David Ferrer, former world No. 4, and good enough to win more than a third of his lifetime matches against Top 10 opponents, had a career-best ranking of #49 as of his 22nd birthday.

Point being, I think a lot of people around here say this-or-that young player will never amount to anything special because they are 20, 21, or 22 and haven't done much.

We need to be patient with the young guys more than we are a lot of the time.

IvanAndreevich
01-17-2011, 03:05 PM
Many people would argue that Ferrer never did amount to anything special in the end.

aceX
01-17-2011, 03:06 PM
there's only 10 spots in the top ten

Bryan Swartz
01-17-2011, 03:10 PM
Whether Ferrer amounted to anything special depends really on what your standard is.

My point is though that people are saying certain young players will never reach even Top 10 or Top 20 before they are old enough to really make that distinction. Ferrer is an example of someone whose early career is similar, even inferior to these players, yet he's been in the Top 5.

Pwned
01-17-2011, 03:13 PM
Many people would argue that Ferrer never did amount to anything special in the end.

Many people are idiots. It's pointless comparing time-lines for players as if there is a set standard as to what they are supposed to achieve by a certain age.

Bryan Swartz
01-17-2011, 04:31 PM
Why is that? I think such things are a useful comparison -- if you look at the histories of the great players for example, you see that most of the time they make a major impact early in their career. As a general guide, I think it's useful to look at a player's progression this way.

Pwned
01-17-2011, 04:56 PM
Then why did you start this thread?

MajinX
01-17-2011, 04:58 PM
Then why did you start this thread?

i think hes one of those guys that like to argue for the sake of argument, and not realize he just refuted his own example with that last post.

Bryan Swartz
01-17-2011, 04:59 PM
I think I made that pretty clear in the OP -- because I think people are expecting too much of players when they are young. It's not that I think timelines are useless: it's that people are being overly critical of younger players by misusing them.

Bryan Swartz
01-17-2011, 05:01 PM
i think hes one of those guys that like to argue for the sake of argument, and not realize he just refuted his own example with that last post.

I don't think I refuted my own example at all. There's a difference between saying 'timelines are useless' and the kind of overly negative assessment that gets bandied about way too early about players in or just out of their teens. There's plenty of room in between those two extremes for reasonable opinions.

dlk
01-17-2011, 05:14 PM
I find this an interesting thread. It does seem like the big stars are great young. I also find the question of "when will a teen win a slam again" interesting. Heck, who's the next under 20 to even win a 500 event?

mental midget
01-17-2011, 06:25 PM
i think this is a trend that will hold for a while. the nature of the game these days rewards patience and physical strength, two qualities that often take time to develop. notice the relative absence of a teen contingent on tour. no carpet, slower hardcourts, and a premium on defense make it tough for the brilliant shotmaker to ply his trade these days with consistency. there will always be exceptions, but maturity is at a premium like never before.

dlk
01-17-2011, 06:27 PM
i think this is a trend that will hold for a while. the nature of the game these days rewards patience and physical strength, two qualities that often take time to develop. notice the relative absence of a teen contingent on tour. no carpet, slower hardcourts, and a premium on defense make it tough for the brilliant shotmaker to ply his trade these days with consistency. there will always be exceptions, but maturity is at a premium like never before.

Yeah, I believe the physicality is the number one reason we see no prominent teens.

edman9898
01-17-2011, 07:15 PM
Look at Schiavone on the WTA. She just popped up in the last couple of years and won her first major. She is 31 I believe.

mental midget
01-17-2011, 07:17 PM
Yeah, I believe the physicality is the number one reason we see no prominent teens.

pmac just said as much vis a vis donald young's demolition at the hands of cilic just now. juniors are finding the transition to atp-level ballbashing to be a pretty rude awakening. guys with an outrageous weapon, like isner for example, have an advantage obviously, but generally, it's about putting in the 'hard yards' necessary to get your body up to speed.

vive le beau jeu !
01-17-2011, 11:36 PM
i think this is a trend that will hold for a while. the nature of the game these days rewards patience and physical strength, two qualities that often take time to develop. notice the relative absence of a teen contingent on tour. no carpet, slower hardcourts, and a premium on defense make it tough for the brilliant shotmaker to ply his trade these days with consistency. there will always be exceptions, but maturity is at a premium like never before.
it's sad. :(

VGP
01-18-2011, 07:46 AM
I find this an interesting thread. It does seem like the big stars are great young. I also find the question of "when will a teen win a slam again" interesting. Heck, who's the next under 20 to even win a 500 event?

I'll paraphrase Marat Safin when he said that by the time you're 18 you've got to be top 200 if you want to do anything in the sport. If you're top 700, you're not taking it seriously (I might also add that you're not good enough).

I figure that's a decent enough "standard" to go by. At least in the early phases of a pro's career.

Bryan Swartz
01-18-2011, 07:55 AM
I think that's too stringent. Current players who were not in the Top 200 by age 18:

Robin Soderling(multiple Slam finalist and current world #4)
Andy Murray(#5, former #2, 6 MS titles, multiple Slam finalist)
David Ferrer(#7, former #4)
Andy Roddick(#8, former #1 and US Open champion)
Fernando Verdasco(#9)
Jurgen Melzer(#11)
Gael Monfils(#12)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga(#13, former AO finalist)
Nicolas Almagro(#14)
Marin Cilic(#15)
Mardy Fish(#16)
Ivan Ljubicic(#17, former world #3)
Sam Querrey(#18 )
Stanislas Wawrinka(#19)
John Isner(#20)

Del Potro won the USO when he was 20 ... so a teen doing it is not out of the question, just very difficult in this age.

But anyway ... almost nobody(at least in the Top 20 outside of the Top 6 made the Safin standard, Youzhny the only exception, and two in the Top 5 didn't either. Unless you are looking only for those who look destined to be all-time greats and that's how high the bar is).

VGP
01-18-2011, 08:55 AM
I guess he was speaking out of his experience. Being a typical academy kid with early promise.

Or, maybe it was his impression that that's what IHOF'ers were made of......

American guys like Querrey and Isner stayed in school (high school and college, respectively).

Or, you're on the cusp of making an argument (or providing evidence) for a "weak era?"

Manus Domini
01-18-2011, 09:18 AM
Cilic was #2 behind Young in Juniors and is now #15 in the world. Where is the only junior ranked higher than Cilic now?

Bryan Swartz
01-18-2011, 10:42 AM
Not going to make a 'weak era' argument -- I haven't changed my opinion that this is an unknowable and unprovable.

Point taken with Querrey and Isner, but a number of guys were playing regularly for over a year before their 18th birthday and still didn't make it.

I'm just saying the Safin standard is too strict, not that there shouldn't be one :).

Proset
01-18-2011, 01:36 PM
Safin standard is way too strict. Not only players develope their games at different stages but their maturity (mental and physical) also comes at different times. Just because Isner started playing Pro tournaments after 20 doesn't mean he will not achieve good results.