Are/were there any unremarkable junior players than went to become stellar pro champs

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by rayoflight110, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. rayoflight110

    rayoflight110 Rookie

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    There are plenty of promising juniors that floundered or underachieved as professionals. Of course many grand slam champions also were junior champions but are there any pros who really came out of nowhere? I guess the Williams sisters could be?
     
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  2. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Rafael Nadal.
     
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  3. Jeffrey573639

    Jeffrey573639 Semi-Pro

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    Well tbh he didn't really have a junior career
     
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  4. *Sparkle*

    *Sparkle* Professional

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    He did and was identified and nurtured as a big hope. He just didn't travel that far during his junior career, although clearly achieved a lot as a "junior".

    The OP seems to be asking about who didn't appear particularly remarkable as a junior, and Rafa was.

    Someone like Tim Henman possibly fits the bill better. He was in the Slater Squad training programme, but wasn't considered one of their stars and no-one was getting excited about him.
     
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  5. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Pete Sampras wasn't particularly rated in his later junior years.

    Once he matured and his single backhand came right he went from nothing to, within only 18 months, beating the US Open title-holder (Wilander) in the 2nd round in 1989. He won the US Open the following year.
     
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  6. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Nadal was already beating Federer at 16, so I'd say his junior career was very short as he was already good enough to play with the top pros at very young age.
     
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  7. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Sampras is a good example of a bad junior who went on to become one of the greatest player of all time. Pete was a real late bloomer. According to his bio, He couldn't even beat his own sister until he was 14. He got "much" stronger physically at 18 or 19, and that was when he beat Muster, Lendl, McEnroe, Agassi to claim his first major title.
     
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  8. accidental

    accidental Professional

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    Pat Rafter.

    He was just in the top 10 in aus when he was 18. So hardly a sure thing. But still good obviously.

    Gilles Simon I believe didn't have much of a junior career
     
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  9. Chanwan

    Chanwan Legend

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    But Rafa was in the top-100 by age 16, youngest since Chang. The reason why he didn't have much of a junior career is that he cut it short and turned pro earlier than most.
     
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  10. Chanwan

    Chanwan Legend

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    Age 17 - but yes.
     
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  11. *Sparkle*

    *Sparkle* Professional

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    What's with the "But"? You seem to be confirming what we already know. I'm saying Rafa was remarkable as a junior, and therefore not relevant to this thread.

    This is a thread for people who weren't remarkable as juniors. Not just another excuse to reel off impressive stats about our favourites.
     
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  12. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    was ferrer a good junior?

    Spain rarely seems to have very good juniors and still they always have at least 10% of the top100 players.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
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  13. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    That is two careers cut short. is that a record?
     
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  14. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Nadal won 8 future/challengers and made 3 other challengers finals before winning his 1st ATP event. He's the player who won the most titles as a teenager (tied with Borg but he won more big titles than Borg in that streak) and he beat the #1 player for the 1st time at 17 (in a master, no less). So, you're way out of line here.
     
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  15. Irrelevant

    Irrelevant Rookie

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    I think Djokovic didn't have a great junior career either. I remember reading on here somewhere he was barely hanging around with the other kids at tournaments.
     
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  16. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Most of the current Spanish crop were not highly regarded in world terms as juniors, I think Lopez had the highest junior ranking out of all of them at 44 (I'm talking from memory here, so I may be wrong) and the rest were lower down the rankings.
     
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  17. Chanwan

    Chanwan Legend

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    My bad - misunderstood your post.
    And FYI, he's not my favourite.
     
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  18. rayoflight110

    rayoflight110 Rookie

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    Was Henin a successful junior?
     
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  19. aussie

    aussie Professional

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    Rafter comes to mind as an average junior who regularly got beaten up by other juniors (and also into the early part of his pro career) because he persisted with serve and volley tennis. Pat realised early on that his ground stroke ability was never going to take him to the top but his athleticism was a strength. So in spite of being passed at the net by all and sundry for many years he persisted and developed a game that won 2 US Open singles titles and 2 Wimbledon singles final appearances. Not bad for a pretty ordinary junior.
     
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