Can college players also succeed on tour?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by db379, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. db379

    db379 Hall of Fame

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    This may find some interest here.

    After reading this article (http://www.collegetennisonline.com/T...spx?nwId=45548), I tried to see if there was any correlation between the highest ATP ranking achieved and the former ITA ranking of these players. After all, success in college is usually what decides these players to turn pro or not, so one may see some correlation.

    The graph I plotted shows highest ITA rank vs highest ATP rank. I have taken into account only players who have played pro (incl futures) full time for 3 years or more. This is because I estimate that a recent grad has not had a chance to reach his peak in only a few months or even 1 or 2 years. I estimate that after 3 years a player should have shown proof of his aptitudes in the pros (and reached a ranking high enough). I have to stess out that this is only a small sample, and that a larger sample would give much more accurate stats, but this is all I got. It still gives some idea of who succeeded in college and also succeeded in the pros and what could be expected of recent college players turned pro.

    One striking observation from this graph is that of all players who reached inside the ATP top 100, all of them achieved a top 10 ITA ranking, except one (top 20). All the others who were beyond the top 20 in college did not become top 100 pros! I think this is quite telling, even if the sample size is small. It is also noteworthy to realize that not all former ITA top 10 made it to the top 100 in the pros. In fact from the data available, 73% of former top 10 college players made it to the top 100, and 36% made it to he top 50! Moreover, 3 out of 4 college players ranked above 20 ITA never made it to the top 250 ATP.

    According to this data, one could predict that recent grads like Johnson and Klahn (both former top 5) have a pretty good chance (73%) to make it inside the top 100, whereas Meister for ex. is unlikely to make it... Not wishing any bad luck to anyone though.

    Graph showing ITA vs ATP ranking:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/13/itaprorank.png/
     
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  2. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    Nice work, I would have guessed that pretty much one needed to be top 5 collegiate player to have solid chance of making top 100 ATP and staying there.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Does the study account for early or late growth, the player becoming more tactical or just plain dumber, or the depth of the college player's experience?
    Not all college players are in the same period of their tennis development.
    Some are burned out when they enter college. Some are still ascending and willing to work.
     
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  4. db379

    db379 Hall of Fame

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    You made some good points. The "study" is very simple, it only takes into account ITA and ATP ranking of former college players and looks for any correlation between the two. Now, I think that the players who end up at the top in college and who make it on tour are the ones who can combine all the attributes necessary besides pure talent, e.g. hard work, willingness to progress, remain injury free etc... The ones who don't or who can't simply do not make it.

    The data was taken for players who spent at least 3 years full time on tour, so they should have "matured" enough to show their true potential. Recent grads (less thn 3 years) are not included.
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    We'll see. There is a crop of college guys who are starting to play the tour now.
    Used to be most guys went to at least a year or two of college. Then, in more recent years, almost nobody who became a successful pro went to college. We'll see how this bunch does in a couple years. I think a couple have a shot.
     
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  6. db379

    db379 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, a few of the recent grads have a good shot, and the data supports this for the top ITA players. One good and recent example of a successful transition to the pros is J Isner. In fact I would even argue that in recent years, former college players who turned pro have had more success than juniors who turned pro skipping college.
     
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  7. BirdieLane

    BirdieLane New User

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    Could you expand on this?
     
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  8. db379

    db379 Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure what you are asking, but just look at the rankings and you'll see the highest ranked american player is John Isner, former college player. In doubles, the highest ranked are the Brian Bros, former college players. Some recent grads from this year have also broke in the top 250 or better after only a few months on the tour.

    In women tennis, things are different, but there are still examples of college players doing very well, e.g. Burdette former player at Stanford who went pro this summer and went to 3rd round of US Open and won several big matches on the tour.
     
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  9. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    The professional rankings of the top ITF juniors shows that the transition into the pro game is taking players 2 or 3 years minimum to become successful. College tennis is again a viable way to mature while playing tough matches, receiving good coaching and training with strong players. Staying 4 years is the difficult part.
     
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  10. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    GOOD POST! VERY TRUE.
     
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  11. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Hypothetically, take a 16 y.o. who is nationally ranked Californian that wants to go pro. Good student, good ACT/SAT profile. How about a strategy of taking the GED, getting out of high school, playing at reputable California Jr. College and take classes, transfer to reputable Div. I university, get as close to degree as possible, but keeping an eye on going pro. At the end of this process the kid is still only going to be 20 to 21, armed with a lot of experience. Also, I think the kid can escape the limits on practice at the J.C. level that he would necessarily need to violate at the Division I level to stay "on track."

    This is directed mostly to Mitch Bridge because I think he understands the California college tennis landscape more than most, but seeking all input too.
     
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  12. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Can that player graduate high school in 3 years? Cal JCs lack intensive and competitive match schedules. JCs in the South play more intensive schedules. I think the JC path is good if you the player is not good enough yet for the D1 school, but I would recommend a pro-path to finish a semester early or even a year early and play high on a D1-ranked team as soon as possible for great match experience. Turning pro at 20 is probably the ideal in today's pro world. This would give the player 3 years of college experience, and maybe that player could finish his/her degree on-line for senior year.
     
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