Originally Posted by Alohajrtennis
What we need is to accept this as the new reality and have a "minor leagues", i.e futures/challengers system, other than college, that allows these players to mature without having to be independently wealthy. All of the angst going on right now in the junior competition system is partly a factor of the fact that we expect to much from it - we are living in the past if we think are top juniors are going to seamlessly move into the ATP top 150 or even top 250. It's not a weigh training issue.
Totally spot on.
The ATP, WTA and ITF better take a close look at their minor league system and fix it. If they want players trying to develop and stay in their pipeline players to feed the tour, they better address the prize money situation at those levels. If they expect to have Challenger level tournaments always be self-sustaining through tickets sales, they are gonna have a hard lesson coming. Athletes will go where they think they can make it and if the money just ain't their in the minor league system athletes will pick another game.
The game has changed. It takes time to mature and move up the ranks now. A big part of the maturation is mental development along with the physical.
Will and occasional teenager break through from time to time, sure. But busting straight to the top will remain the exception not the norm. Prime example in the top 5 is Ferrer. Took him years before he was the solid top 5 player he's become and at much, much lower ranks.