Les Petits As 2017

Ash_Smith

Legend
Just back from my annual pilgrimage to Tarbes for Les Petits As, where the worlds best u14's gather each January.

Some observations:
  • Standard this year looked to be on the way back up overall - I felt the last couple of years the over all standard was lower (although the winners and finalists were exceptionally good - Marta Kostyuk has just won junior Aussie aged 14 for example).
  • Grinders still going deep in both boys and girls draws, but the shot makers are coming (and winning this year).
  • Two camps - kids who stand 2m behind the baseline and hit everything on the drop and kids who are glued to the baseline and looking to go early.
  • The best decision makers and those who kept the coolest heads (at least outwardly) went furthest in the draws.
  • Both winners this year (boys and girls) were very measured in their building of points, and pounced on anything that could be put away.
  • Boys still way more comfortable coming forwards and finishing at the net.
  • Too many kids looking to their coaches after every single point - symptomatic of directive coaching.
  • Boys are serving big - not uncommon to see 120mph serves.
  • Slice backhand spears a dying art :(
  • French kids all have flair! :)
  • The girls winner and the SF'ist from the US I would expect to see on tour and doing very well in the future - the US girl is only 12 and looks to have serious potential.
If you ever get the chance to attend, don't turn it down - it's the best tournament in the world. :)
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
^^^ Not that I particularly like that distinction, but the girls final had what might be categorised as one player of each "style". The girl with the more compact style won for what it is worth.
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
^^^ A little, in dubs mainly and a little of his match vs Raquin from France - was pretty harsh as the crowd were very one-eyed (as you would expect with the last home player left in the draw) - I felt like he did well to handle the situation considering.

To be fair, all the US players looked very tidy
 
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