Like many other sports, tennis is filled with prodigies who ultimately never consistently play at the professional level. As of the writing of this book, the top‐ranked juniors from 2005 should be reaching their prime since the peak age for a tennis player is 27 (Table 13.1). However, none of the top‐five junior players in the world at the end of 2005 were among the top‐five professional players in the world at the end of 2015.
TABLE 13.1 Tennis Junior and Professional Rankings
Source: Junior Rankings—ITF Website; Pro Rankings—ATP Website
|Ranking||Year‐End Junior Rankings 2005||Year‐End Pro Rankings 2005|
|1||Gael Monfils||Novak Djokovic|
|2||Eduardo Schwank||Andy Murray|
|3||Brendan Evans||Roger Federer|
|4||Woong‐Sun Jun||Stan Wawrinka|
|5||Sun‐Yong Kim||Rafael Nadal|
Novak Djokovic, the #1‐ranked tennis player in the world (at year‐end 2015) was ranked the #74 junior in the world in 2003. Yet, Djokovic went on to win many grand slams and hold the #1 ranking for a lengthy stretch of time. If gamblers were picking junior players, it is likely that Novak Djokovic would not have been the first, or even one of the first 50 players selected. While players like Djokovic were arguably under hyped as they rose through the professional ranks by virtue of their lower junior rankings, the other top juniors were conversely overhyped. Gael Monfils, the highest ranked player at year‐end 2005, was ranked #24 in the world at year‐end ...