Junior Grand Slam Winner and Pro Career: What About Girls?

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In this article I showed that being a boy with a Gran Slam title under your belt doesn’t assure you a great future as tennis professional, so now it’s time to analyze the girls’ situation. I analyzed Girls Slam Champions from 1990 to 2010.

 

As for boys, every girl that won more than one Slam title had a top 100 career (top 65 to be precise).

Magdalena Maleeva (BUL) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 4

Martina Hingis  (SUI) – 3 Slams – Best ranking 1

Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 1

Cara Black (USA) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 31

Virginie Razzano (FRA) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 16

Maria Emilia Salerni (ARG) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 65

Angelique Widjaja (POL) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 55

Barbora Strýcová (CZE) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 20

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 13

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – 2 Slams – Best ranking 1

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)- 3 Slams – Best ranking 13

Agnieszka Radwańska (POL)- 2 Slams – Best ranking 2

On the other hand, we had a significant number of Slam winners that after 5 years from the title were not ranked and others that after reaching a top 100 ranking within 5 years from Slam, showed lack of consistency.

An example is Aniko Kapros, who won Australian Open 2000 edition, reached her best ranking (#44) in 2004, and then dropped outside 200 in 2005 and for the rest of her career.

She will not be remembered for her serve

and funnily she indicated “overhead” as her favourite shot in her WTA profile.

The most “predictive” Slam for girls is Roland Garros (for boys it was the US Open) and again we have evidence that winning a Junior Slam in Australia can delude your expectations.

  Average ranking 5 years after Slam Title Average best career ranking
Australian Open 154 51
Roland Garros 54 19
Wimbledon 75 40
US Open 76 31

A Girl’s Junior Slam, however, gives you a high chance to reach the top 100 during your career: Only 6 players out of 84 Slam Winners were not able to reach the top 100.

  Top 100 after 5yrs Top 100 Top 10
Australian Open 10 17 3
Roland Garros 15 21 8
Wimbledon 13 20 5
US Open 11 20 7

Now it’s time to make comparisons between boys and girls: as you can see from the table below, winning a Slam for a Girl is way more important (for the chance of a good pro career) than for a boy.

  Average ranking 5 years after Slam Title Girls Average ranking 5 years after Slam Title Boys Average best career
ranking Girls
Average best career
ranking Boys
Australian Open 154 277 51 113
Roland Garros 54 124 19 56
Wimbledon 75 200 40 78
US Open 76 72 31 34

The odds of reaching the top 100 are “just” 70% (59/84) for Boys and 95% (80/84) for Girls that won a Junior Slam.

Top 100 Boys Top 100 Girls
Australian Open 10 17
Roland Garros 16 21
Wimbledon 14 20
US Open 19 20

So Girls that won a Slam are generally more prepared for pro tennis and the transition from junior to Pro is quicker for Girls as the ITF Review published last year already showed.

The big question now is: why do we have so many teenage girls in top 100 and such a limited number of boys? The possible answer could be the subject of a new article.

Wimbledon Junior is about to start, some of the players I watched during the Under 18 tournament I attended in Italy a few weeks ago are going to play so check out for my ratings about them!

Enjoy what you see? Check out our full Wimbledon coverage here.

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