ITF junior/ Pro career ranking comparisions/ co-relation

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Atithee » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:44 pm

How many who played the junior circuit to "our" satisfaction made it to top 200 (or 300) out of XXX? Please cite a percentage.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by sameerph » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Atithee wrote:How many who played the junior circuit to "our" satisfaction made it to top 200 (or 300) out of XXX? Please cite a percentage.
If you want statastics for our players, we had only 5 players who have played top 300 in last 10 year or so. ( Somdev, Karan, Harsh, Rohan & Prakash. ) Except Rohan Bopanna , all others played ITF juniors for an extensive period . So, that makes it 80 %.

If you take statastics of top 200 players in the world, I am sure you would get similar statastics. ( perhaps in the range of 70 -75 %) .

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Atithee » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:26 pm

Sameer, what I mean is how many juniors of all that tried made it eventually to the senior 200/300 level? It looks like four all together of the hundreds that played the junior circuit? And I'm sure that Prakash didn't have the limitations that the "Indian" juniors do.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by jayakris » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:38 pm

It is not 80%. It is actually 100%. It's not like Bops played a lot of seniors and improved in the junior years. He tried playing juniors but wasn't great then and didn't do anything noticeable. He was a late bloomer who started playing well only after he was past 18, IIRC. NOBODY has made it by playing seniors, and I continue to think that there is no reason to drop juniors. No problem if you want to jump into seniors if you have money to play a lot of events (or go for months on end in an academy without playing competitive matches - though why one would avoid competitive maches altogether is still a question) - but what harm does the 8 or 10 weeks of juniors do to you? These players who act like they would have stepped on court in the juniors and kept winning, make me laugh! Bcause I know that they won't get past two rounds of even a junior grade-1. Arrogance helps nobody.

Not one player who dropped the juniors in India recently has been at the level of reaching even 2 semifinals in 5 grade-1 junior events. None at all. And they yak about it?? Give us all a break. Many here have followed the tennis pond long enough to know a duck when it quacks.

Atithee: Only the best (along with a few with lots of money) ever try the seniors-only path. Others are not advised to do that. So, saying that the 4 or 5 top-300 players who came through juniors were out of 1000s and that the others should not be expected to do well by the same fraction is not fair either. Out of the 10 to 15 top juniors (not an exact number, just a feeling seeing how many have lately disappeared) who skipped junior events after they seemed good enough for top-100 there, I would expect at least 2 or 3 to have shown at least SOME indication (ANY!!) that they can or will be successful wuth that path. Not an IOTA of evidence over the last few years. None what-friggin-so-ever! Pe-friggin-riod.

I am baffled why so many here just cannot understand this point. Why is it so difficult? Are we saying that the rest of the world is all fools?? What do these TNTA folks know that the rest of the world don't? The Tomics and Harrisons were all fools who wasted time on the junior circuit? The Spaniards who have a system all the way down from 13 and 14 years of age have made it work, but even for them, only about 1/3rdof the top-100 players have taken that path. Those from other countries have just not been able to do this, and that is why they all still contiue with juniors till age 18 unless it is a payer who is so clearly top-20 senior talent as evidenced by age 17-18 (those are very few payers, away from Spain).

The number of good players going nowhere in India, is really bothering me. I am not naming anybody, that's all - for fear of saying the bad thing that MANY ARE ALREADY COOKED AND DONE. I can only hope that some of them would just emerge somehow, and I can eat some crow. Doesn't seem to be happening.

Somebody needs to do something about the gobboledeegook that some of these so-called know-it-alls are giving the kids and their parents.

Jay

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Atithee » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:35 pm

No one, at least I, is suggesting that the up and coming juniors do not play ANY junior events and go straight to the seniors route. If that's what the juniors who haven't achieved a thing at any level are planning to do, then they live in a fool's world. My point is that if someone can afford to and believes that they can start playing senior level concurrently/early, then that's not wrong either. The fact of the matter is that all this debate is meaningless -- not just in tennis, in almost all sports, our juniors do rather well and then flop at the senior level. In my opinion it is a two pronged problem -- blatant age faking and rest of the world not taking juniors as seriously although it may not be true in tennis.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by jayakris » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:26 am

Actually even the perception that our juniors do unusually poorly in the seniors than the juniors, is rather mistaken. A little bit, may be, but not too much. Remember that the junior rankings of any of our players who reached top-10 (not too many) are effectively valid from among players within a 6 months of their birthdates, where as the competition in the seniors is among those who emerge over a much longer period, more like 5 or 6 years. That is comparing the periods of their highest-rank productivity and the size of the cohorts they compete fairly against. Combined with the fact that about 1/3rd of the players in the seniors weren't seriously competing in the juniors for the rankings over that 6 month period to be appropriate (usally July through december in their final year), you really should multiply the rankings in the juniors by about 10, if not 15, to realistically say where a player could end up later. Take the average ranking of the best 6 months of a junior with the best 4 years of senior rankes, in other words. [I used to think a factor of 6 to 10 before, seeing how long the top-100 payers stay there these days, I have increased the multiplier now]

That means, somebody who reaches top-10 in the juniors have a chance to be in the top-100 to 150, those who reach top-30, may be top-300 etc. By that measure, we have had about four top-10 players emerge in the last 10 years or so (Yuki, Karan, Rupesh, and Sanam - who else? Sunil was inside junior top-25, and Somdev was like top-35 in singles. Harsh top-60. Prakash top-75 or lower. Vishnu and Bops nowhere). Add Sania, who should not have reached even top-200 if we went by the best-period junior rankings.

We have actually at least 6 or so players from the last 10-12 years who did better than their junior ranks would suggest, I think only Karan, Yuki and Sanam are behind expectations. May be Rupesh (but explanatory circumstances on his junior ranking are known). Sunil probably should have reached a top-250 too and only came just inside top-400. On the girls' side, there were about 4 girls (Ankita, Sanaa, Tara, Isha) who should have reached top-300 but lost fire (and support too) to do that, only coming to may be top 350-450 quality at their best. But many more players have done MUCH better than I would have expecte based on their junior rankings, actually.

People simply equate junior rankings of say top-50 to senior top-50 ranking, which is where the problem is. That's way off in logic.

But then, back to your point, I would say that, from the country's standpoint, may be a bunch of players taking this non-traditional route and falling by the wayside would be justified, if say even one emerges from there with world-class strengths/abilities. Heck, it's not like the junior route has given us a truckload of top-200 players (just 2 in 15 years). As a country, hell why not take a chance on something non-traditonal and see if we unearth a gem?

That is, one could argue why we should bother if we have a few more players who come up to top-300 slowly. Who cares? I guess that is fair thinking, and I am sure some feel that way too. It's hard for ME to do, because I hate any of these juniors just disappearing because they were sold snake oil and took the hard route, only to then lose all their dreams, burning out by age 19 or 20 after just 2 or 3 years in the seniors. People will desert them and within 2 years, they would have no fallback option - even a slow climb to near top-300 to keep their hopes would no longer be there. Otherwise, they at least would have the hope and the morale from a top-50 junior rank by late 18 to continue on longer before people write you off. I feel for those payers who burnt out without even getting a chance. Those who had some junior success would at least have some people supporting what they try to do, to keep the dreams alive for several years.

To put it another way, I would rather see a Sunil Kumar or Vijay Kannan rather than an Arun Prakash or Manoj Mahadevan. The former two at least got a chance to be in the news, keep going for a while, and be reserves (or actually even play) Davis Cup etc, mostly based on Junior success - while the latter two left for seniors too early and had nothing left to talk about. Sunil and Vijay have real life jobs they can go to, for which their sports career helped. That is not too bad either. I am speaking of players from several years back. Would some of these juniors being experimented with, get such chances?

Jay

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Atithee » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:17 am

Jay, you have captured my thoughts beautifully and I appreciate that while you are in the other camp, you are willing to concede that the non-traditional route may be worth trying just because the well traveled path has not thrown truckloads of success for us. That is all I have been trying to say.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by sameerph » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:28 am

Thanks , Jay for articulating my thoughts in a better way.
By that measure, we have had about four top-10 players emerge in the last 10 years or so (Yuki, Karan, Rupesh, and Sanam - who else?
Rupesh never went to top 10, his highest junior ranking was 23 & we all know the murmurs about his age. So, probably he has not underachieved that much. Both Karan & Sanam were as high as no. 4 . However, their highest ranking was achieved in March/ April which is after relatively weaker Asian events . I think we need to take a ranking post US open to apply the multiplier which you have talked about. I think Karan/ Sanam slid down below 10 by that time . Still, they should have been in top 200 by now. So, they have underachieved although in case of Sanam he has not played very little on senior tour as he went to college.
I think Yuki was one legitimate top ranked player to emerge having won Australian open & Orange Bowl titles. So far he has underachieved & I would be disaapointed if he does not go on to reach top 100 at least. However, he is only in his first year post junior eligibility . So, he still has time to do that.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by kujo » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:50 am

jayakris wrote: Combined with the fact that about 1/3rd of the players in the seniors weren't seriously competing in the juniors for the rankings over that 6 month period to be appropriate (usally July through december in their final year), you really should multiply the rankings in the juniors by about 10, if not 15, to realistically say where a player could end up later. Take the average ranking of the best 6 months of a junior with the best 4 years of senior ranks, in other words. [I used to think a factor of 6 to 10 before, seeing how long the top-100 payers stay there these days, I have increased the multiplier now]
Assuming a pro tennis player continues to mature / compete till he turns 33 (in singles) and since the juniors age cutoff is 18, I would say that the multiplier should be 15 (33-18) (i.e) the cohort has increased by 15 times, once the same player reaches the pro ranks.

For example,
Every year, there is a graduating class of juniors of say 50 people (top 50). over a period of 18 years we have 18*50 = 900 players in senior ranks. If you are a junior and reached your best ranking of top-10, you are probably good enough to be top 150 in the seniors....

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Prashant » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:03 pm

I appreciate the points made by both Jay & Atithee. But the nagging thought for me all along is that the sample space is so small. Yes, we can use the careers of all these kids & come up with numbers like 80% & 60%, but in an individual sport, 80% of a sample space of 5 individuals tells me very little. My instincts tell me that your points are correct, but attempts to justify them based on statistics don't make sense.

We need a cohort of ~100 promising kids somewhere, to really assess this. Why yes, I do like pie in the sky, preferably apple.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Atithee » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:25 pm

Prashant, I agree. In fact, this has been my point (and nagging thought as well) that why question someone who is trying a non-traditional path because the traditional path also does not have any statistical merit. I am intrigued by the theory of the "cohort" multiplier (and, as a gut reaction, disagree) but it should be easy to look back and check the top ranking of juniors and see where they ended up in seniors in the past many years. Then again, Indian kids are different but so are many other in Eastern Europe etc.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by sameerph » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:26 pm

Atithee wrote:Prashant, I agree. In fact, this has been my point (and nagging thought as well) that why question someone who is trying a non-traditional path because the traditional path also does not have any statistical merit.
Perhaps not for Indian players but certainly it has merit if you consider juniors across the world.
Atithee wrote: I am intrigued by the theory of the "cohort" multiplier (and, as a gut reaction, disagree) but it should be easy to look back and check the top ranking of juniors and see where they ended up in seniors in the past many years. Then again, Indian kids are different but so are many other in Eastern Europe etc.
I am reapeating my post at end of 2008 about top 2 ITF junior ranked players for last 10-12 years & updating it with recent top 2 & more updated rankings -
Year Player Name ATP C.H. ranking

1998 Roger Federer 1
Julien Jeanpierre 133
1999 Kristian Pless 65
Gulilermo Coria 3
2000 Andy Roddick 1
Todor Enev 252
2001 Giles Muller 59
Janco Tipsarevic 13
2002 Richard Gasquet 7
Marcos Baghdatis 8
2003 Marcos Baghdatis 8
Joe-Wilfred Tsonga 6
2004 Gael Monfils 7
Eduardo Schwank 48
2005 Donald Young 43
Marin Cilic 9
2006 Thiemo De Bekker 40
Nicolas Santos 473
2007 Ricardas Bernakis 73
Uladzmir Ignatic 153
2008 Yang Tsung Hua 187
Yuki Bhambri 321
2009 Daniel Berta 691
Gianni Mina 395
As you can see of those before 2007, except 2 players everyone else has reached top 70 ( & almost everyone is top 50). I think that is evidence enough that if you finish the year within top 2 in ITF junior rankings , you are more than likely to end up in top 50 in ATP rankings.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Omkara » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:38 pm

Agree with Sameer there is enough evidence to prove Top 2 Junior end up being in top 50 kind or better to say there is a high probability they will.

On this issue, if some one has a enough resources to pursue alternate growth channel then one can go for it. But for the resource less Indian thriving on parents savings and their dream of seeing their kids in big stage, Juniors is a good place to sweat it out.

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Prashant » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:09 pm

I agree that juniors across the world do provide us with a bigger sample space. However, examining just the #1 & #2 is interesting but not statistically useful. Perhaps a better statistic would be the fraction of top seniors that did NOT pursue playing junior tournaments. I.e. how many top senior players (say top 150), were never top juniors (say top 25). If this number is miniscule, that is a stronger indicator of the validity of playing junior tournaments. Feel free to quibble with my chosen numbers or levels. Is there an easy way to look up the top junior ranks of players on the ATP site?

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Re: AITA Fenesta Nationals

Post by Atithee » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:19 pm

Sameer, yes I agree but I think only top 2-3 junior rankings have much significance in extrapolating it to future senior success. That's why my only nit with your argument(s) in this thread is that you only consider top 2 juniors rather than at least 10. Also, the trend seems to have been bending since 2006 really even for the #2 player but it may be because they take a long time to peak so time will tell.

I'll go on a limb and predict that if you expand this correlation to #10, your theory will breakdown. If I have the time, I'll do this on my own.

Found this interesting article -- Prasen and Kujo may want to comment vis-a-vis application to the current discussion.

Applied physiology of tennis performance

This is even better (see slides 12-17):

Are performances at young age a good predictor of later success ...

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