Originally Posted by Dmitry Verdasco
I respect every player.
I don't have to gush with approval at every decision they make. Playing juniors at his age is STUPID. Do you think losing in a junior event that 12 months ago he was able to win is good for his confidence? I just think there was very little to gain and a bit too much to lose by doing it. In the end I was proved right.
He has a pro ranking of about 580, the alternative was to play a 10k/15k future. He was already in London due to the fact that he got a qualifying wildcard into Wimbledon so I don't see why people are so against this decision. Sure, he won it last year but MOST people would prefer to play a junior slam over a 10k/15k future. There is plenty of other weeks in the year for Luke to play futures (48 to be exact), where as there are only 4 weeks in the year in which junior slams are played. Also, this theory that winning a junior slam at 17 or younger means you shouldn't defend your title the next year is just ridiculous, either you are okay with him playing junior slams for 2012 or you are not (unless of course he had a meteoric rise in the ATP ranking). Where is your disgust for him playing Roland Garros juniors a month ago?
On top of that there is most definitely something to gain by playing junior tournaments and finishing top 10, depending on where you finish the ITF grants you entry into several high end future tournaments the following year. Not to mention the wildcards that come with finishing number 1 in the juniors, it really is a great springboard into a pro career. Finishing runner up in a tournament is hardly a disappointment, going out first or second round as the defending champion is what really hurts (see Lleyton Hewitt - Wimbledon 2003). Also, get ready to be angry again because Luke WILL be playing the US Open juniors in two months time.