Tennis savants? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Tennis savants?

gurseal
03-04-2007, 01:40 PM
Okay, MTF. I'll stop lurking to learn and feeling guilty and impotent about being able ONLY to ask questions about a sport I like to watch, but rarely ever played.

Are there, or have there ever been, any professional players who have excelled in the sport minus the preparatory benefits of playing juniors, attending academies, playing long term on school and university teams, and the like? Is there the odd player who has excelled merely with the guidance of the country club pro? If it is not ignorant of me to think so, I am refering to players who have reached the top 35 or 40 on the ATP rankings and tend to win a couple or three rounds in majors.

player2k0
03-04-2007, 07:41 PM
probably not, tennis savants sooner or later get promoted. i doubt you can grow a top5000 player without catching any attention.

Johnny Groove
03-04-2007, 07:51 PM
Gaudio?

danton
03-04-2007, 07:52 PM
Didn't Nadal train with Uncle Tony and not bother the junior circuit?

Johnny Groove
03-04-2007, 07:59 PM
Didn't Nadal train with Uncle Tony and not bother the junior circuit?

not entirely. he didnt bother with the junior ITF circuit. although he did play Wimbly juniors in 03 i believe and made the semis. also true that he didnt go away to the major tennis junior camps like his compatriots. he did travel around spain when he was younger playing tourneys, and has known richie gasquet for years. he could be a good example of it, but not entirely with just one pro a a tennis club somewhere.

gurseal
03-07-2007, 12:55 AM
Gaudio?

Thanks for the replies.

Blaze, how so, Gaudio? I seem to recall reading about his knowing some of his fellow Argentine tennis players when they were younger. On second thought, no. That was Coria.

Johnny Groove
03-07-2007, 12:58 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Blaze, how so, Gaudio? I seem to recall reading about his knowing some of his fellow Argentine tennis players when they were younger. On second thought, no. That was Coria.

i know gaudio wasnt trained and groomed to be a tennis pro like coria. he played football and rugby as well. i dont know all the details, GWH might be an authority on this.

Action Jackson
03-07-2007, 02:01 AM
i know gaudio wasnt trained and groomed to be a tennis pro like coria. he played football and rugby as well. i dont know all the details, GWH might be an authority on this.

Yes, blaze you got the crux of that right. Gaudio didn't set out to become a tennis player and he played rugby and football as well. Zabaleta and Puerta were the big juniors at that time and Gaudio didn't play international junior events and got serious when he realised that Puerta was doing well and it was a good way to help out his family.

Mecir was another one who didn't travel with a coach and he only took the game as something a bit more than fun when he was 15 and made a tour final at 18.

Federerhingis
03-07-2007, 02:21 PM
One observation of note I would not use the term savant in this case. Savants aren't really trained they just possess and uncanny ability to process tons of information or are very gifted at a particular subject.

They tend to be good with spatial activities, maps, geometry, numbers and music usually areas devoted to the left hemishere. Memorization is a subject where savants excel they tend to like repetitive activities and things of this nature. Can one really be a "savant" of sorts in sports? Well some human beings are just gifted athletically from the moment they can walk and coordinate their motor system, but sports have to be learned and require some sort of training at whatever capacity.

BgStallion
03-07-2007, 02:23 PM
There are :P I mean Bahrami didn't even have a coach ,but he was unique and tennis was diffrent back then :)

FluffyYellowBall
03-07-2007, 05:20 PM
Yes, blaze you got the crux of that right. Gaudio didn't set out to become a tennis player and he played rugby and football as well. Zabaleta and Puerta were the big juniors at that time and Gaudio didn't play international junior events and got serious when he realised that Puerta was doing well and it was a good way to help out his family.

Mecir was another one who didn't travel with a coach and he only took the game as something a bit more than fun when he was 15 and made a tour final at 18.

So he started taking it seriously at 15??? Are u telling me that before 15 he just played tennis for fun No serious tournaments (or any maybe) and nothing but tennis for pure fun??:confused: That would be.....weiiiirrd

Action Jackson
03-08-2007, 02:45 AM
So he started taking it seriously at 15??? Are u telling me that before 15 he just played tennis for fun No serious tournaments (or any maybe) and nothing but tennis for pure fun??:confused: That would be.....weiiiirrd

Why would that be weird? El Ayanoui didn't take it seriously until a late age and then there were guys who started at 11 like Rios.

Mecir played some internal events in what was Czechoslovakia then, but he didn't travel to junior events and was never part of the system. He was a different character.

FluffyYellowBall
03-08-2007, 07:30 AM
Why would that be weird? El Ayanoui didn't take it seriously until a late age and then there were guys who started at 11 like Rios.

Mecir played some internal events in what was Czechoslovakia then, but he didn't travel to junior events and was never part of the system. He was a different character.


Well i always thought that professional players had to take it seriously fron a very young age. I started taking it seriously when i was 14 and that basically means anyone playing at my level can be the next Aynaoui or something alike.

Action Jackson
03-08-2007, 07:34 AM
Well i always thought that professional players had to take it seriously fron a very young age. I started taking it seriously when i was 14 and that basically means anyone playing at my level can be the next Aynaoui or something alike.

Actually no it doesn't. It means even fewer people will make it, then what there already is out there, if this path is taken.

oz_boz
03-08-2007, 08:03 AM
Well i always thought that professional players had to take it seriously fron a very young age. I started taking it seriously when i was 14 and that basically means anyone playing at my level can be the next Aynaoui or something alike.

I don't know any sport where that is the case, if you have the right combination of talent and physical prerequisites you can start pretty late, how late probably also depends on the sport. My guess would be that a majority of the guys who are the best at 11-13 lose their position later on since so much happens with the body and mentality between 10 and 15.

shonami slam
03-08-2007, 08:30 PM
two p:

i know Kruglov switched from table-tennis to biathlon at a late age and succesfully won medals at the world-tour.
i hope i'm not mixing up the russian biathletes in my head.
it's a good example of how taking the mental abbilities and general investment of time and training from one sport to a completly different one can be succesful. if i'm not mistaken, he put on a set of skies for the first time at the age of 14.

lastly, somewhat of an intresting story that might raise further questions - Shahar Peer took tennis seriously only after her father had a talk to her at the age of 12. he reasoned before her that he's very happy that she enjoys training and playing, but that she must decide at her tender age (which for us fans might sound reasonably late for an athlete) weather she intends to play it as a life-goal or not, and that his investment of money in her would follow her decision.
they sat down together and wrote a business plan, in which he agreed to invest X money every year, and that according to pre-evaluations, she would return some of her earnings back to him, to make it benificial for him.
it's not exactly a case of nobody turning huge out of no where, but it proves that a change in mentality is enough to push you further.
now she may have been still young, but her brother and sister were taking it much more seriously much earlier, and quit before hitting 16. she gradually grew into the sport.

FluffyYellowBall
03-08-2007, 08:53 PM
Thats a good point youre all making about mentality. Its true about physical and mental change after the age of 11,12. Most players just get stressed out around that age and they either get bored or wear out. I got serious at 14 and right now, im exactly the same level as other 17 year olds. Just less pressure on me.