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Does being a top junior in tennis lead to ATP level success? In this post I am going to look at the statistics surrounding the top 10 boys in each year since 2000 and I am going to look at the junior ranking career highs for the top 25 on the ATP tour.

2000 Top Ten

1 Andy RODDICK (USA) - Career High: 1 - 1 GS, 4 GSF - 30 titles - 589 ATP wins
2 Todor ENEV (BUL) - Career High: 252 - 9 ATP wins
3 Joachim JOHANSSON (SWE) - Career High: 9 - 3 titles - 71 ATP wins
4 Mario ANCIC (CRO) - Career High: 7 - 3 titles - 208 ATP wins
5 Nicolas MAHUT (FRA) - Career High: 40 - 75 ATP wins
6 Ytai ABOUGZIR (USA) - Career High: 929 - 0 ATP or Challenger wins
7 Roman VALENT (SUI) - Career High: 300 - 0 ATP wins
8 Yen-Hsun LU (TPE) - Career High: 30 - 74 ATP wins
9 Adrian CRUCIAT (ROU) - Career High: 148 - 1 ATP win
10 Bruno SOARES (BRA) - Career High: 221 - 2 ATP wins - Doubles CH: 14

2001 Top Ten

1 Gilles MULLER (LUX) - Career High: 42 - 89 ATP wins
2 Janko TIPSAREVIC (SRB) - Career High: 9 - 2 titles - 191 ATP wins
3 Brian DABUL (ARG) - Career High: 82 - 15 ATP wins
4 Robin SODERLING (SWE) - Career High: 4 - 2 GSF - 10 titles - 310 ATP wins
5 Jimmy WANG (TPE) - Career High: 85 - 32 ATP wins
6 Lamine OUAHAB (ALG) - Career High: 114 - 8 ATP wins
7 Alejandro FALLA (COL) - Career High: 58 - 67 ATP wins
8 Roman VALENT (SUI) - Career High: 300 - 0 ATP wins
9 Bruno ECHAGARAY (MEX) - Career High: 156 - 5 ATP wins
10 Florian MAYER (GER) - Career High: 18 - 1 title - 157 ATP wins

2002 Top Ten

1 Richard GASQUET (FRA) - Career High: 7 - 6 titles - 257 ATP wins
2 Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP) - Career High: 8 - 4 titles - 211 ATP wins
3 Clement MOREL (MON) - Career High: 387 - 0 ATP and Challenger wins
4 Todd REID (AUS) - Career High: 105 - 14 ATP wins
5 Brian DABUL (ARG) - Career High: 82 - 15 ATP wins
6 Brian BAKER (USA) - Career High: 172 - 4 ATP wins
7 Marcel FELDER (URU) - Career High: 227 - 14 ATP wins
8 Lamine OUAHAB (ALG) - Career High: 114 - 8 ATP wins
9 Martin VILARRUBI (URU) - Career High: 405 - 6 ATP wins
10 Steve DARCIS (BEL) - Career High: 44 - 2 titles - 49 ATP wins

2003 Top Ten

1 Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP) - Career High: 8 - 4 titles - 211 ATP wins
2 Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA) - Career High: 6 - 1 GSF, 8 titles - 193 ATP wins
3 Florin MERGEA (ROU) - Career High: 103 - 4 ATP wins
4 Daniel GIMENO-TRAVER (ESP) - Career High: 52 - 45 ATP wins
5 Sebastian RIESCHICK (GER) - Career High: 199 - 1 ATP win
6 Andy MURRAY (GBR) - Career High: 2 - 3 GSF, 22 titles - 328 ATP wins
7 Brian BAKER (USA) - Career High: 172 - 4 ATP wins
8 Leonardo KIRCHE (BRA) - Career High: 262 - 1 ATP win
9 Alex KUZNETSOV (USA) - Career High: 158 - 4 ATP wins
10 Frederico GIL (POR) - Career High: 62 - 53 ATP wins

2004 Top Ten

1 Gael MONFILS (FRA) - Career High: 7 - 4 titles - 228 ATP wins
2 Eduardo SCHWANK (ARG) - Career High: 48 - 36 ATP wins
3 Brendan EVANS (USA) - Career High: 117 - 6 ATP wins
4 Woong-Sun JUN (KOR) - Career High: 230 - 10 ATP wins
5 Sun-Yong KIM (KOR) - Career High: 620 - 3 ATP wins
6 Mischa ZVEREV (GER) - Career High: 45 - 57 ATP wins
7 Pablo ANDUJAR (ESP) - Career High: 40 - 1 title - 43 ATP wins
8 Scott OUDSEMA (USA) - Career High: 255 - 1 ATP win
9 Lukas LACKO (SVK) - Career High: 60 - 30 ATP wins
10 Rafael AREVALO (ESA) - Career High: 374 - 8 ATP wins

2005 Top Ten

1 Donald YOUNG (USA) - Career High: 39 - 32 ATP wins
2 Marin CILIC (CRO) - Career High: 9 - 6 titles - 188 ATP wins
3 Ryan SWEETING (USA) - Career High: 64 - 1 title - 27 ATP wins
4 Jeremy CHARDY (FRA) - Career High: 32 - 1 title - 83 ATP wins
5 Leonardo MAYER (ARG) - Career High: 51 - 35 ATP wins
6 Robin HAASE (NED) - Career High: 40 - 1 title 64 ATP wins
7 Robin ROSHARDT (SUI) - Career High: 509 - 0 ATP wins, 3 Challenger wins
8 Niels DESEIN (BEL) - Career High: 164 - 0 ATP wins, 20 Challenger wins
9 Thiemo DE BAKKER (NED) - Career High: 40 - 40 ATP wins
10 Andre MIELE (BRA) - Career High: 229 - 0 ATP wins, 23 Challenger wins

2006 Top Ten

1 Thiemo DE BAKKER (NED) - Career High: 40 - 40 ATP wins
2 Nicolas SANTOS (BRA) - Career High: 473 - 0 ATP wins, 1 Challenger win
3 Martin KLIZAN (SVK) - Career High: 86 - 6 ATP wins
4 Jonathan EYSSERIC (FRA) - Career High: 236 - 0 ATP wins, 19 Challenger wins
5 Petru-Alexandru LUNCANU (ROU) - Career High: 304 - 0 ATP wins, 7 Challenger wins
6 Dusan LOJDA (CZE) - Career High: 161 - 0 ATP wins, 48 Challenger wins
7 Alexandre SIDORENKO (FRA) - Career High: 145 - 3 ATP wins
8 Luka BELIC (CRO) - Career High: 808 - 0 ATP and Challenger wins
9 Kellen DAMICO (USA) - Career High: 1361 - 0 ATP and Challenger matchs
10 Pavel CHEKHOV (RUS) - Career High: 189 - 0 ATP, 17 Challenger wins

2007 Top Ten

1 Ricardas BERANKIS (LTU) - Career High: 72 - 18 ATP wins
2 Uladzimir IGNATIK (BLR) - Career High: 153 - 7 ATP wins
3 Matteo TREVISAN (ITA) - Career High: 267 - 0 ATP wins, 26 Challenger wins
4 Jonathan EYSSERIC (FRA) - Career High: 236 - 0 ATP wins, 19 Challenger wins
5 Fernando ROMBOLI (BRA) - Career High: 236 - 0 ATP wins, 12 Challenger wins
6 Stephane PIRO (FRA) - Career High: 931 - 0 ATP & Challenger matches
7 Thomas FABBIANO (ITA) - Career High: 275 - 0 ATP wins, 21 Challenger wins
8 Roman JEBAVY (CZE) - Career High: 423 - 0 ATP & Challenger wins
9 Ricardo URZUA-RIVERA (CHI) - Career High: 766 - 0 ATP & Challenger wins
10 John-Patrick SMITH (AUS) - Career High: 456 - 0 ATP wins, 5 Challenger wins

2008 Top Ten

1 Tsung-Hua YANG (TPE) - Career High: 170 - 3 ATP wins
2 Yuki BHAMBRI (IND) - Career High: 310 - 3 ATP wins
3 Bernard TOMIC (AUS) - Career High: 24 ATP wins
4 Henri KONTINEN (FIN) - Career High: 220 - 7 ATP wins
5 Cedrik-Marcel STEBE (GER) - Career High: 81 - 4 ATP wins
6 Guillaume RUFIN (FRA) - Career High: 139 - 5 ATP wins
7 Cesar RAMIREZ (MEX) - Career High: 431 - 5 ATP wins
8 Jose PEREIRA (BRA) - Career High: 444 - 0 ATP wins & 3 Challenger wins
9 David GOFFIN (BEL) - Career High: 168 - 4 ATP wins
10 Mirza BASIC (BIH) - Career High: 288 - 0 ATP wins & 3 Challenger wins

2009 Top Ten

1 Daniel BERTA (SWE) - Career High: 642 - 0 ATP wins & 1 Challenger win
2 Gianni MINA (FRA) - Career High: 395 - 0 ATP wins & 1 Challenger win
3 Agustin VELOTTI (ARG) - Career High: 306 - 0 ATP wins & 8 Challenger wins
4 Jason KUBLER (AUS) - Career High: 528 - 0 ATP & Challenger wins
5 Julien OBRY (FRA) - Career High: 291 - 0 ATP wins & 1 Challenger win
6 Mitchell FRANK (USA) - Career High: 623 - 0 ATP & Challenger matches
7 Liang-Chi HUANG (TPE) - Career High: 629 - 0 ATP & Challenger matches
8 Andrea COLLARINI (USA) - Career High: 470 - 0 ATP & Challenger wins
9 Pierre-Hugues HERBERT (FRA) - Career High: 205 - 0 ATP wins & 5 Challenger wins
10 Andrey KUZNETSOV (RUS) - Career High: 163 - 4 ATP wins

2010 Top Ten

1 Juan Sebastian GOMEZ (COL) - Career High: 515 - 0 ATP wins, 2 Challenger wins
2 Marton FUCSOVICS (HUN) - Career High: 575 - 1 ATP win
3 Jiri VESELY (CZE) - Career High: 515 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
4 Damir DZUMHUR (BIH) - Career High: 339 - 2 ATP wins
5 Dominic THIEM (AUT) - Career High: 635 - 1 ATP wins
6 Tiago FERNANDES (BRA) - Career High: 371 - 0 ATP wins, 9 Challenger wins
7 Roberto QUIROZ (ECU) - Career High: 776 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
8 Duilio BERETTA (PER) - Career High: 364 - 4 ATP wins
9 Agustin VELOTTI (ARG) - Career High: 306 - 0 ATP wins & 8 Challenger wins
10 Mate PAVIC (CRO) - Career High: 834 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins

2011 Top Ten

1 Jiri VESELY (CZE) - Career High: 515 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
2 Luke SAVILLE (AUS) - Career High: 1171 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
3 Oliver GOLDING (GBR) - Career High: 643 - 0 ATP wins, 1 Challenger wins
4 Dominic THIEM (AUT) - Career High: 635 - 1 ATP wins
5 Bjorn FRATANGELO (USA) - Career High: 783 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
6 Hugo DELLIEN (BOL) - Career High: 1037 - 1 ATP wins
7 Thiago MONTEIRO (BRA) - Career High: 677 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
8 Filip HORANSKY (SVK) - Career High: 881 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
9 Liam BROADY (GBR) - Career High: 656 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins
10 Patrick OFNER (AUT) - Career High: 1505 - 0 ATP wins, 0 Challenger wins


The first thing I notice, being a top 10 junior does not lead to success, it does not even lead to a spot in the top 100. From 2000 to 2006, only 35 out of 70 top 10 junior players made the top 100, or 50%. Only one has won a grand slam and been ranked number 1 and that is Andy Roddick. Only 10 have reached the top ten out of 110 former top juniors. Looking at all of the years, 2005 is clearly the top year, with 4 players winning titles and 7 players in the top 100 while 2006 is the weakest year with only top ranked Thiemo de Bakker and Martin Klizan reaching the top 100.

It is interesting to see the progression of juniors. Any junior before 2006 has most likely reached around his peak, but if you look at 2007, most of the players are just starting to perform on the challenger tour and get some wins, while the 2008 generation is just starting to get a win here and there on the ATP tour but for the most part are working on their games in challenger tour. The 2009 generation is mostly still on the futures tour with many players getting their first challenger tour win recently and the 2010 and 2011 juniors are still on the futures tour.

To extrapolate, a top junior in 2012 would be expected to player on the futures tour in 2013 and 2014 before moving to the challenger tour in 2015 before hopefully finding his way to the ATP tour for 2016. It is starting to become a long road for a player to go from junior to ATP.

Luke Saville will be a two time top ten member by the time he is done his junior career. The other players to achieve this honour are Roman Valent, Lamine Ouahab, Brian Dabul, Marcos Baghdatis, Brian Baker, Jonathan Eysseric, Augstin Velotti and Jiri Vesely. So far, there are a few players in that group that we are not sure how they will do, but besides Baghdatis, not too many big names. He may also end this year ranked number 1 and if he does, he will join pretty good company. Of the players that have developed to a point where we know where they are, number one ranked juniors tend to have a successful pro career.

If we look at today's top 20 and see their career high ranking in singles (combined if required) as a junior the list would be the following:


1 Novak Djokovic - Junior Career High: 34
2 Rafael Nadal - Junior Career High: 145
3 Roger Federer - Junior Career High: 1
4 Andy Murray - Junior Career High: 2
5 David Ferrer - Junior Career High: Unranked
6 Jo-Wilfrid Tsonga - Junior Career High: 2
7 Tomas Berdych - Junior Career High: 6
8 Mardy Fish - Junior Career High: 14
9 Janko Tipsarevic - Junior Career High: 1
10 Juan Martin Del Potro - Junior Career High: 3
11 Nicholas Almagro - Junior Career High: 18
12 Gilles Simon - Junior Career High: 242
13 Gael Monfils - Junior Career High: 1
14 Robin Soderling - Junior Career High: 2
15 Feliciano Lopez - Junior Career High: 46
16 Richard Gasquet - Junior Career High: 1
17 John Isner - Junior Career High: 93
18 Alexander Dolgopolov - Junior Career High: 21
19 Andy Roddick - Junior Career High: 1
20 Kei Nishikori - Junior Career High: 7

One thing stands out right away. World number 5 David Ferrer was not ranked as a junior tennis player. He never qualified for a junior event in singles. Not even a low G5 event and now he has had a career high of 4 in the world. Also, Gilles Simon never cracked the top 240 in juniors, yet is a tough player to play today who has made the top 10. Once I get past the initial surprise, I am not surprised to see that over half of the top 20 players in the world were once ranked in the junior top ten. A few of the others such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal did not have a junior career because they were too busy already playing on the ATP tour. Roger Federer managed to be ranked as the top player in juniors and the pros. Only Andy Roddick has also done that since the year 2000.

The top players will succeed with or without junior tennis
but outside of the top few players, most players in today's
top 20 were ranked in the top 10 in juniors.
So what can I take from all of these numbers? To become a top ranked player, odds suggest that you were once a top 10 junior player. However, being a top ranked junior player does not necessarily lead to success on the ATP tour. Between 2000 and 2006, 50% of top ten juniors never made the top 100 of the ATP tour. The high end talent on in juniors did often go onto to have a successful career but a player ranked between 7 to 10 in the year end juniors rankings was much less likely to crack the top 100. This year will be interesting to see who finishes at the top of the junior rankings and to look ahead down the road to project when they will mature into their games and being members of the ATP tour.

http://snowthinks.blogspot.com/2012/01/does-success-in-boys-tennis-lead-to.html
 

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Such a wondeful thread, thank you man!!!
This theme I like the most.


Interesting is to see how much top 10 junior become top 10 seniors.

2000: 3
2001: 2
2002: 2
2003: 3
2004: 1
2005: 1
2006 - 2011: 0

Bad and weird.
 

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Cool thread. The one constant that I see from all of those years is that from the 8 Brazilian juniors, none of them have had any ATP success. Most just get stuck playing Brazilian, Ecuadorian and Colombian challengers. I suppose Tiago Fernandes and Tiago Monteiro can still change that trend.
 

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The best Junior players tend to be those with the most natural talent and natural athletic ability. Funny to see how guys like Djokovic, Nadal, and Ferrer were nothing great compared to their peers, then jumped dramatically on a physical level as pros.
 

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Juniors is about developement! I am sure a lot of the juniors want to be a junior world number 1 but tbh it is nothing in comparison to the rigors of professional tennis ! no succesful tennis player who gets very high in the seniors ie top 100 consistantly struggles in the juinors, however they may not play many. some may just skip it! juniors success does definelty not mean success at seniors level. so many succesful juinors retire in there early 20,s because they do nothing in the senors even though they may of been Federer esc in the juniors. all juinors is , is development! that,s all.
 

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Federer and Nalbandian were both in the junior top 10 in 1999, I think? Must have been a good vintage...
 

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Is Dimitrov really not part of any year end Top 10 ranking? Didn't he win Wimbledon and made the finals of the US Open once in the same year? Or are junior slams MM events point-wise?
 

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The best Junior players tend to be those with the most natural talent and natural athletic ability. Funny to see how guys like Djokovic, Nadal, and Ferrer were nothing great compared to their peers, then jumped dramatically on a physical level as pros.
As mentioned in the opening post, Nadal and Djokovic already were succesful on the ATP tour at a very young age so they more or less skipped the junior circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is Dimitrov really not part of any year end Top 10 ranking? Didn't he win Wimbledon and made the finals of the US Open once in the same year? Or are junior slams MM events point-wise?
True. His season in 2008 was quite good, but he did not qualify for the rankings since he only played 3 events.

SINGLES

US Open Junior Tennis Championships USA
TBC 31 Aug 2008 to 07 Sep 2008 Entry: Hard ()
64 W Julien OBRY (FRA) 6-2 6-2
32 W Ty TROMBETTA (USA) 7-5 6-1
16 W Marcelo AREVALO (ESA) 6-3 6-4
QF W Chase BUCHANAN (USA) 6-4 6-3
SF W Tsung-Hua YANG (TPE) 6-3 5-7 6-2
FR W Devin BRITTON (USA) 6-4 6-3

The Junior Championships, Wimbledon Great Britain
28 Jun 2008 to 06 Jul 2008 Entry: Grass (O)
64 W Blaz ROLA (SLO) 7-6(6) 6-3
32 W Niall ANGUS (GBR) 7-6(3) 6-4
16 W Ty TROMBETTA (USA) 6-0 6-1
QF W Cesar RAMIREZ (MEX) 6-3 7-5
SF W Filip KRAJINOVIC (SRB) 6-3 6-3
FR W Henri KONTINEN (FIN) 7-5 6-3

Roland Garros Junior Championships France
01 Jun 2008 to 08 Jun 2008 Entry: Clay (O)
64 W Yannik REUTER (BEL) 6-3 6-2
32 W Marcus WILLIS (GBR) 6-1 6-3
16 W Jonathan EYSSERIC (FRA) 6-3 6-4
QF L Jerzy JANOWICZ (POL) 4-6 6-3 3-6
 

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Dimitrov is not ranked because he was too good for juniors and already played challengers. Same thing for Nadal and Djokovic.
So the top 10 junior is not a good measure of the best juniors at all.
But it's anyway interesting to see that half of the top ranked juniors don't make it in pro.
 

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Dimitrov is not ranked because he was too good for juniors and already played challengers. Same thing for Nadal and Djokovic.
So the top 10 junior is not a good measure of the best juniors at all.
But it's anyway interesting to see that half of the top ranked juniors don't make it in pro.
That is true. Actually the reason I started looking at this was to see what Canadian fans could expect down the road from Filip Peliwo and it turned into this. In the future, I may just look at junior Grand Slam finalists and winners to see if there is any difference.
 

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True. His season in 2008 was quite good, but he did not qualify for the rankings since he only played 3 events.
I don't know if Dimitrov played 3 events, but he won both Wimbledon and USO and reached QF at RG in 2008 and was ranked N1 for some time. Probably he didn't played the whole year at junior events to be N1 year end, but he reached the top of ranking in 2008.
 

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That is true. Actually the reason I started looking at this was to see what Canadian fans could expect down the road from Filip Peliwo and it turned into this. In the future, I may just look at junior Grand Slam finalists and winners to see if there is any difference.
It would also be interesting if you could also analyze junior slam winners and finalists, however on taking a look at past winners and finalists, I suspect your results would be much the same, ie junior slam finals do not necessarily lead to ATP success
 

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It takes a while for juniors to peak when they join the mens tour, so juniors from recent years may still need some time.

Would it be possible to take a look at current players on the mens tour who have retired or are post prime and see what their highest junior and ATP rankings were?

This way you could compute the correlation to see to what degree peak junior ranking predicts peak senior ranking.
 

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It takes a while for juniors to peak when they join the mens tour, so juniors from recent years may still need some time.

Would it be possible to take a look at current players on the mens tour who have retired or are post prime and see what their highest junior and ATP rankings were?

This way you could compute the correlation to see to what degree peak junior ranking predicts peak senior ranking.
I know, that is why you cannot say too much about anything since 2006's juniors.
 

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Not all the juniors have good results on the ATP
For instance in 2003 romanian Florin Mergea won boys Wimbledon and he's got no results in the ATP
 
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