Junior Grand Slam champions: Edberg And Federer Lived Up To The Hype, But Who Did Not? - Page 2 of 2 - UBITENNIS
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Junior Grand Slam champions: Edberg And Federer Lived Up To The Hype, But Who Did Not?

An in-depth analysis of the transition from junior to pro competition of the Major winners from 1988 to 2020. Some proved great champions as professionals (like Roddick and Wawrinka), while others dropped out of sight – someone even ended up traveling the world on a sailing boat…




John Marsh | Credit: EMPICS Sport
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2011 Australian Open boy’s champion Oliver Golding (image via Wiki Commons)

We could start with the Englishman James Baily, who became the first Briton to win a Junior Grand Slam after 28 years at the 1993 Australian Open (the last one had been Gerald Battrick at the Roland Garros, 1965). All eyes were on him, and the expectations grew dramatically when the English newspapers highlighted that the list of previous champions of the junior event included Rod Laver, Ken Rosewell, John Newcombe and Stefan Edberg. This situation put a lot of pressure on him, and he was overwhelmed, leading the country to completely forget about him, just like had happened with Stanley Matthews Jr, who won Wimbledon 1962 but is only remembered for being the son of the great football player. Eighteen months later, Baily would stop playing.


Alexandre Sidorenko was born in St. Petersburg but represented France. He won the Australian Open in 2006, but as a pro he played only two Grand Slam tournaments as a wildcard, at the French Open in 2007 and 2009 – in the latter occasion, he was defeated in the first round by his hero Marat Safin. In 2015, he played in the Italian A2 league, just before quitting tennis in 2017, at 29.

The Australian-born Brit Brydan Klein won the AO in 2007. It seemed a good start for him because in the same year he won his first Futures (the first of 20, the last one coming in March in Mildura). In 2009, he won his first-round match at the Australian Open but Wawrinka put an end to his dreams. The same year, he won his only ATP Challenger tournament, again in Australia. It seemed the beginning of a good career, but it was downhill from there. Unfortunately, in the following years he went on a slow and inexorable decline. He was also given a six-month ban after racially abusing Raven Klaasen during a match at Eastbourne. Currently, he is 31, ranked 385th, and hasn’t played after the tour’s Coronavirus hiatus.

The Spaniard Carlos Cuadrado won in Paris in 2001 but went on to only win one Futures tournament the same year. Aged 22, he pulled the plug and ran away to Australia, where he become a successful coach (for Daniela Hantuchova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Pavlychenkova) before one more radical reinvention in 2019: he decided to travel around the world on a sailing boat!

Clement Morel won the 2002 Australian Open, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals. The highest point of his professional career were two Futures titles won respectively in 2006 and 2008, the year he switched nationalities and began representing Monaco – he played two Davis Cup ties for the Principate. At the end of his career, he elected to continue his studies at the Lyon Business School: he is now the commercial director of Wilson in France and Belgium.

Have you ever heard of the Czech David Skoch, the Boys’ Wimbledon champion in 1992? Maybe some doubles fans… like, real die-hard ones.

The Brazilian Tiago Fernandes won the Australian Open in 2010, ending the season at the top of the junior ranking. In 2014, he announced his retirement to focus on his university work after earning a prize money of 22,000 dollars, not enough even for tuition fees.

Oliver Golding won the Australian Open in 2011 and clinched six Futures tournaments, the last of which in 2017 in Piombino, Italy. More “brilliant” was his acting career: he made his debut as a child in “Homecoming” (1998) before appearing in British TV series “Kate and Emma” and “Keen Eddie” – we can honestly say that he hasn’t reached the top in any of his career activities.

Belarusian Uladzimir Ignatik was the protagonist of the 2007 season when he won Roland Garros and was a finalist at Wimbledon. However, his best career ranking was a meagre N.137. He’s never featured in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, and he only became famous for a record set against him in 2012 – his opponent Sam Groth hit the fastest recorded tennis serve of all time at 263 km/ph.

Aussie Luke Saville won Wimbledon and was runner-up in Australia in 2011. The following year he won the Australian Open and lost the Wimbledon final. A future great? His career after that indicates that this isn’t the case.

Frenchman Julien Jeanpierre won both the single and the doubles tournament at the Australian Open in 1998, beating Federer, Nalbandian and Hewitt. He didn’t repeat as a pro, but he secured three Challenger titles between 2006 and 2008.

The Swede Daniel Berta won in Paris in 2009, beating Pablo Carreno Busta along the way. However, nothing more is known about the 28-year-old – the ATP site officially classifies him as inactive.

Canadian Filip Peliwo dominated the 2012 season by reaching the final in all four junior Slams, winning Wimbledon and the US Open on his way to finishing the year in first place in the junior rankings. As a pro, he won two Futures and he lost in the final of two more tournaments. Now he’s 26, ranked 353rd and hasn’t started playing again after the lockdown.

Nicolas Pereira, the Venezuelan, equally dominated the 1988 season by winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, thus coming close to Edberg’s record. As a pro, he reached his best ranking at N.74 and won two ATP tournaments. An honest career, but a far cry from expectations.

Finally, another who seemed destined to great things was the American Donald Young, who won the Australian Open in 2005, at 15 years and six months, an unmatched record of precociousness. In 2007, not yet 18, he won Wimbledon and made headlines all over the globe. For too many years, the Americans had been waiting for the heir of Sampras and Agassi, and his being touted as the best African American player since Arthur Ashe only increased the hype – it is no coincidence that on the cover of NewsWeek (“Who’s Next” Edition) his photo was close to that of Barack Obama. His professional career was more than respectable, as he achieved a career-high of N.38 in 2012. He won six Challengers and reached two ATP 250 finals. However, to be honest, everyone (himself included) expected much more.

Article by Massimiliano Gaiba; translated by Giuseppe Di Paola; edited by Tommaso Villa

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Internazionali d’Italia Daily Preview: Another Stellar Order of Play on Thursday




Thankfully, these seats will not be so empty come Thursday (twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia)

All round of 16 matches will be played on Thursday, with 47 Major singles titles represented.  There is some rain forecast early in the day, but skies should clear by mid-afternoon, allowing all action to be completed.  And with fans on the grounds for the first time this week, there will be a whole different energy at Foro Italico.


Men’s round of 16 action features two matchups where top 10 seeds collide.  Overall, seven of the top 10 men in the world are still alive in this draw.  That includes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have combined to win this event 14 out of the last 16 years.

On the women’s side, four French Open champions remain.  One of them is Garbine Muguruza, who will take on two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina.  The other three (Ash Barty, Iga Swiatek, and Jelena Ostapenko) all face unseeded yet challenging competition on Thursday.

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s two most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Thursday’s play begins at 10:00am local time.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) vs. Matteo Berrettini (9) – Not Before 12:00pm on Grand Stand Arena

This matchup was scheduled to take place in February at the Australian Open, but Berrettini was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an abdominal injury.  The 25-year-old Italian would miss nearly two months of action, though he’s now 10-2 since returning.  Matteo was the champion in Belgrade and the runner-up in Madrid, so he’s played a lot of tennis over the last few weeks.

Tsitsipas has been busy as well, with an 11-2 record during the European clay swing.  Like Matteo, he earned one title and reached the final of another event (Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, respectively).  They did play at the Australian Open two years ago, when Stefanos claimed a tight four-setter.  They also met in qualifying for the 2017 US Open, with Tsitsipas winning in a third-set tiebreak.  Stefanos’ form this past month on clay has been stellar.  And between this week and the last, he’s played significantly less tennis than Matteo.  Despite Berrettini’s hometown crowd rooting him on, Tsitsipas should advance.

Elina Svitolina (5) vs. Garbine Mugruza (12) – Not Before 6:00pm on Center Court

Svitolina won back-to-back titles here in 2017 and 2018.  Yet outside of those runs, she’s just 4-5 lifetime in Rome.  On Wednesday, Elina recovered from a tough opening set to defeat Amanda Anisimova in three.  Muguruza has reached three semifinals in Rome, though is yet to advance farther.  She too was forced to come from behind on Wednesday.  Garbine was down two breaks in the third set, when American Bernarda Pera tightened up, allowing Muguruza to take that set 7-5.

This will be the tenth meeting in their rivalry, which Svitolina leads 6-3 at tour level.  However, they’ve split their two clay court matches.  In 2021, Muguruza has been the better player.  She has accumulated a 23-6 record, with one title and two runner-up trophies.  Svitolina is 18-8 on the season, though she’s yet to reach a final.  And against the top 20, she’s just 2-4, with her only two wins coming against Petra Kvitova.  Muguruza did have to withdraw from Madrid last week due to a thigh injury.  But if she’s feeling close to 100%, Garbine is the favorite based on her recent form.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (Q) – Djokovic has never lost before the quarterfinals in Rome, but could be challenged by the 21-year-old Spaniard, who is 10-5 on clay this season.  This is their first career meeting.

Ash Barty (1) vs. Veronika Kudermetova – Barty advanced comfortably on Wednesday despite some strapping on her leg.  24-year-old Kudermetova is an impressive 24-10 in 2021, and was a champion last month on the green clay of Charleston.  This is also their first meeting.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Denis Shapovalov (13) – Denis’ exciting win over Rafa at 2017’s Rogers Cup was his breakout moment, but he’s 0-2 against Nadal since that time.  Shapovalov was a semifinalist in Rome last September, while Nadal has failed to reach the quarterfinals here only once in 16 appearances.

Angelique Kerber vs. Jelena Ostapenko – Their only head-to-head matchup was a significant one.  In the 2018 Wimbledon semifinals, Kerber prevailed 6-3, 6-3 on her way to the title.  Neither player has won three consecutive matches this year, a feat one of them will achieve on Thursday.

Andrey Rublev (7) vs. Roberto Bautista Agut (10) – They have split six previous encounters, though Rublev has claimed both their matches on clay, including last month in Monte-Carlo.

Aryna Sabalenka (7) vs. Coco Gauff – Sabalena is on a seven-match win streak, and is 11-1 on clay this season.  Gauff has already survived two three-setters this week.  They met twice last year, with each claiming one victory, and each match going the distance. 

Sascha Zverev (6) vs. Kei Nishikori – Sascha and Kei just played last week in Madrid, with Zverev winning 6-3, 6-2.  That victory started Zverev’s current six-match win streak.  Like fellow Madrid champion Sabalenka, he’s only dropped one set during that time.

Iga Swiatek (15) vs. Barbora Krejcikova – The reigning French Open champ has won 11 of her last 12 matches on clay.  Swiatek defeated Krejickova in straight sets earlier this year in Miami.

Dominic Thiem (4) vs. Lorenzo Sonego – Thiem came back from a set down on Wednesday against Marton Fucsovics, while Sonego took out Gael Monfils in the last round.  When they met on clay in 2019, Thiem prevailed in straights.

Karolina Pliskova (9) vs. Vera Zvonareva (Q) – On Wednesday, Zvonareva upset another big-hitting Czech, Petra Kvitova.  Pliskova was the champion here two years ago, and the runner-up last season.  Three years ago in Moscow, Zvonareva dominated Pliskova, allowing her only three games.

Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Watchdog Files Complaint To Government Over Prize Money Discrepancies At Italian Open

The tournament has been accused of ‘an unacceptable pay gap’ by one of the countries leading independent agencies.




A leading consumer watchdog in Italy has hit out at their biggest tennis tournament over what they say is unfair differences in pay between male and female players.


Codacons has issued a press release confirming they have filed an official complaint to the Department for Equal Opportunities (Presidency of the Council of Ministers). The political Authority directly in charge of gender equality and equal opportunities policies in Italy which are made up by a series of politicians from various parties. The move has been triggered by a report in national newspaper La Repubblica which notes that the prize money pool in the men’s draw is significantly more than the women’s.

The Internazionali d’Italia would be the only tennis tournament among the Masters 1000 of 2021 with an inequality in pay based exclusively on the sex of the players,’ Carlo Rienzi, president of Codacons, said in a statement.
“Based on what La Repubblica reported today to the winner of the prestigious event would be entitled to a higher remuneration of 37% compared to the winner of the women’s draw.’
“Analyzing the prizes up for grabs for the other rounds (eighths, quarters, semifinals and final) it turns out that the remuneration reserved for the players is significantly lower than those paid to male athletes.”

This year’s Italian Open is categorised as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a WTA 1000 for the women. In each round play the prize money available is significantly higher for male than female players. For example the differences in the first round are €12,000 against €8670. This year’s men’s champion will take home more than €65,000 more than their female counterpart.

“An unacceptable gender pay gap in 2021, which causes blatant discrimination to the detriment of women, and which today leads Codacons to denounce the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to the Equal Opportunities Commission for discrimination gender,” Rienzi concluded.

Whilst the Italian Open is a mixed tournament, both of the Tour’s have their own governing body with their own guidelines regarding prize money. Explaining why this difference has occurred. It is for this reason why there is also a difference in points on offer to players.

There has been no comment from the Italian Open, WTA or the ATP in regard to Codacons’ complaint.

2021 Italian Open: Men Vs Women

Prize Money




Note: info via atptour.com and wtatennis.com

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Serena Williams’ 1000th Match Ends In Defeat To Podoroska

Serena Williams was defeated in Rome as she reaches a landmark milestone of 1000 WTA matches.




Serena Williams (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Serena Williams’ 1000th WTA tour match has ended in a 7-6(6) 7-5 defeat to Nadia Podoroska in Rome.


The American made her return to tour for the first time in 84 days as she looked to build momentum heading into Roland Garros.

If the first few games were to set the tempo of the match then it would prove to be a long contest with Serena struggling to get any free points on her serve.

It was the Argentinian who got the first break of the match in the third game as she tested Serena’s stamina early on in the contest.

In typical Serena fashion, the 23-time grand slam champion produced some stunning ground-strokes especially from central positions to break to love straight away.

On serve, Serena looked fairly comfortable as she ended the match with eight aces although she only made a first serve percentage of 48%.

That was her key downfall as it was Podoroska who looked the more comfortable on return as she used some devastating angles to force unforced errors from the Serena racket.

A break for a 5-4 lead ensured that the last year’s Roland Garros semi-finalist would serve for the opening set.

However Serena used her power and good point construction to once again break back which was met with a roar from the world number eight.

Eventually the first set would head towards a tiebreaker with Podoroska dominating the majority of it.

She had three set points which came and went as Serena used her fighting qualities to roar back into the match.

But once again some unforced errors would cost the four-time champion as Podoroska took the next two point to claim the opening set in 66 minutes.

In the second set, Serena was the early aggressor as she dictated points better setting the pace of the match.

Again though Podoroska extended the rallies and made the American move all round the court exposing as much space as possible.

The Argentinian was rewarded for her court coverage when she broke in the sixth game as Serena began to tire.

As in the first set, Podoroska couldn’t serve out the second set as her cautious play lead to Serena levelling it up at 5-5.

However Serena’s serve was just not working when she needed it too and Podoroska secured the final blow to seal a fantastic victory for her.

For Serena its onto Roland Garros as she will look to improve her fitness in the next couple of weeks.

As for Podoroska she will play Petra Martic after the Croatian beat Kristina Mladenovic today 7-5 6-3.

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