The relationship between performances at U-14 international youth tournaments and later success in tennis
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International athletes appear to be getting younger and national tenni federations and coaches often identify talent based on performances at youth tournaments. Sponsors prefer to invest in young players who have good on-court results. However, not much is known about the accuracy of youth performances as an indicator for later success. This article explores the relationship between performances at international under-14(U14) tournaments and later success in tennis. Performance progress of players was examined using a bottom up and top down analysis based on the results of 3,521 players at U14 youth tournaments and the professional ranking of 727 male players and 779 female players. The results revealed that even though good performances at young ages increase the chance to becoming an elite athlete, they are not necessary to achieve later success. Performances at U14 youth tournaments seemed to have only a relative importance in the determination of later success.
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