I’ve always been curious about the correlation between junior Major success and whether this translates into success as a senior.
As a result I decided that since Federer is the last active remaining junior Major champion, I’d look at every player since he won the boys Wimbledon title in 1998. I’ve stopped at 2013 as the guys in that age group are old enough to have won a Major. To go any further would arguably skew the data.
I’ve broken it down to a number of categories. How many have made it to world number 1? Who has won a senior Major? Has anyone failed to make the top 100? And a couple more. I’ve copied in the Wikipedia table below of all the junior Major winners and you’ll find the broken down statistics underneath that.
The Majors in the table below are in order from left to right with Australian to the US Open titles.
1) Who has won a senior Major? Roger Federer (20), Andy Roddick, Stanislas Wawrinka (3), Andy Murray (3), Marin Cilic.
That gives us a total of 5 players and 8.77% of those who won junior titles then going on to win a senior Major.
2) How many world number 1’s have there been? Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.
That’s a total of 3 players and 5.26%.
3) How many have made the top 10? Fernando Gonzalez, Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Andy Roddick, Guillermo Coria, Jurgen Melzer, Janko Tipsarevic, Richard Gasquet, Marcos Baghdatis, Andy Murray, Stanislas Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov
That’s a total of 15 players and 26.3%.
4) Who has failed to make the top 100? Julian Jeanpierre, Carlos Cuadrado, Roman Valent, Todd Reid, Florin Mergea, Alexander Sidorenko, Dusan Lodja, Brydan Klein, Uladizmir Ignatik, Yang Tsung-hua, Daniel Berta, Tiago Fernandes, Agustin Velotti, Luke Saville, Oliver Golding, Gianluigi Quinzi, Folio Peliwo.
That’s a total of 17 players and 29.82%.
5) How many have won an ATP title? Fernando Gonzalez, Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Guillermo Coria, Jurgen Melzer, Jarkko Nieminen, Janko Tipsarevic, Richard Gasquet, Marcos Baghdatis, Andy Murray, Stanislas Wawrinka, GaelMonfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic, Paul Henri-Mathieu, Nicolas Mahut, Gilles Muller, Jeremy Chardy, Martin Klizan, Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic, Borna Coric, Nick Kyrgios, Jiri Vesely, Martin Fucsovics
Total of 25 players and 43.9%.
The reality is that the incredibly dominant success of Federer, alongside the achievements of Nadal and Djokovic leaves you with data that will likely not be repeated in the future.
You could reasonably expect more junior Major winners to go on and win the senior Major titles and improve that % as you are highly unlikely to see a Nadal/Djokovic (two non-junior Major winners) combination take up 31 Majors (so far!), nor a 20 Major winning Federer.
The most surprising statistic to me in all this was that 29.82% of the winners failed to even make the top 100. That stat alone would suggest there’s still huge improvements needed, even if you reach the top of the pile at the junior level for a short while, in order to succeed as a professional.
We’re now just a few days away from the next boys junior Major winner but if spending way too much time doing this has taught me anything, it’s that we should have minimal expectations until they demonstrate they can do it on the pro circuit.
I am no writer, so if I’ve made any errors please let me know and I’ll correct them. Thank you if you’ve bothered to read this far!