Tennis, or any sport really, is a cruel world, in which only the fittest of the fittest survive. Given the exceptionally high attrition rate of the players in this game who work/are working towards reaching the top of the nobody-to-somebody pipeline, there are bound to several expectation disappointments. Here are just two of the greatest of such
1) Richard Gasquet
What most people do not realize about this French tennis star is that people once expected him to reach the heights of the likes of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. This was due to the exceptional breakout of his onto the professional stage, during his younger days. Like the other player on this list, he was reached the number ranking within the junior sphere, and even held a win-loss record of 44-7! He was also the youngest ever player to debut in a Tennis Masters Series tournament in April 2002 at the age of 15 years and 10 months. He also became the second-youngest every player to have competed in the French Open, taking a set off the champion of that year Albert Costa despite the lack of any experience at that stage. His young-aged achievements continued on into the next year when he reached the semi-finals of the 2005 Monte Carlo Masters tournament at the age of 18, beating Federer en route. He reached the final of the Rome Masters tournament of that year, losing to Federer to the final in three sets. 2005 was also the year of his first ATP title. It would be interesting to take note too that Gasquet and Nadal were born only five days apart. Why did Gasquet not rise up to the expectations? This will be the topic of another blog article.
2) Donald Young
Donald Young was supposed to be the next great American in tennis after Andy Roddick, not John Isner, Jack Sock or Ryan Harrison. In fact, Donald Young was widely held by tennis critics to have been one of the greatest talents to have ever been spotted. John McEnroe was especially praising of the unique spin of Donald Young's, which although not as jumpy as Nadal or Thiem's, is deadly confusing. Like Gasquet, Donald Young dominated the junior circuit during his time there. He was the first American to win the u-16 division of the Orange Bowl tournament and climbed to become junior world number one in 2005. He was also the youngest American to win a grand slam event, when he won the Australian Open junior championships in 2005, and the world's youngest world junior world number one ever (interesting Gasquet is in second place in this regard). Such prowess, only manifested as far as the fourth rounds of the 2011 and 2015 US Open championships - perhaps this is fitting because he is American. Why did Young not rise up to the expectations? This will be the topic of another blog article.
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