For the past 2 years now, there has been a pretty high degree of uncertainty regarding American tennis. When will it return to dominance again? Who will be the next Pete Sampras or Andy Roddick or Serena Williams? What kind of program is in place to help the development of young talents?
Although the men’s side is giving some timid signs of growth with Jack Sock and Steve Johnson, the women’s side is waiting for a breakthrough season from one or more players.
Sloane Stevens, Madison Keys, Alison Riske, Christina Mchale and Lauren Davis are all very young players, but some of their talents is definitely top 5 material.
During my tenure at the Evert Tennis Academy I have had the opportunity to work with several players currently on the tour. Among them, I can easily say that I have specials memories about two: Madison Keys and Lauren Davis.
I worked with Madison Keys early in her career; she was only 15 years old when I first stepped on the court with her and the tennis industry (sponsors, agencies, coaches etc.) was already in love with her talent. Although her early career was at times inconsistent alternating some incredible performances (like the one in 2009 at the World Team Tennis against Serena Williams), to some inexplicable others; her talent was undeniable.
Madison had to deal since her early stages with two main obstacles: injuries and the pressure from the outside. Obviously, my main job on court with her was to teach the fundamentals of the game, but the biggest challenge was mainly to help her managing all the pressure Madison was carrying inside her.
I spent just about 1 year working with Madison; I had no doubt that once her maturity process kicked in and her body would stayed injury-free, she would have made tremendous progresses. Tennis was never a question.