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Tennis Players Who Were Scouted As Talents At A Young Age
Friday, 07/07/2017
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Wimbledon 2017 is underway. This is the 131st time the championships have taken place since the event began in 1877. Throughout July, top players will be taking to the courts in London to contend for the title of champion. The prize money for the winners of the singles championships is set at a £2.2 million each. Most players train throughout their lives to play championship level tennis, with some players being scouted as young as six years old.
Novak Djokovic
Serbian player Djokovic is one of the most famous faces in tennis after his infamous 43 match winning streak in 2011. It was the same year that he won the Wimbledon singles championships and became the number one tennis player in the world. Although he remained a strong player, and remained number one for two consecutive years, he did not find success at Wimbledon again until 2014. In 2015, he came back to defeat Rodger Federer and take the champion title once more. Djokovic began playing tennis at four years old at a summer camp. He was scouted at six by Jelena Gencic who claimed to know he would become a champion. Will he be able to regain his title in this year’s championships?
Venus Williams
Williams has been in the pro ranking of women’s tennis since she was fourteen years old. She began playing alongside her sister, Serena, when they were ten and eleven although at first the sisters didn’t impress their coach, Rick Macci. It was only once they began playing competitively that Macci saw their potential. Since those early days playing tennis in her local park, Williams has won three Olympic gold medals and has been single’s champion at Wimbledon five times. She has also played in doubles matches alongside her sister.
Stan Wawrinka
Wawrinka, who is a Swiss player, is currently ranked number three in the world for singles players. He was one of the first players to be knocked out of Wimbledon this year, after he was defeated by Russian player Daniil Medvedev on the 3rd July. Wawrinka’s career has been highly successful, earning him a total of $30,562,763 since he turned professional in 2002. Some highlights have included winning three Grand Slams and a winning streak from 2014-2016 which saw him win eleven finals in a row in various competitions.
Johanna Konta
Konta seemed to come from nowhere, rising to fame in 2016 when she defeated her idol Serena Williams in a WTA final. She rose through the rankings rapidly to become world number one. She is currently the British number one player and ranks seven in the world. Although she grew up in Sydney, and has been playing tennis there since she was eight, she moved to the UK at fourteen years old. Konta attended the famous Sanchez Casal tennis academy to progress to professional level tennis. She managed to achieve this when she was sixteen, winning her first International Tennis Federation title. She transferred to play for Great Britain after receiving citizenship in 2012.