Simona Halep – the champion of Roland Garros 2018 and Wimbledon 2019 – is equally good, although it takes more time than Kenin, Barty or Andreescu to assert themselves in the professional playing field.
Former Romanian number one youngster won the 2008 Roland Garros youth championship. But it was not until ten years later that Halep made a professional-level breakthrough with the first Grand Slam on the clay court in Paris.
Caroline Wozniacki is a similar case to Halep. She used to be the number two young player in the world and won the Wimbledon Youth Championship in 2006, but experienced many ups and downs to get rid of the nickname “Queen without Grand Slam” when she took the throne in the Australian Open 2018. Denmark announced retirement at the age of 29 after stopping in the third round of this year’s tournament.
Former world No. 5 player Sloane Stephens had her first Grand Slam in the US Open 2017. In the same year, Jelena Ostapenko – the Latvian player who won the 2014 Wimbledon Youth Championship, became the young Roland Garros champion. the oldest since 1997.
This list promises to be extended, but that does not mean that success in the youth tournament is a prerequisite to help them become Grand Slam champions.
Naomi Osaka, Japanese tennis player who won two consecutive Grand Slams in the US Open 2018 and the Australian Open 2019, has never played an ITF tournament. The owner of 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena Williams also rarely attended the young tournaments, and her sister Venus Williams.
Garbine Muguruza herself, who lost to Sofia Kenin in the final in Melbourne over the weekend, did not make the top 200 young players in the world as a teenager. Petra Kvitova is not a young star and did not pass the fourth round in any Grand Slam youth tournament. But later, Muguruza and Kvitova got two Grand Slams.
No other Grand Slam youth champion has won the Grand Slam title at the professional level since Jelena Ostapenko. Four years after winning the 2014 Wimbledon Youth Championship, Ostapenko has named Latvia on the world tennis map with the 2018 Roland Garros championship.
There is a huge gap between the two Grand Slam titles at those two levels. Being on the top of the young tennis players is not guaranteed to win a major title like the Grand Slam.