This week, I’m starting to get some emails about Taylor Townsend, someone I got to meet at the Easter Bowl earlier this month.
As you might know, Townsend, who turned 16, won the girls 18 title at the Easter Bowl. With her victory the Australian Open girls junior champion, became the No. 1 player in the world on the ITF rankings. A great accomplishment. In a country that’s been hurting as far as producing top talent, Townsend could be a real blessing.
Townsend is a terrific talent blessed with magical hands and uses a serve-and-volley style to trouble opponents. Certainly, she looks very promising.
But success in the juniors can be deceiving when it comes to professional success. Donald Young had one of the greatest junior careers, winning the Australian Open junior title as a 15-year old. Young was wonderfully gifted, but his body didn’t mature as much as people suspected, and his transition into the pro game has been bumpy. Young is still young, and he can have a great career, but he’s not the phenom people had predicted or hoped he would be.
Townsend is coached by Young’s father, and they have been terrific mentors for Townsend. Hopefully they can provide insight in managing all the expectations that will fall on her shoulders, and help her avoid pitfalls that might have derailed Young.
Townsend’s potential is exciting — very exciting. But lets wait to see if she how she does as a professional before we let the hype get too carried away.