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Ivan Lendl

Roland Garros boys’ champions – Where Are They Now?

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Originally published on 28/05/16 00:00

While the early 2000s saw Richard Gasquet (2002), Wawrinka (2003), Gael Monfils (2004) and Marin Cilic (2005) win the boys' title in Paris, only two of the past 10 champions have gone on to break into the Top 100.

2006 – Martin Klizan
Just 16 when he lifted the title in Paris, Klizan dropped only one set on his run to glory. He turned pro a year later, and won his first ATP Tour title in 2012 when he beat Fabio Fognini in St Petersburg. Later that year he was named best newcomer on Tour and has won three more tournaments since, helping him to reach a career high ranking of 24 in April 2015. The left-hander from Bratislava is currently ranked at 45 and has never been past the fourth round of a major.

2007 – Uladzimir Ignatik
Belarus’ finest was seeded No.12 when he triumphed in Paris, but has never made the main draw at a Grand Slam since turning pro in 2007. Ignatic’s tour ranking peaks at No.117 in November 2012 and he currently languishes down at 209 having only played 29 matches on the top level of the Tour itself. His career successes have all come at either Future or Challenger events, where he has collected 14 titles.

2008 – Yang Tsung-hua
Yang overcame a draw in Paris that included Bernard Tomic, Ryan Harrison, Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin and Jerzy Janowicz, whom he beat in the championship match. The then 17-year-old also won the boys' doubles title at Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2008 but failed to ever make an impact once turning pro, never reaching the first round proper on any of tennis’ grand stages. Eight years later and Yang now sits at No.175 in the rankings, 23 spots below his highest position, and has won just five of his 23 matches on tour.

2009 – Daniel Berta 
An unseeded victor of the junior championship at Roland Garros, Berta never won a full tour match, losing his two outings as a wildcard in 's-Hertogenbosch and Bastad. Those appearances helped the Helsingborg native reach No.637 in the world, but his ATP bio currently lists him as ‘inactive’. His defence of his boys’ crown twelve months later ended in a first round defeat as top seed.

2010: Agustin Velotti
The 23-year-old, currently ranked No.303 in the world, beat best friend Andrea Collerini to take the 2010 title, but found life on tour anything but welcoming. Despite reaching No.2 in the junior rankings in 2010, Velotti has made no impression on the professional circuit and like predecessor Berta has lost both of his matches on Tour. Six years on from success in Paris, the right-hander now struggles to even make an impression at Challenger level.

2011 – Bjorn Fratangelo
Frantangelo turned pro a year after victory in Paris and has kept himself firmly inside the top 200 since rising to No.172 in February 2015. The American beat Dominic Thiem in the 2011 final, but hasn’t come close to matching the Austrian since, though he has made the main draw at every Grand Slam apart from Wimbledon in last two years and even took a set off Novak Djokovic at this year’s Miami Masters. At only 22, there is still time for a run at the world’s top 100 if results can pick up.

2012 – Kimmer Coppejans
Along with Klizan, the only other player on this list who has scaled the heights of the top 100 (No.97 in April 2015), Coppejans now sits at the lower end of the second hundred at No.192. He reached the first round proper of Roland Garros last year – to date his only major main draw berth and helped his country reach the final of last year’s Davis Cup at the age of 21. Also has a fairly impressive 3-0 record in Challenger level finals.

2013 – Christian Garin
Victorious from a field including Nick Krygios, Kyle Edmund and Borna Coric, Garin has since gone on to record wins over several elite tour players like Horacio Zeballos, Carlos Berlocq and Dusan Lajovic. The win over Lajovic in 2013 when Garin was just 16 is the youngest for any Chilean on the Tour and the right-hander also has 3-0 record in finals at junior level. At No.333 in the world though, the 19-year-old has some way to go to reach the heights of his counterparts from three years ago.

2014 – Andrey Rublev
The world No.152 currently has 10 victories on Tour to date and partnered Dmitry Tursunov to the Moscow doubles title last year. The 18-year-old’s CV also features wins over Fernando Verdasco and Pablo Andujar and one Grand Slam appearance at last year’s US Open. As well as tasting success in Paris, 2014 also saw the young man from Moscow take home a singles bronze and a doubles silver from the Youth Olympic Games.

2015 – Tommy Paul
The reigning champion defeated fellow American Taylor Harry Fritz in last year’s final, though Fritz reversed the result at the US Open final three months later. Paul collected his first, and to date only, elite level Tour win earlier this year, propelling him to a career high No.191 in the world in the process. He only managed two weeks in the world’s top 200, however, and now at 201, still lists his best tennis achievement as lifting the trophy in the French capital last June.

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Ivan Lendl
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