Tennis prodigy? 5


Search youtube under “tennis prodigy” and the second video in the queue is this one, of little Jan Silva.

The video mentions how Jan has been playing since he was a little over a year old, and how he’s “based” at a private tennis academy in France. Now, anyone familiar with the story of Andre Agassi‘s ambivalent relationship with his tennis education and those who provided it (or anyone who’s read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, which can maybe be called the Best Tennis Novel Ever, since there really aren’t that many others laying claim to the title) will recoil just a bit at the word “academy” – which brings up a key question in grooming a “prodigy,” whether in tennis, soccer, golf, or whatever: how much do you push the young’un?

Key question notwithstanding, Little Jan looks to have the talent and the ambition. If he can keep this up for 15 years or so, he’ll be on the cusp of the big leagues and – who knows? – ready to take a crack at being the Best Player in the World. And since almost 150,000 people have already watched this video, his name will already be familiar.


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5 thoughts on “Tennis prodigy?

  • Ron Hughes

    Pancho Gonzales is by far the greatest tennis player the world has ever seen. He played competitively for 25 years! If you check his record you will see that he dominated professional for most of those 25 years. If they had had the present open setup when he was playing he probably would have won the grand slam at least 10 times, and had about 50 slam titles, especially since so many of them were played on grass. Do I need to document his dominiating serve?
    Pancho is never give proper credit. I visited the tennis hall of fame at New Port a few years ago, and one of the glaring weanknesses of that place is the lack of space given to Pancho. In fact, I didn’t see anything in detail about him. Am I to believe that the racism he suffered on the tour is now reserved for him at New Port?
    The players named on this page couldn’t carry Pancho’s old tennis bags.

  • fabian

    Your top vote-getter at 58.3%,Federer,is 7-14 vs. Nadal on all surfaces! Federer’s wins were against Aging&bloated Sampras,Choke Roddick,30>Agassi and slow motion Phillipouses! Reconsider?

  • lub

    Fabian,
    Why nasty, bitter and foul words spew from your mouth? Do you feel inadequate in life? That is due to your bad Karma… so don’t take it out on Roger!

  • JohnnyV

    I think we need to give @RonHughes some time here vis-a-vis Pancho Gonzalez. Not being a tennis guy I especially have not thought much about Pancho but now that I’ve done a little research I can see the argument he’s making. Check out this video of the famous Pancho serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyhFo3hvGPI. A truly beautiful serve he had.

    As for the prodigy Abbot, I am very interested in tracking up and coming athletes and finding out just how the best players get made but, yeah, having read Infinite Jest and some of Agassi’s “Open”, the video does seem a bit eerie. I mean, does a kid that young really need to be attended to by a physio or a massage therapist?

  • RobC

    This is about 4-5 yrs old. Jan Silva is about 10 now, has moved back to NorCal, and his parents have divorced. I dont think he’s even playing tennis anymore. The tournament results I have seen for him, he was on the wrong end of a beatdown.