Posted on Thu, Feb. 03, 2005
SPOTLIGHT | ON TENNIS
Victory boosts Young's profile
BY MICHELLE KAUFMAN
With all the hubbub at the Australian Open about Serena Williams' and Marat Safin's victories -- and Lleyton Hewitt's surprise engagement to a soap star he dated six weeks -- a very significant story went largely overlooked. It is the story of Donald Young, a 15-year-old Chicago native who became the youngest junior champion in Grand Slam history
Young's 6-2, 6-4 victory against top-seeded Sun-Young Kim also made him the first African-American junior to be ranked No. 1 in the world
. Young has been on the tennis radar screen for some time now, having won the Under-16 Orange Bowl title in 2003 and reached the Under-18 final in December. He already has a Nike contract, is represented by IMG, and his left-handed shot-making ability has drawn comparisons to John McEnroe.
But the Aussie win raised his status to a new level. He received a wild card for the upcoming ATP tournament in San Jose, Calif., where the field includes Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.
''I didn't expect to win a Grand Slam so soon,'' said Young, who last year moved to Atlanta, where his parents Don and Illona opened a tennis center. ``I'm excited about making all this history, but I still see myself as a normal guy my age. I like to play XBox, watch movies, listen to my iPod, and play Ping-Pong.''
Young has been schooled through the Internet since eighth grade and travels with his parents, both of whom played college tennis.
(daily tennis news)