Young gets wildcard to San Jose! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Young gets wildcard to San Jose!

tennischick
02-04-2005, 04:00 AM
Posted on Thu, Feb. 03, 2005
SPOTLIGHT | ON TENNIS

Victory boosts Young's profile :cool: :cool:

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)

gsm
02-04-2005, 04:14 AM
i wish him luck , but am afraid he will simply get a tennis lesson at this tournament. hope i am proved wrong.

robinhood
02-04-2005, 04:15 AM
Good for him. I wish him the best of luck!

Leena
02-04-2005, 04:16 AM
Good for him. Hopefully he gets a decent draw.

TennisLurker
02-04-2005, 04:16 AM
whats iPod?

I feel sooo third world

Leena
02-04-2005, 04:17 AM
whats iPod?

I feel sooo third world
A little music machine.

He also prefers XBox over PS2. -2 cool points.

Chloe le Bopper
02-04-2005, 04:33 AM
i wish him luck , but am afraid he will simply get a tennis lesson at this tournament. hope i am proved wrong.
Even if he does, it could be a good experience in the long run.

TennisLurker
02-04-2005, 04:36 AM
Hingis was losing 06 06 to Mary Pierce when she was his age

J. Corwin
02-04-2005, 07:06 AM
Go far! I want to be able to see you on TV, so you have to make at least the semis. ;)

jmp
02-04-2005, 08:10 AM
Go Donald! Go Donald! Good luck! :clap2:

Adman
02-04-2005, 08:40 AM
I think this guy might have the qualities to take on some of the Top 10 players.

Experimentee
02-04-2005, 12:27 PM
Thats great for him. Even if he loses 1st round its a good experience to play with the big guns and to see what being a top player is all about.

WyveN
02-04-2005, 01:00 PM
I think this guy might have the qualities to take on some of the Top 10 players.

not at 15.

Action Jackson
02-04-2005, 01:08 PM
not at 15.

I don't think he is as good as Krickstein or Hewitt were at that age.

carrotyoung
02-04-2005, 02:06 PM
He came within a set of qualifying for the LA Tourney last year. Hes definitely improved since then, as he lost in the first round of french open juniors and second round of wimby juniors. Now hes the No.1 junior. We've seen what Baghdatis and Monfils can do. I think DY could maybe win a round, but it is true, hes still a junior and hes still only 15. He'll be Top 10 by the time he hits 20 years.

the cat
02-04-2005, 02:27 PM
I hope his handlers are not rushing Young into bigtime tennis. It could backfire on them. Winning the junior Australian Open was nice. And he seems tio have a bright future. But I doubt a player as a young and as small as Young is is ready to take on physically mature men who outweigh him by 40 pounds or more. :eek:

Billabong
02-04-2005, 02:30 PM
interesting;) thanks:)

smucav
02-04-2005, 03:18 PM
I hope his handlers are not rushing Young into bigtime tennis. It could backfire on them. Winning the junior Australian Open was nice. And he seems tio have a bright future. But I doubt a player as a young and as small as Young is is ready to take on physically mature men who outweigh him by 40 pounds or more. :eek: That's exactly what Johnny Mac and many others have said since he decided to turn pro at 14.

His "handlers" are his parents.

Fee
02-04-2005, 04:33 PM
As I said in the thread that was started about him in GM last week, I fear he is a burnout case waiting to happen. It all seems to be too much, too soon.

lzhaol
02-04-2005, 04:37 PM
good luck... good exposure IMO

Horatio Caine
02-04-2005, 04:58 PM
He'll be Top 10 by the time he hits 20 years.

I bet he won't be in the top 100 by then. He will either burn out, not make the transition from juniors to seniors so well or lose interest with all the pressure his parents and a huge nation put on him. All those factors really do outway any chance he has of making a good career out of tennis.

Space Cowgirl
02-04-2005, 08:18 PM
Is this the same junior who got a WC for the US Open last year and ended up drawing Roddick in R1?

maratski
02-04-2005, 08:21 PM
He came within a set of qualifying for the LA Tourney last year. Hes definitely improved since then, as he lost in the first round of french open juniors and second round of wimby juniors. Now hes the No.1 junior. We've seen what Baghdatis and Monfils can do. I think DY could maybe win a round, but it is true, hes still a junior and hes still only 15. He'll be Top 10 by the time he hits 20 years.

He looks like a promising player from what I read, but don't forget he can go Gasquet's way too. He's almost 20 and where is he now? Playing matches he has to retire from. :sad:

carrotyoung
02-04-2005, 08:26 PM
Is this the same junior who got a WC for the US Open last year and ended up drawing Roddick in R1?

No that was Scoville Jenkins.

Space Cowgirl
02-04-2005, 08:29 PM
ok, thanks carrotyoung

roisin
02-04-2005, 08:38 PM
is this the 15 year old?? yeah i agree with the already mentioned statements. i hope hes not being pushed too fast too soon cos hes obviosuly talented.

Chloe le Bopper
02-04-2005, 08:54 PM
He looks like a promising player from what I read, but don't forget he can go Gasquet's way too. He's almost 20 and where is he now? Playing matches he has to retire from. :sad:
Considering his age, Gasquet's ranking is just fine ;)

maratski
02-04-2005, 09:10 PM
Considering his age, Gasquet's ranking is just fine ;)

Considering his age yes, considering his talent.....

You're just glad he's ranked lower then rafa ;)

smucav
02-04-2005, 09:26 PM
No that was Scoville Jenkins. Right.

Scoville Jenkins made his ATP debut at the 2004 U.S. Open after earning a wild card by winning the Kalamazoo 18s. He lost to Andy Roddick in the first round 6-0 6-2 6-2. In 2004 he ranked as high as #6 in the juniors and reached the SF of Wimbledon and the QF of both the Australian Open and the US Open juniors (Young lost in the first round of the US Open boys). Jenkins turned 18 in August 2004 and is now out of the juniors and playing futures and challengers. (ATP entry ranking #772).

Scoville Jenkins's Player Activity (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity/default.asp?year=%25&query=Singles&player=J290&x=14&y=1)

Jenkins Becomes First African-American To Capture Boys' 18 National Hard Court Title (http://www.usta.com/misc_pages/custom.sps?iType=1927&icustompageid=13145)

As stated previously in this thread, Young (ATP entry ranking #1270) played in qualifying for three ATP tourneys in 2004, but failed to qualify. He's 1-2 in futures and 0-1 in challengers. San Jose will be his ATP main draw debut.

Donald Young's Player Activity (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity/default.asp?year=%25&query=Singles&player=Y124&x=16&y=4)

Young No. 1 in ITF World Junior Rankings (http://www.usta.com/protennis/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=146469)

Chloe le Bopper
02-04-2005, 09:29 PM
Considering his age yes, considering his talent.....

You're just glad he's ranked lower then rafa ;)
No no... I was happy when Rafa was ranked higher than him in 2003, but now I don't care. I won't be happy until Rafa is ranked higher than everybody :D

maratski
02-04-2005, 09:30 PM
No no... I was happy when Rafa was ranked higher than him in 2003, but now I don't care. I won't be happy until Rafa is ranked higher than everybody :D

That would be cool, but I'm afraid it might take some time. I hope you have other things to make you happy in the meantime. ;)

Chloe le Bopper
02-04-2005, 09:31 PM
I guess I'll have to buy a vibrator or something.

maratski
02-04-2005, 09:35 PM
I thought you already had one :o

the cat
02-04-2005, 10:07 PM
Thanks for this interesting thread TC. But please get in here and post your opinions. :D ;)

Horatio Caine
02-04-2005, 10:29 PM
:haha: :haha: Our own Jamie Delgado got spanked by a 15 year old 6/1 6/2! The only match Young has won against a senior! :haha: :haha: :lol: :bigcry:

Billy Moonshine
02-04-2005, 10:41 PM
I think it's a bad idea. For all the reasons already given. Also, it's annoying that a 15 year old can get a place in the maindraw while some adult player who could do with the experience is being left out.He's 15, leave him alone until he's a senior player, for his own good! And what a cheap way for the tournament to get some publicity.

Leena
02-04-2005, 11:16 PM
He drew Ginepri in the 1st round... couldn't ask for a better draw. :p

Leena
02-04-2005, 11:47 PM
Hingis was losing 06 06 to Mary Pierce when she was his age
She also reached the final of Hamburg.

Allez Donald!

tennischick
02-05-2005, 12:28 AM
I hope his handlers are not rushing Young into bigtime tennis. It could backfire on them. Winning the junior Australian Open was nice. And he seems tio have a bright future. But I doubt a player as a young and as small as Young is is ready to take on physically mature men who outweigh him by 40 pounds or more. :eek:
his main "handlers" are his parents and so far they seem to be doing a decent job IMO. ;)

and Cat, at 15 he can take any and all wins AND losses as learning opportunities.

Chloe le Bopper
02-05-2005, 01:14 AM
:haha: :haha: Our own Jamie Delgado got spanked by a 15 year old 6/1 6/2! The only match Young has won against a senior! :haha: :haha: :lol: :bigcry:

That's not true, he won two matches in LA qualies last year ;)

smucav
02-05-2005, 05:00 PM
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/10825120.htm
Posted on Sat, Feb. 05, 2005

The world is in his court
By Darren Sabedra
Mercury News

Five years ago, when he was only 10, Donald Young hit tennis balls with John McEnroe at a senior event in Chicago. Afterward, the tennis icon marveled, ``He's the first person I've ever seen that has hands like me, and the sky's the limit.''

Young has not let McEnroe down. The 15-year-old used those soft and quick hands last week to win the Australian Open junior title, becoming the youngest to do so at a Grand Slam event. This week, he became the youngest No. 1 in the history of the world junior rankings.

Now, 11 years after Venus Williams made her tour debut in the Bay Area, the latest African-American phenom will do likewise. Young plays his first ATP Tour match Monday night at HP Pavilion. The wild-card entry will face Robby Ginepri, 22 and ranked 73rd.

``This is a great opportunity for Donald,'' Gary Swain, Young's manager, said Friday. ``I'm not sure he really knows how good he is.''

Swain discovered Young when the kid was 10 and No. 1 in the under-12s. But just to be sure Young was as good as he seemed, Swain asked McEnroe, whom he managed for years, to rally with him at a senior event in Young's hometown of Chicago.

``I asked John to push him,'' Swain recalled. McEnroe pushed, and he left with the same reaction that many people have to Young: The kid is special.

So special that he has drawn comparisons to Williams, who was 14 when she defeated Shaun Stafford in her debut in Oakland in 1994, and her sister Serena. But whether Young will have similar mass appeal remains to be seen.

``That's asking a lot,'' said Luke Jensen, a former doubles star who works as an analyst for ESPN.

Young's roots hardly parallel those of the Williams sisters. Venus and Serena grew up in Compton and were taught by a father who learned the game from books. Young was taught by parents who played in college and run a tennis club in Atlanta.

``Donald's dad is a tennis pro. That helps a lot when you're learning on the courts,'' Jensen said. ``It's similar in the sense where he has talent. Is he going to play top-10 ball? I think he can. I think he can win some Slams. He'll play for the U.S. Davis Cup team one day.

``But can he be the dominating force in the game? I mean, Roger Federer has a pretty good flag standing up, and he's got some other guys who are still very young.''

Young isn't selling himself short. Though he comes across as modest and soft-spoken, he aims to win multiple Grand Slams and be No. 1 in the world.

This year, he plans to play in the three remaining junior Grand Slam events, as well as a couple of pro tournaments. He said he couldn't say when he will hit the tour full-time. Asked how he feels about playing in a tournament next week that includes Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi, Young said: ``I'm a little nervous. I hope I don't play one of them.''

Young's invitation to the SAP Open was in the works before his run at the Australian Open. Bill Rapp, the tournament director, caught wind of Young a few years ago and charted his progress, including McEnroe's comments.

``McEnroe does not pop off,'' Rapp said. ``He's very thoughtful about what he says.''

So Rapp called Swain to ask if Young would be interested in playing in San Jose. ``I thought his agent was going to drop the phone,'' Rapp said.

Young, who is 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, said he accepted for several reasons.

``Experience, see how I am, see how I match up to a lot better players,'' he said.

Young has been preparing for matches such as these for much of his life. An only child, the left-hander said he learned the mental part of the game from his mother and the physical part from his dad.

Though the Youngs have said they did not push their son toward tennis, they have taken heat for his turning pro so early. Donald Sr. told Newsweek that the decision was necessary to pay for training and travel costs, adding: ``All we're trying to do is what it takes to make Donald the best player ever.''

Roddick, the No. 3 player in the world and the SAP Open's top seed, heeded caution.

``My biggest fear is that people put pressure on him too early,'' said Roddick, 22. ``We have to realize how young he is and how he's going to grow. He still may be a couple of years away physically. I've been there, under the spotlight in the transition from juniors to pros, and it's a tough one.''

Young considers himself a normal kid. Though he is schooled on the road, learning from his mother, he says he makes time to play XBox games and pingpong and watch movies. He also fiddles with his iPod.

``I still do normal things,'' he said. ``I'm just playing a sport.''

Contact Darren Sabedra at dsabedra@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5815.

© 2005 MercuryNews.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.mercurynews.com

smucav
02-07-2005, 06:45 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?id=1986201
Updated: Feb. 7, 2005, 2:07 PM ET
Don't put too much pressure on debut
By Matthew Cronin
Special to ESPN.com

When Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open junior championship at age 17, it was pretty obvious he had the outright power and competitive zeal to become a great player.

Lefty Donald Young has terrific touch and solid strokes, but at age 15, he's only 5-feet-10, 150 pounds.

When Donald Young became the youngest male to win the Australian Open junior championship two weeks ago -- at 15 years, six months becoming the youngest to reach No. 1 in the ITF junior rankings -- long-term projections are not as obvious. It's clear that if Young keeps improving at the level he has during the past year, he's a surefire top-50 pro.

Young will make his pro debut as a wild card against fellow American Robby Ginepri tonight at the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif. The crafty lefty has terrific touch and solid strokes, but at 5-feet-10, 150 pounds, he's not about to knock out giants like Marat Safin in his rookie year. While he has proved himself in the juniors, more than a few kids have impressed against their peers and then never developed the mental and physical tools to deal with week-in, week-out grind of the tour (remember Tommy Ho?). Plus, Young faces the expectations that come with being a promising African-American male player.

With Roddick, now 22, being the only elite American male outside of 34-year-old Andre Agassi, fans are looking for another kid to bring back the glory years of U.S. tennis when Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang dominated the tour.

"I was fortunate because I was ready to play pro ball right away after I won U.S. Open [juniors]," Roddick said. "We have to realize how young Donald is and how much he has left to learn. I think his potential is unbelievable. The way he already constructs points, he's just one of those guys who has a natural feel for the game.

"My biggest concern is letting him grow and people knowing that this is a process. If he does come in and start winning some, then it should be looked upon as a bonus. It shouldn't be expected right away."

Much is expected of Young, who has been called the next great one by numerous renowned coaches since he won the 2003 Orange Bowl 16 and unders as a 14-year-old. In December 2004, Young lost in the final of the Orange Bowl 18s to another promising African-American male, Timothy Neilly. But USTA High Performance chief Eliot Teltscher was still singing Young's praises.

"He has a winning way about him," Teltscher said. "It would be hard to believe that he won't make it as a pro. He moves very well and has beautiful strokes. He really knows his way around the court."

Young turned pro early not only because he's showed ability but also because he comes from modest means. His parents, Donald Sr. and Ilona, are both tennis teaching pros who competed at the collegiate level. Donald Jr. was brought up in Chicago, but last year his family moved to Atlanta, where his parents set up a tennis academy.

His dad focuses on his son's technical aspects, while his mom fine-tunes his mental game. His father says his son is the best lefty he's ever seen. By the time Donald Jr. was 9 years old, his father says he knew college was out of the question for his promising son. Ilona Young says they let their son take big career steps so he won't get bored.

"We've let him lead us," Ilona Young said. "As soon as he masters something, we move to the next level."

That's sounds like a solid parenting philosophy, but neither can be sure how Donald will respond to the rigors of the pro tour at age 15. Some phenoms have done fine, like Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who turned pro at 15. Nadal became a Davis Cup hero at age 18 and is currently ranked No. 17. Others have seriously struggled. France's 18-year-old Richard Gasquet, another pro who made waves by winning matches at 15, suffered with health and confidence problems in 2004 and is now ranked No. 111.

Roddick knows what it's like to hold the hopes of a nation. After winning his first major title as a pro at the '03 U.S. Open, Roddick's first words to the media were "No more, 'What's it feel like to be the future of American tennis?'"

"Hopefully, Donald is not going to travel full-time right away," Roddick said. "But at the same time, you have to kick butt when it's there to be kicked. He's obviously not a normal 15-year-old with the ability that he has. I hope they still let him do some normal stuff. I don't want it to start feeling like a job to him this early.

"It's a very sensitive situation because you have someone who is so talented and who wants to play the game, so you have to let him do his own thing, but at the same time, I think the sense of normalcy has to remain, as well."

Young might eventually master the pros, but it is doubtful he'll be doing that soon. It's extremely rare for male tennis players to do major damage before they are 18, mostly because they haven't physically matured. Moreover, the mental strength it takes to keep progressing when the world's eyes are fastened on your progress is phenomenal. Young might have "Next" in the potential department, but only hard work and a cool head will keep him climbing the ladder in the reality department.

"You see some kids who keep hearing how great they are, get it into their heads and forget what got them there," fellow African-American player James Blake said. "Donald has to remember that until he starts having results, that it's all potential. No one remembers potential. You have to back it up."

Matthew Cronin, the managing editor of Inside Tennis Magazine, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.

jmp
02-07-2005, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the articles, smucav. :)

tennischick
02-08-2005, 06:03 AM
the Duck needs to stop projecting his failure issues onto my Boi :fiery: :mad:

Golfnduck
02-08-2005, 03:25 PM
I just can't believe Ginepri, of all people, schooled Donald :shrug: :confused:

Chloe le Bopper
02-08-2005, 03:36 PM
As hard as I think Ginepri blows, he's a tour vet compared to Donald, who is still a rather small, 15 year old junior. Best under 18 or not.

MisterQ
02-08-2005, 03:39 PM
I didn't see the match... But Donald had quite a few deuces on Ginepri's serve, and even some break points. He needs to learn how to play the big points better, of course.