07-26-2004, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Northern California.
Re: Donald Young- the future of American tennis
He's playing a Challenger this week, in Lexington I believe, see if he does anything there. He doesn't have impressive results so far, can't even get past the second round of a junior slam, so we'll see if he's got anything. I think he turned pro way too early, doesn't have the body for it, but the rumor is that his parents wanted/needed the money to support his training (must of used up all their money for the J Lo sized rock he wears in his earlobe). People can say whatever they want about him, but I've lost track of 'the next big American' players that were hyped and never materialized. I'll just wait for the results.
Best twitter posts of the epic match:
@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.
@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.
@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.
Andy wearring Crocs, courtesy of Smitty8
01-30-2005, 05:31 PM
Vamos Mandy :)
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Looking for Andy's forehand with Sarah and Re...
Re: Donald Young- the future of American tennis
Donald won the AO Juniors yesterday in straight sets. This kid could be REAL BIG. Congrats Donald! Sounds like a good kid with a good head on his shoulders, too.
D. YOUNG/ K. Sun Yong
6 2, 6 2
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Tomorrow Donald will become No. 1 and he'll be the youngest No. 1 junior since the rankings began, and also he's the youngest junior Grand Slam winner.
First question, question.
Q. What do you think of that?
DONALD YOUNG: I'm really excited actually. I mean, I really don't know what to say. I mean, I'm really excited. Been wanting to win this tournament for a while and it happened so I'm really excited.
Q. At what point did you think you won, when you got the break at 4 All?
DONALD YOUNG: Well, the first set well, I knew coming into the match, he was tired. He had like four three setters. I mean, I just wanted to work him, move him around, keep him out there a little while. It happened. He got tired, and I started playing better, so I won.
Q. Midway through that second set, you got a bit frustrated.
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I was getting upset because I started rushing and missing, because he just started getting it in play and not hitting any pace on the ball. But I just kept it in play and attacked him, and I won.
Q. When you lost the Orange Bowl final to Tim, you seemed almost inconsolable.
DONALD YOUNG: I don't know. I was really upset after that. I was expecting to win, because I beat him before. He came out a different person and started playing a lot better than he had ever played before. I was surprised, and he got me.
But hopefully it will never happen again.
Q. Back then you seemed so upset. Could you envision just a month later here you are?
DONALD YOUNG: No, I really couldn't. Coming into this tournament, I was telling my parents, he's like you're going to win it. I'm like, No, I'm going to lose, first or second round. Obviously, that didn't happen.
Q. What do you think is different in your game in the last six, eight months? I've seen you lose in the first round in a couple of these events. You just sort of stormed your way through here.
DONALD YOUNG: I think it's confidence more now. I mean, I feel like I'm capable of playing with the players and not they're all bigger. They're all bigger pretty much than me anyway, but I feel like I can play with them and they're a little closer to my age. About to be 19 this year. Some of them, they were like 18.
But I just had a lot more respect for the ones last year. Now I feel like I'm up there with the rest of them.
Q. Did what happened at the Orange Bowl help you?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I think, yeah, it helped me a lot. Now I'm not taking anybody for granted. I might say they're a scrub or something. But, I mean, I'm not really serious about it. But now I don't take anybody for granted.
Q. When you won, you sank to your knees and yelled something and repeated it. Do you remember what that was?
DONALD YOUNG: I just said, "What, what," a couple times.
Q. You said, "What"?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, "What." I mean, it's like I mean, I didn't know. Obviously I was so excited.
Q. When you go home at night and watch some of these matches, Roddick and Hewitt, Safin, what are you thinking? How big a gap do you think there is between where you are now and getting to that next level?
DONALD YOUNG: Obviously, a big gap because, I mean, they're out there getting to the main Slam finals or whatever.
But when I get bigger and older hopefully, you know, I can be up there in a couple years or try at least.
Q. Do you have confidence that, "I can do that someday"?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I mean, if I'm playing the same players. Most of the players I'll probably play will be in the Juniors, I mean, or some of the ones that are out there now, but they'll be getting a little older. Hopefully so.
Q. The fate of a successful junior like yourself in the US, particularly with the USTA, you're a little young, but Andy, they kind of pounce on you with all these expectations coming your way. How do you think you're going to deal with that, or do you have any idea that it was happening?
DONALD YOUNG: Well, I just try to keep playing and winning and playing good. If that comes with it, it comes with it, which it does. So, I mean, I just try not to focus on it.
Q. Who have you been talking to here, if anyone, among the main draw players?
DONALD YOUNG: No one actually. No one. Because we're in a separate locker room, like far away from the rest of them. So no one really.
Q. Do you know any of them?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I talk to Roddick. But, I mean, I saw him like one time, and that was about it. That was it. So I didn't really see any other pros, except walking by them.
Q. How much of an advantage do you get from the lefty look, from guys not facing that very often?
DONALD YOUNG: A lot because, I mean, most players are righties. They don't get to practice with lefties a lot anyway. So, I mean, different spins. It just helps.
Q. Have you played many lefties?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, one tournament I played all lefties, and I didn't like it. I don't even like playing lefties myself, so I see how the righties feel.
Q. What does it mean to be No. 1?
DONALD YOUNG: A lot. I mean, I've wanted to be No. 1 since I started playing ITFs or whatever. But it's here now, so I don't really know.
It's kind of like no feeling to it. I mean, I thought it would be it is awesome, but I thought it would be a lot I mean, I don't know. It just feels like nothing now.
But I'm excited about it (smiling).
Q. Maybe it needs to sink in?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, right. Maybe tomorrow when I see actually No. 1 by my name, then I'll realize it.
Q. Granted you just walked off the court, but does this sort of accelerate your plans in terms of wildcards and challengers, that kind of thing?
DONALD YOUNG: No, not really. I try to stay on the same plan or whatever, play a couple more pro tournaments. But still play all the junior Slams or whatever. You know, hopefully I can come back next year and see what happens.
Q. Gael Monfils almost won the junior Grand Slam. You have one now. Is that a goal of yours?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah. I think that's most people's goal when they win the first one. See how it goes. Yeah, but I'm not going to try to put the extra pressure on myself.
Q. Any idea how you're going to celebrate tonight?
DONALD YOUNG: No, not really. I don't know. Watch a movie. I don't know really because my parents are talking about going to the casino, but I can't go in. So there's no point. I don't know, I'll just sit outside, I guess.
Q. Do you have to wait for them outside?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, right.
Q. Maybe they'll bring you a drink.
DONALD YOUNG: No (smiling).
Q. What is important to you besides tennis?
DONALD YOUNG: My parents. I mean, family. I mean, tennis, obviously, school. I mean, normal things that's important to everybody else. I mean, nothing special.
Q. No other secondary hobby or anything?
DONALD YOUNG: No. I mean, I used to play baseball and soccer, but I was okay, not too good. I was obviously better at tennis, so I stuck with tennis.
03-12-2005, 12:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ithaca, NY
Re: Donald Young- the future of American tennis
sorry you lost today, better luck next time!
Goran Ivanisevic~ You Never Forget Your First (Tennis) Love!
GROSJEAN, HENMAN, MOYA, CORIA
ANCIC, BLAKE, LJUBICIC, CLEMENT, SANTORO, BAGHDATIS, MONFILS
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"If you even dream of beating me, you'd better wake up and apologize."-Muhammad Ali
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07-17-2005, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Re: Donald Young- the future of American tennis
Fresh face could be the next U.S. tennis star
Black phenom Donald Young, a pro at age 15, could be the next U.S. star -- regardless of color
By Tracy Dodds
July 17, 2005
The word from Atlanta, through Chicago, to the office of the RCA Championships in Indianapolis on Friday morning was that Donald Young had a sprained wrist and would have to withdraw from this week's professional tennis tournament.
The response from Indianapolis, through Chicago, to Atlanta was that the youngster simply could not be a no-show. No way.
"We need him here for so many reasons," RCA tournament director Rob MacGill said Friday. "We're going to find a way to make this happen. We're working with the ATP on a request to make his first match on Tuesday or Wednesday to give the wrist time to heal."
By Friday afternoon, Young had agreed to make the trip from his home in Atlanta.
"We wanted to do what was best for the tournament," said Young's manager, Gary Swain, whose office is in Chicago.
Young also was expected in Indianapolis for a Black Expo appearance this weekend.
As if being ranked No. 1 among the world's junior players and being a 15-year-old professional still trying to win a match in a pro tournament isn't enough, Young has all the social duties that go along with being a high-profile black athlete in what is traditionally not a black sport.
That's a lot of responsibility. Asked how he handles the pressure, Young said: "It's normal now."
Young turned pro at 14 when he signed with Swain of IMG, the multinational management and marketing organization that represents the biggest of the bigs: Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning, John McEnroe and Venus Williams. Swain lined him up with "substantial" sponsorship deals. Young is paid to wear Nike shoes and clothing and use Head rackets.
The sponsorship money allows him to choose from a world of tournaments and allows his parents the freedom to travel with him. In the past few months, he has played in Mexico, Australia, Italy, Belgium, France and Great Britain -- where he made the semifinal round of the Wimbledon junior competition.
Everywhere he goes, there is much ado. It's as normal for him to see his name in the Times of London as in The New York Times.
It always has been normal, in his experience, for tennis players to be black. After all, he was raised by black tennis players.
His mother, Illona, played tennis at Iowa Wesleyan, and his father, Donald, played at Alabama State. They met while playing mixed doubles.
Donald grew up on the courts while his parents taught at Tennis in Motion in Chicago. They now teach at the South Fulton Tennis Center in Atlanta and take turns accompanying their son to tournaments.
So Young's position on the importance of being a black player of such high profile is: "Most of the time, I don't really think about it."
It's a big jump
Young's goal here, assuming the swelling in his left (racket) hand and wrist has subsided, will be to win a match. He has accepted wild cards into five previous professional tournaments and was eliminated in the first round each time.
That, of course, has been cited as evidence that he went pro too soon.
His manager and his father disagree.
"He has always played up," Swain said. "At 10, he played 12-and-under, at 12 he played 14s, at 14 he played 18s. That's what has helped him to accelerate at such a great pace.
"This next jump (to the pros) is the most difficult jump."
Young was playing up in January when he won the Australian Open junior title at 15, becoming the youngest boy to win a Grand Slam junior.
Young's father added: "The beauty of it is he has the opportunity to get as many matches as he needs in juniors, as well as testing his wings with the pros.
"If he played week in and week out on the pro tour and kept losing, that could hurt his confidence. But he can still play juniors while he gets his strength. He has the best of both worlds."
The 5-9, 145-pound Young, who has good hands and sound strategy, doesn't have the strength of male pros.
His mother said it's easy for those closest to Donald to remember that he's still a boy.
"Sometimes we have to remind others when they start comparing him to grown men," she said.
Young isn't second-guessing his move to the pros.
"I haven't really broken in yet," he said. "I don't feel I should be beating (Andy) Roddick or (Roger) Federer or any of the guys in the top 50."
He agrees playing top competition is the way to get better.
"There are advantages, and there are no disadvantages," he said.
Yes, he gave up his NCAA eligibility, "But that doesn't mean I can't go to college," he said. "It just means I can't play tennis for a college."
Been here before
Young said he accepted the wild card into the RCA Championships because it was a tournament he always watched, and he likes Indianapolis. He has played here in the annual Midwestern Tennis Association Championships, a competition sanctioned by the American Tennis Association, the oldest black sports organization in the country.
The American Tennis Association has been around since 1916 and helped launch the careers of stars Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe.
The USTA's Rodney Harmon, who used to direct the league's multicultural department, says Young has gone beyond being noted as the next black tennis star. Now, as director of men's tennis for the USTA's High Performance program, designed to develop the next wave of U.S. talent, Harmon has a different perspective.
"I think he's one of the next great American players," he said.
"Blacks have been around in tennis for many, many years. We've done a pretty good job of promoting the sport at the grass-roots level. The biggest problem is making the move from recreational tennis to professional tennis. That's where we lose some talent because of the cost."
The USTA has made diversity a top priority the past several years.
A recent poll of 25,000 households conducted by the USTA and the Tennis Industries Association indicated that one of three new tennis players are either black or Hispanic.
"Donald Young is among the young Americans I want to see playing on the final weekend of the U.S. Open," said Harmon, who is not concerned about Young's move to the pro ranks. "In Europe, there's no difference between amateurs and pros."
Harmon is concerned only with Young's development.
"He's our most talented young player," Harmon said.
Asked how long it will be before he can compete on the pro level, Young said: "I just want to see what I can do. . . . Maybe two years; maybe three years."
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