With a career some people believe could have been better by now, the question being asked is where Donald Young, ranked 68th in the world, goes after his encouraging fourth-round appearance at the U.S. Open that ended in defeat.
Young, who is 26 and 10 years into his professional career, has only made it to the fourth round in a Grand Slam tournament twice, his first appearance coming in 2011. Earlier this year, in the other three major tournaments, he did not make it past the second round.
This comes as a surprise to some considering his success in the Junior Championships. Young won his first singles tournament at 14 in the Chanda Rubin American ITF Junior Classic held in Texas.
“Usually it’s somebody older winning those tournaments, like a 16, 17, or 18-year-old,” Atlanta sportscaster Sam Crenshaw said. “He’s 14, He’s not big enough to do that.”
Young’s success in Juniors Tennis did not end there. He went on to win enough tournaments that eventually skyrocketed him to being ranked the No. 1 junior tennis player in the world, according to Crenshaw.
With Young’s success in junior tennis, people have wondered why he has not been as successful in professional tennis. Crenshaw, who is a friend of the Young family, believes he knows why he is not.
“His parents signed for him to go pro and threw him out there,” Crenshaw said. “They keep putting him in big tournaments and he’s blown off the court. He’s being entered into pro tournaments he’s not physically prepared for.”
Young has shown some upside lately, making it to the fourth round of the U.S. Open before ultimately losing to No. 5-ranked Stan Wawrinka, someone he beat once before.
“He’s definitely a different player than I played in 2011,” Young said to U.S. Open.
Young still feels like he has room for improvement.
“If I can keep doing this and build upon it, I don’t know what can happen,” Young said in a U.S. Open press conference. “Hopefully it will be at least winning, and that’s what I want to do.”
Contributing Writer – Sports