GROWING UP YOUNG
Sep 5, 2011, 5:47:49 PM | by
American tennis has been waiting and waiting and waiting for Donald Young to make a break through. He was the world’s best junior and so much was showered upon him. The endorsements, the wild cards, this that and the...
American tennis has been waiting and waiting and waiting for Donald Young to make a break through. He was the world’s best junior and so much was showered upon him. The endorsements, the wild cards, this that and the other but he has pretty much done diddly squat. There have been a few results here and there, like an upset over Andy Murray in Indian Wells but really he has not lived up to his potential and the hype that surrounded him. He asked for much and produced not much. Don’t you think? I’m not saying he didn’t have the talent but he was given too much too freely and as a result there was a question about how much he really worked for it. The lefthander admits it seemed all too easy. We have seen that sort of thing happen time and again. So many established tennis nations have slipped on a world scale and they feel by giving their young players everything it will help to develop them. By contrast players from Eastern Europe have had to work hard and fed their hunger and the same can be for France or Spain - they made their players work and as a result the results have shown through. In May, Young was up in arms about being made to play the USTA wild card play-off for the French Open, whereas Ryan Harrison made it a point of playing. Young wanted it given to him on a plate and he was vitriolic, really scathing, about the USTA. Harrison was happy to work for it. That’s the point Andy Roddick makes about what impresses him with the likes of Harrison and Jack Sock. Don’t you think that Young needed to produce the goods before he had the right to make demands? Maybe his results at the US Open have seen him turn the corner. I think he regrets what has happened in the past and at 22 years of age there is some maturity coming into play. He commented that “everybody’s light comes on at a different time”, maybe the switch has finally been flicked on for him. “This is my job at the end of the day,” he said. “Most people don’t just quit a job unless they have something else to do. I could obviously go to school, which would be great, not to knock that, but this is something I chose to do.” The US Davis Cup captain Jim Courier suggested that there is a way to go with Young but the signs are there while the man Courier succeeded Patrick McEnroe said Young had become “a man” after his five set win over Stan Wawrinka. Young has become contrite and has probably grown up a bit. “It’s back to normal with the USTA,” Young said. “Obviously what happened happened, but I appreciate their help. I know they have resources that can help my career. “You don’t just quit work if you’re a smart person and sit around if you want to eat and have a lifestyle you enjoy, but like I say, I love tennis. It wasn’t that I didn’t love tennis, I just hated losing. That was pretty much the issue for me. You have your highs and lows in tennis. I’ve definitely had the lows. Hopefully I’ll have a lot more highs.” He says he has learned not to take things for granted and not to give up on something you really want to do. He says he wants to play tennis; then let’s see that happen. He should be making the most of it now, don’t you think?