August 26, 2008

Donald Young: Future of American Tennis?

Tonight, Donald Young and James Blake played 5 sets of tennis in the 1st round of the US Open, while most of you were sleeping off your Olympic hangover. Eventually, the better player prevailed with the #9 seed Blake winning after the match was 4-4 in the 5th set, but Blake may not be regarded as the better player for long. It's no small irony that the emergence of Donald Young may come at the expense of James Blake, if only in fatigue for the moment. Credit Blake with surviving the challenge in the 5th and keeping his composure.

Donald Young could be the next great American tennis player.

While still showing his youth and immaturity at times, Young displayed a level of talent rarely seen from such a youthful player. With a dominant forehand, strong lefty serve, and crisp volleys, Donald Young was able to dominate Blake at times, the same James Blake who beat Federer in the Olympics. Young's speed around the court was eye-opening at times. He also demonstrated mental strength and maturity, recovering from 6-1 blowouts in the 1st and 3rd sets to level the match. How about Young having the composure to hit a winner on a break point with a broken string during the 5th set? Blake was by no means perfect, but Young was certainly applying some serious pressure.

Vision of the future, but with bigger trophies?

For the American tennis fans frustrated with the inability of Blake or Roddick to break into the top 5 recently, the same fans who watch Mardy Fish look awesome and then terrible, this could be the beginning of a brave new era. Young is still only 19, but won 3 of the 4 junior majors. He took a set off Novak Djokovic two years ago, and now he has taken Blake to 5 sets in the US Open! Young has been the #1 junior player in the world and was the youngest junior champion in a major ever, and could build on these experiences to bigger and better things. Only #102 in the world, Young certainly has a long way to go and should not be crowned as the next great hope quite yet, but things are looking up. James Blake played well tonight, and Donald Young gave him everything he wanted and more.

4 Responses:

Brien said...

I can't believe you made it through that whole post without mentioning Tiger Woods.

Russell said...

I thought about it, but restrained myself.

J-Red said...

Why would Tiger Woods come up in a tennis post? Did Donald Young have a torn ACL?

michael said...

Not yet...but I think you may have just jinxed him.

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