(New York Times) – Gone are the days when Donald Young was considered the future of American tennis. In the 12 years since he turned professional, at 14, Young has lost more matches than he has won. He has battled nerves, critics and opponents. He has become an unabashed reader of self-help books — and pretty much anything else that might help him deal with adversity.
So when Young trailed 11th-seeded Gilles Simon by two sets on Tuesday afternoon at the United States Open, and subsequently dropped the first three games of the third set, Young said he still felt less pressure than he ever had as a teenage prodigy.
He rushed the net. He roped winners from the baseline. And he won a match that he said he surely would have lost back when he was trying to survive a gantlet of public scrutiny and unfulfilled expectations.
“One hundred percent I would have beat myself up,” he said.
Instead, Young’s first-round match was a master class in mental fortitude as he defeated Simon, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, before an appreciative crowd on Court 17.