Tennis Prose




Apr/21

19

Harrison vs. Young Rivalry Resumes In Tallahassee

Ryan Harrison and Donald Young will clash again tomorrow in a crucially important first round duel at the Tallahasee Challenger.

The two American former prospects and now veteran journeyman are both fighting for survival in pro tennis. Harrison, 28, is ranked 579 and Young, 32, is no. 346.

Harrison was very lucky to get into the main draw as a wildcard, instead of a slew of younger and more deserving Americans like Zane Khan, Stefan Kozlov, Noah Rubin, Ernesto Escobedo, etc. Young played the qualifying draw and lost, but fortunately fell into the main draw as a lucky loser.

Harrison and Young have played each other eight times as pros in singles, with Harrison winning six of the eight, after Young won their first clash in 2010 at Winnetka Challenger 63 62. Also, the two played against each other in the French Open doubles final in 2017, won by Harrison and Michael Venus.

Their last meeting was the most controversial and inflammatory. The match happened at New York Open in 2018 and Harrison prevailed 63 76. But that result scoreline is not what is most remembered about the match. Moments after the loss and net handshake, Young accused Harrison of making some racial comments on court about him, essentially alleging Harrison is a racist. But Young’s accusations ended up proving to be completely false, as on court witnesses around the chair umpire stand and the two players chairs denied hearing Harrison say anything racial to Young. Harrison denied the allegations and eventually the story disappeared. And Young did not suffer any punishment or consequences for fabricating the false fake allegations.

Now three years later, both Americans are desperate to revive their dead tennis careers and in a strange twist of fate and irony, they will have to put their embarrassing past aside and battle it out on center court in Tallahassee.

Harrison vs Young in Tally has to be one of the most intriguing, dramatic, and grudge matches in a very long time on the ATP World Tour, and the stakes for both could not be much higher.

With all the young talent rising so fast in pro tennis from all over the world, this may be the very last time Harrison and Young will have an opportunity to rejuvenate their careers and confidence in a Challenger tournament, before dropping down to Futures or World Team Tennis.

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