Tennis Prose



Is Donald Young At The Finish Line?

Former American teen prodigy Donald Young may have reached the finish line of his fine professional tennis career.

The 34 year old former 2017 Roland Garros doubles finalist is currently ranked 1087. His most recent match was in late September at Charleston Challenger where he lost in the first round of qualies to Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 46 46. Young was ranked 727 at that time, Kwiatkowski was ranked 437.

Young was the no. 1 ranked junior in the world at age 16 and won the Australian Open boys title in 2005 and Wimbledon boys title in 2007. His ATP debut was in San Jose in 2005 at age 15, a loss to Robby Ginepri. Young played in two ATP finals but lost both times. He also lost in the French Open doubles final of 2017, to Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus (with Santiago Gonzalez).

2023 has been a struggle for Young. He played thirteen tournaments and won only four matches – all Challenger qualifying round matches. Young earned $9,545 in prize money this year but overall in his career he pocketed an impressive $4,694,661.

The highlight moments in Young’s singles career were a couple of fourth rounds at US Open but more was expected from the talented lefthander, who never employed a full time top notch pro coach outside of his parents, who have minimal pro tennis experience beyond watching their son’s matches.

Young lasted 19 years in pro tennis and made himself a millionaire. I know a few tennis players who would love to have been in Donald Young’s shoes for the last two decades. Best wishes to DY and the rest of his life.

Donald Young Biofile interview

· · · ·


  • Sam · November 28, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    In the photo, Scoop, looks like you’re helping him a bit to cross the finish line. 😂

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 28, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    That photo is from Davis Cup final in Portland where Young and Querrey both served as hitting partners for Fish, Roddick, Blake and Bryans vs Russia.

  • Dino G. · November 29, 2023 at 12:24 am

    Early in his career he was granted a lot of wild card entries to lots of big tournaments(slams, masters 1000). I think if he would’ve had an experience coach, the results would had been quite different. He was loaded with talent, that development needed a world class coach.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2023 at 8:02 am

    Dino, He earned about a half a million in prize money just from wildcards.Young never had a world class coach as a pro though he considered hiring Spadea who was interested to work with him but it didn’t happen. His parents did a great job developing him as a top junior – not sure if he had any outside coaching as a kid aside form his parents? – But they were not equipped to coach him as a pro to be a top 10 player which he may have had the potential to be with a top coach with elite ATP experience. The perception was the parents wanted all the credit for their son’s success, if a new coach like Gilbert or Cahill came in and elevated Young to big results, it would have made the parents look like average coaches. Still he had a very good career, just it seemed he didn’t reach his full potential.

  • Cory · November 29, 2023 at 10:56 am

    Looks like he signed onto a pickleball tour. I havne’t looked into it but a brief google searched shows this… can’t realistically do both pro tours. Wonder if he’s really done. He’s young enough for another run but can barely win Challenger Q rounds anymore as you showed. We’ll see!

  • Matt Segel · November 29, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    In my opinion DY had a great career. I think he was somewhat limited in the talent and natural endowment area, so a relatively slow underpowered person did great to compete in the top 100 for a decade. I think in America, the media has conditioned us to think every black athlete is superman, but DY was not that. It also didn’t seem like his personality to push like crazy. He was a grown man and could have hired a coach, but it’s his career and that’s how he wanted to run it. I appreciate that he was still trying. Love the grinders who keep going for so long. Well done DY!

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Matt, well said. He was not physically gifted, both of his parents are very round and heavy, he’s under 6 ft, average backhand. I remember Hewitt said after he beat him in DC years ago that he liked Young’s game but he needed a better serve and backhand which he never developed. Spadea saw something in DY and wanted to coach him but it didn’t work out. 20 years as a tennis pro is indeed excellent.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Cory, it seems the PB PTB are not welcoming Querrey, Sock and Young to the PB tour. They aren’t competing yet, Sock did one tournament and didn’t win singles or doubles but he won mixed with the no. 1 woman player Waters. Young is surely done, ranked 1000, there’s no way he can get back, he’s done nothing all year in Challengers and I doubt he will drop down to Futures, which wouldn’t be any easier. I chatted a little with him at Sarasota Open this year where he played qualies and I never saw him so friendly and social and smiling so much, he was really trying to enjoy his final months on the tour, seemed to be tutoring a low ranked journeyman with a memorable name but I’m forgetting it right now. He also told me about meeting Marcelo Rios last year at Lexington Challenger. I’ve always had good relations with DY, major respect for his career. He did very well for himself, he did it his way.



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top