Tennis Prose




Jan/21

6

Kozlov vs Young High Stakes Clash In Delray Beach

15-year-old Stefan Kozlov meets the press.

Stefan Kozlov and Donald Young have a unique rivalry and it resumes today in the final round of qualifying in Delray Beach, as each is desperate to win and make the main draw to try to collect much needed ATP points.

Kozlov and Young are both former highly touted young Americans but they are irrelevant players right now, both ranked outside the top 300.

Kozlov, 22, is at 374 while the 31 year old Young is ranked 327.

Their rivaly has a kind of symmetry in that they have played once each in the last five years except for 2018.

The first meeting was in 2016 in Newport grass and Young taught a lesson the teenager, 60 64.

In 2017 in the last round of Indian Wells qualies, a classic battle televised by Tennis Channel, Young won again barely by the skin of his teeth 75 76. The loss was crushing for Kozlov because he was ranked 104 at the time and on the verge of cracking the top 100 for the first time. After that loss to Young, Kozlov struggled mightily and his ranking fell so far he’s been stuck in Futures, Challengers and ITFs ever since.

The third meeting was in 2018 on clay at the Sarasota Open round of 16, and Kozlov finally turned the tables and won 64 64.

Then the fourth duel was last year at Dallas Challenger on indoor hard court and Young won 62 62.

Today’s fifth meeting is of paramount importance for both former Nike endorsed prospects. Yesterday Kozlov beat German Johannes Haerteis yesterday 5-0 retired retired while Young staved off Brazilian Pedro Sakamoto 36 64 62.

Today a Young loss sends him back to Challengers and Futures where he has not exactly shined in the last year or two. The same goes for Kozlov, who in the last twelve months has suffered a number of defeats in ITFs to unknown players ranked outside the top 400.

But a quality win today can change everything and instill some much needed confidence – to two struggling Americans at different stages of their ATP careers who both suddenly have been given a blessing wildcard opportunity to save their careers.

The All-American duel showdown will be played on Stadium court in Delray Beach before a probable sparse crowd although it will surely be one of the hardest fought, vitally important contests you will see on the ATP World Tour.

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3 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 6, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Another tough loss for Kozlov, up 62 42 and lost. 46 46. Up a break insecond and third sets. Again put himself in winning position but could not finish. Story of his career on atp main tour hard courts. To my knowledge he has not yet won an atp main tour match on hard court yet, just clay and grass. Has about six match wins in atp. Young will move on.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 7, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Korda handled Kwon 6464 to set up a battle with Tommy Paul who beat another Korean Nam. Harrison lost 46 in the third to Mager, this is a devastating loss for Harrison who will not be getting anymore wildcards this year, there are too many more worthy young Americans out there. Harrison is ranked 481, he is 28 years old. Monteiro beat Bellucci again 63 75. Querrey vs McDonald on court now, first meeting of the two Southern Californians.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 8, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    Noah Rubin falls to Quiroga, oppty to build ranking squandered.

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