Tennis Prose



Donald Young Won’t Give Up

By Scoop Malinowski

Donald Young is 33 now and ranked 642 in the world. But his humble status in tennis has not discouraged the former Roland Garros doubles finalist to surrender.

Young managed somehow to get into Winston-Salem qualies as an alternate but was defeated by Emilio Nava 62 62. 2022 has been a season of many defeats for Young, who has never won an ATP title and once was ranked 38 in the world, way back in 2012.

Young has only earned $9,650 in prize money this year in which his match record is 8-13. All of Young’s matches have been in Challengers, Futures, qualies, not a single ATP main draw match this year.

His worst loss this year was in Lexington two weeks ago where he lost to 1116 ranked Kosuke Ogura 36 62 36. Last week in Chicago qualies 1R he lost to Aidan McHugh 36 67.

Young began 2022 ranked 435 but has fallen over 200 ranking spots. He’s not making any progress yet he’s still working, trying and grinding, with the hopes of one last hurrah.

The former world no. 1 ITF junior has earned $4.6m in his career and has a career match record of 124-190. Without the dozens of wildcards Young has been gifted in his career, who knows how his career would have played out. Also, had Young hired a coach outside of his parents, you also have to wonder if such a professional influence could have resulted in more success and more victories (Young’s parents have no professional tennis experience).

But Young continues to battle on, at age 33, healthy and motivated to feel the joy and thrill of winning tennis matches in the ATP. Even if it doesn’t happen, you have to admire the courage and perseverance of Donald Young.

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  • Cory · August 22, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    Ranked 600+, does he get direct entry into Challenger qualies, or would he still need a wildcard to get into the qualifying tourney? I would imagine the latter. He’s gonna have to grind out some ITF tourneys. He’s had terrible results this year, and you only get to keep your best, what, 18 results of a given year? Why not make 2-3 strong ITF runs (SF, F, QF) just to get some much needed points? Seems like he cherry-picks Challengers (qualifiers, WC, whichever), but if he’s not getting results, take it to the ITF to erase those meager results!

  • Cory · August 22, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Maybe the point difference between ITF and Challenger levels is vast. I assume there is a notable difference but am not privy. Very interested to know.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 22, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Cory, Sandgren dropped down to ITF last week. Young has plummeted to the point he needs to go there too but because of some kind of special privileges he’s been able to grub a lot of wildcards this year but he has not produced the results. We’ll see if he’ll go Futures, that will be the test, if he loses there, there’s nowhere else to go but USTA 35s and Opens.

  • George · August 22, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    “Without the dozens of wildcards Young has been gifted in his career”

    Same as Bernard Tomic. These guys used wildcards to keep in the pro game. Now that the wildcards are drying up, they will be finished. The futures players are not easy matches.

    They both have zero options at this point. Pretty soon they will be coaching at a local club to make a living.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 22, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    George, it’s shocking Young is still getting wildcards for challengers qualies, why don’t they give the to Sandgren or Ryan Harrison?

  • George · August 22, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    You know exactly why he is getting wildcards. Everyone else knows too.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2022 at 8:26 am

    George, yes it’s black privilege. And Sandgren and Harrison deserve it more. Higher ranked and younger.

  • George · August 24, 2022 at 7:02 am



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