Monday, September 5, 2011

Young begins to fulfill promise

   Perseverance and patience are paying off for Donald Young.
   Once touted as the future of American men's tennis, Young has struggled since turning professional at 14 years old. Heading into this year's U.S. Open, he had lost in the first round of singles in 11 of his 13 Grand Slam tournaments. Never had he advanced past the third round.
   Furthermore, Young blasted the USTA in an obscenity-laced Twitter message in April for declining to give him a wild card into the French Open.
   Young's troubles seemed distant memories Sunday, though, as the 22-year-old left-hander knocked off his second consecutive seed to reach the fourth round in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   The Atlanta resident, born in Chicago, followed his five-set victory over No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 decision over No. 24 Juan Ignacio Chela, a U.S. Open quarterfinalist in 2007.
   "You have your highs and lows in tennis," the 84th-ranked Young told reporters. "I've definitely had the lows. Hopefully I'll have a lot more highs."
   Northern California has figured prominently in Young's career. He made his ATP World Tour debut in San Jose at 15 in 2005 and won Challenger singles titles in Aptos in 2007 and Sacramento in 2008.
   Young, who will eclipse his career high of No. 73 after the U.S. Open, will face fourth-seeded Andy Murray, the 2008 U.S. Open runner-up, of Great Britain on Tuesday for a berth in the quarterfinals.
   Young beat Murray, who won Aptos in 2005 and San Jose in 2006 and 2007, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the first round at Indian Wells in March in their only career meeting.
   Meanwhile, Mark Knowles of the Bahamas did not have a very happy 40th birthday Sunday. Not only did the longtime Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis lose in his only U.S. Open events, men's doubles and mixed doubles, he and his partners lost in straight sets to unseeded teams.
   Knowles and Belgium's Xavier Malisse, the 15th seeds in men's doubles, fell to Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 7-5, 6-4 in the third round. Then Knowles and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia lost to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic and Philipp Petzschner of Germany 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of mixed doubles.
   Knowles won the 2004 U.S. Open men's doubles title with Daniel Nestor.
   In junior boys singles, 16-year-old Connor Farren of Hillsborough defeated Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador 6-4, 6-4 in the first round.
   Labor Day Grand Prix -- Rob Lessler edged Robert Crawford 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 tiebreaker for the title in 4.5 singles, the highest men's division, in the 58th annual Labor Day Grand Prix at McKinley Park in Sacramento.
   Marisol Prieto-Valle routed Eva Wilson 6-0, 6-0 in the final of 4.0 singles, the top women's category.
   Paul Gregory, playing in the tournament for the 31st consecutive year, won the men's 4.0 singles crown.
  
    

   
  

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