Aug. 15, 2005
August 2005
Aug. 15, 2005
August 2005

Young Captures 18s National Championship with Three Set Win over Querrey

A beaming Donald Young stood on Stowe Stadium?s Court One, encircled by his video camera wielding mother Ilona and myriad members of the media after his 7-6 (4) 5-7, 6-2 win over Sam Querrey in the USTA Boys 18s National Championship Sunday in Kalamazoo.

The top-ranked junior in the world and the 2005 Australian Junior Open Champion, Young, 16, now heads to Flushing Meadow New York, where the cameras of the tennis world will focus on his next big match?in the main draw of the U.S. Open.

?I?m really happy to earn it,? said Young, originally from Chicago and now living in Fairburn Georgia. ?I hope to play someone I can get in a rally with.?

And Young demonstrated regularly just how advanced his rallying ability is. Using his exceptional defensive skills to neutralize Querrey?s advantage in size and power, he didn?t panic when down an early break in the first set.

With Querrey serving for the first set at 5-4, Young capitalized on the six-foot five-inch Californian?s errors, breaking him at love, and holding to put the pressure on Querrey. Querrey had an easy service game to reach the tiebreak, but Young once again demonstrated his uncanny ability to elevate his game, and when Querrey threw in two double faults, including one on set point, Young relaxed.

?After I won the first set I felt really confident, because I was really nervous, knowing he can hit big serves and big forehands,? Young said. ?But I returned well, and was lucky to get a lot of balls back.?

In the second set the tension began accumulating as both players held through 6-5. But with Young serving to get to another tiebreak, he made two backhand errors, and Querrey hit a service winner to suddenly find himself with three set points. When at 15-40, Young hit a forehand long, the large and appreciative crowd breathed a collective sigh and headed for blueberries and frozen yogurt to fortify themselves for the third, and unexpectedly final, set.

Although the rain threatening never appeared, the match format was shortened from best of five to best of three by official referee David Markin, and Young expressed appreciation.

?We?d still be playing now, if they hadn?t changed it,? he said with a grin.

The third set started with two holds, but in his second service game, Querrey hit two double faults, the second to give Young the game.

Although Querrey?s serve generated bigger numbers on the radar gun, Young?s was equally effective.

?It?s hard to attack,? explained Querrey. ?It stays low and slices out wide. He doesn?t kick the ball in, so it doesn?t bounce very high, and it slides away from you.?

As the third set progressed, Young continued to return every ground stroke and serve Querrey threw at him and Young?s ability to make the 17-year-old from Thousand Oaks California hit one more shot paid off when he broke a second time at 2-4. The slender lefthander then confidently served out the match, and indulged in a two-part celebration--lying flat on his back near the baseline, then jumping to his feet and shouting a couple of vociferous ?c?mons? before making his way to the net to shake Querrey's hand.

With his victory, Young becomes the second African-American to win the tournament. Scoville Jenkins, the 2004 champion, was the first.

Like Young, Querrey will also be off to New York in the next few days--for a challenger, an ATP event and the men?s qualifying at the U.S. Open in addition to the Junior Open, which takes place the second week.

Both players will be eligible to return to Kalamazoo next year, and in the postmatch ceremonies, vowed to do so, expressing a desire for a rematch.

But with their elevated places in the international junior tennis hierarchy, Young and Querrey may get an opportunity to establish a rivalry much sooner, at the U.S. Junior Open in New York.

Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)