The 29-year-old Donald Young has secured the wild card for the first Masters 1000 event of the season at Indian Wells after good results in the Oracle Challenger Series. On Thursday, Lloyd Harris defeated Donald 6-4, 6-2 in the third round of the strong Indian Wells Challenger but the American has earned enough points in the series to secure the invitation for one of the most important tennis events in the calendar.
2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series contains four Challengers in Chicago, Houston, Newport Beach and Indian Wells and two lower-ranked American players with the best results will earn the place at Indian Wells Masters 1000 event.
Taylor Fritz and Bradley Klahn lead the standings before this week but since they have both secured the direct entry it is Donald Young who grabbed the first invitation, a much-needed one after being ranked 214th. Young lost to Reilly Opelka in the quarter-final in the native Chicago back in September, missing Houston and returning even stronger in January with the semi-final result in Newport Beach, losing to Brayden Schnur in the deciding set tie break after a great battle.
In the lost stop of the series, Young prevailed against Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Henri Laaksonen, having nothing more left in the tank for Harris clash but doing enough to achieve the higher goal and enter the main draw at Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament.
A top-40 player from seven years ago and a two-time ATP finalist has been ranked outside the top-100 for almost a year now, barely scoring any ATP win in 2018 and almost dropping out from the top-300 in December. Eager to make a comeback, Donald will seek some big wins at Indian Wells, making a debut there 14 years ago at the age of 15, still ranked outside the first 800.
In 2008, he won two matches in the desert to set the third round clash with Rafael Nadal, repeating that in 2015 and advancing into the last 16 two years ago.