"...I picked the right spot on a breakpoint and hit a good shot", Donald Young had said on his win over Ivo Karlovic a week ago at the Atlanta Open's 2nd round. It was a match that dragged on from the day before due to a rain suspension.
Young was trailing a set, pushed the 2nd set to a tiebreak and won along with the deciding set. But home is usually where the heart is, yet that wasn't the case much with this Chicago-born player. "It's nice to win in Atlanta at home.
Home had been a troubled spot for me, but it was great to get a wildcard here, and I am ready to go", Young explained. It seems that Young has developed a good habit of becoming a victory over a 24-hour rain suspension.
This time he was scheduled to play opposite Stan Wawrinka. They had come out nearly 1 am in the morning but the rain sloshed down and the match was cancelled until the next day. They played around seven in the evening and Young was making aggressive plays with good shot selections.
Stan Wawrinka was coming off of ailments from knee surgery and a second-round loss his last time playing was back at Wimbledon to Thomas Fabbiano. He had thought things were going good when he won the opener from Grigor Dimitrov, but his game soon fell apart.
Young had experienced his loss of the opener at the Hall of Fame Tennis where Vasek Pospisil dissolved his game at Rhode Island. The French Open he'd lose in the qualifying round so playing Wawrinka and winning was the main objective.
The start of a suspended match was a positive for Young as he won the first set 6-4 on playing gritty tennis, going for his shots, cross courting and just putting shots away wherever an open court could be found. Wawrinka had a hit and miss set, showing some of his terrific legendary backhands, but not enough to win the opening set.
The second set Young led by 5-4 but couldn't close it out and Wawrinka dragged it to a tiebreak, coming close to winning the match. It was a nail-biter as both opponents grew more determined to win. Young was anxious, sometimes too much making him create unforced errors.
Wawrinka was unnerved but levelled off the sets. He acknowledged saying "I was missing a lot. Not feeling the way I wanted. I'm looking for confidence, for sure". But Donald Young was the one who consistently dug deep when needed, stayed focused and made his shots work for him to win the match 6-4.
6-7, 7-6. Young admits his weakness by saying "I fought a lot of nerves there, but I'm happy the end result was a 'W'. Closing matches is...like a skill you get from winning and I haven't done that..." Young is starting to churn out the wins and he knows that with it will come to the respect he'll get from opponents and self-confidence he'll surely get from himself.