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An Interview With: Donald Young (Round 2)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Q. It's been four years since you made it this far in this tournament. What's changed for you over this period and how does this feel different than last time you got this far?

DONALD YOUNG: Well, the first one, I think I was 18 or something. Actually got a walkover by Gasquet in this round. It was like winning my first Grand Slam match. It was totally different. I was really new to it.

The second time, I think it was in 2011, and that was great. That was my first five-set win, against Stan. It was awesome, like, doing it here on Court 17, coming back from two sets to one. It was great.

This one is totally different. I mean, I'm a little older. I've had a lot of ups and downs. I've put in some work. To come back from two sets to love down in the first match and to come back from a set down and 2-0 in this one, it totally feels different and I'm really excited about it.

Q. How are you handling the heat and everything? A lot of male players retiring today. How do you feel physically?

DONALD YOUNG: I feel pretty good. Just had an ice bath. Feel a lot better after that. But I'm from Atlanta, so it gets quite hot. It's actually hotter than this.

You know, I mean, we try not to practice during the heat. But those are the prime hours. So I get out there and it's pretty hot.

This is tough because it's three-out-of-five. I'm kind of used to it so I'm enjoying it actually.

Q. You didn't play just one match today; you played two. How hectic is it planning your day out?

DONALD YOUNG: It was crazy. I mean, today with the scheduling, the first female match went three hours. I didn't go on till about 2:00, 3:00. I finished around maybe 5:50. Had a mixed doubles match at 7:30. It was fun. I played with Taylor. We got a win. It wasn't that long. I was happy to get off the court pretty quick.

Q. 90 minutes between those two. You might be hitting an ice bath like you did after this. What did you do in those 90 minutes?

DONALD YOUNG: I actually ate, pretty much chilled with the team, just got ready maybe 15 minutes before. I was already pretty warm. It didn't take much. It was warm outside, so that helps out as well.

Q. How great was it to have the crowd support by your family, having Taylor like a little sister to you, and later on playing with her in the mixed doubles match?

DONALD YOUNG: All those things are all great. When you can look over and see support from familiar faces and people that care about you no matter what, it always gives you that extra motivation.

To see Taylor there, it's awesome. She doesn't have to be there, so for her to come and support, it's great. To get out there and play with her, I always enjoy playing with her. Last year we made the semis. Our goal was hopefully to come back and do a little better.

Yeah, it's just great to get out there and play with her and win some matches, for sure.

Q. In your gut, do you think you deserve to be named to the team for the Davis Cup?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, for sure. Jim, he kind of made it pretty simple. He said we're just going to go straight down the ranking list. At the time I was 5, and I'm still 5. John unfortunately won't be able to play, so it goes to the next guy. I'm the guy that's got to step up and be there for the call, be there to support the team in whatever way it is, whether that's playing or whatever that might be.

I'm looking forward to it. And to answer your question, I definitely feel like I should be there. I've worked hard so I enjoy it.

Q. Can you take a moment and talk about what it was like to be ball boy for McEnroe.

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, it was great. I'm just happy he didn't scream at me.

It was definitely awesome. My friend and I were ball boying. He was more outgoing than me. John was hitting some serves. He went over and asked to hit.

I enjoyed it. I think a lot of players started off as ball boys or ball girls, whatever the situation may be. It was awesome for me.

Q. You get this question all the time, especially when you come here. How do you feel about the American game? You were obviously in early on. Always a
significant amount of pressure. It seems like there is some sort of momentum with some of the teenagers now. How do you feel about the state of the game?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I feel like it's in good hands. On the women's side they're doing quite well. Obviously you still have Serena and Venus. You have Sloane and you have CoCo, you have Lauren Davis, Christina. You have all these girls playing well.

On the guys' side you have John who is top 20. You have Jack who is playing really well. You have Sam and you have Stevie and myself. You have Smyczek. You have a lot of guys trying really hard to get there. Yeah, I think we're all trying hard. The game has become global.

Q. Is there a reason why the women have succeeded more than the men?

DONALD YOUNG: There are a lot that are around the same age. They train together and have pushed each other. One wants to be better than the other. I think that's what's starting to happen with the guys. You have Sam, Jack, Steve, myself, John. We're all within like a few years of each other going down. And then we have a really good group of young kids coming up. You have Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka. Tommy Paul won the French Open juniors, Opelka won Wimbledon, and Frances is playing well. You have Kozlov. A bunch of guys. I think in five years or even less, we're going to have a lot of guys playing well.

Q. Was there a time when you said that tennis wasn't working out?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, all the time. I think every tennis player, every time they lose, they want to quit or do something else, especially if it was a rough loss.

But I've had times where I seriously considered it. Most of it I was quite young when it happened. I was 16. I just got beat 0-0. But now things are going well. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to being a little more consistent.

Q. Transitioning from the juniors to the pros is really tough. We've had all these players really do so well in the junior Grand Slams. You did so well at Wimbledon juniors. What would be the one or two things you would tell the Tommy Pauls of the world on the transition?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I think I was part of like the last group to really, where the transition didn't happen as fast. Like the guys before were coming out at 17, 18 and winning and doing well on the pro tour. Now it's a lot more physical.

It's just keeping better, keep working hard, don't put too much pressure on having the results right away on the pro tour. They're doing well already, winning futures, playing well in challengers. I don't think it's going to be an issue for them. But just keep improving, going about their business the same way, keeping the same program, just staying there mentally, understanding it's a process, it's a marathon, it's not a sprint and enjoy themselves.

Q. So your next opponent, Viktor Troicki, has had a good year since coming back. What do you expect from that?

DONALD YOUNG: It's going to be a battle. It's going to be another fight and grind. He's a really good player. I think he's beaten me once before. It was a while ago.

But he's definitely a quality player and it's going to be a battle. Hopefully the fans come out and support me, and hopefully I can try to go out there and get a win.