What’s wrong with Young’s game?

If Stockholm Open, Sweden

[CR69] Donald Young (USA) has struggled his entire professional career.  I remembered watching him play when he first came on tour and listening to the commentators, many were expecting great things from him.  Unfortunately, his performance has continually underwhelmed. There were/are periods of brilliant play, but he is unable to maintain that elevated level of play on a regular basis, a level which is required if he wants to win a singles title.

I have been at a complete loss as to why he has struggled so much.  At first I thought it was because he was too immature and once he had gotten a bit seasoned, he would begin to realize his potential.  I have watched as his game has stagnated and even declined over the years due to his losing so many matches that he should have won.

Young has an excellent serve, a powerful forehand and is fairly quick around the court; yet, he lacks discipline and self-control. He still has not realized that he has to control his emotions because they are a distraction to his game.  He is too impatient and thinks that hitting the ball harder will fix the problem; yet, his results indicate that there is a need for another solution.  There is no fluidity to his game, he muscles the ball most of the time, and he is too defensive.  He has to learn how to control the point instead of being controlled by his opponent.  Control is not only about power, it is about court awareness and knowing your opponents strengths and weaknesses.  The goal is to understand how to use their weaknesses to your advantage while neutralizing their strengths. Young gets so emotionally frazzled that he fails to think about his shot selections and instead he relies too much on brute force to solve his problems.  Most of the top players can handle pace, so that is not the answer.

[CR25] Leonardo Mayer (ARG) not only handled Young’s pace, but responded with his own, threatening Young on most of his service games and finally breaking him in both sets to win the match 6-4, 6-4.

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