Fayez Sarofim & Co US Men’s Clay Court Championship, Texas
[CR33] Steve Johnson (USA) vs. [CR85] Donald Young (USA)
It has been a rough start to the season for Johnson who ended the 2015 season on a high. He had never lost a match on the ATP Tour to Young; however, his confidence is low and Young seized the opportunity to win 6-4, 6-3 and avenged last year’s loss to Johnson. Young was the number one ranked junior player when he was sixteen and much was expected of him. He turned pro in 2004 and it’s now twelve years later and we are still wondering, will Young live up to his potential? He has made it to two singles and one doubles final; however, he still has yet to claim his first title.
Why has Young not progressed up the ranking much faster given his obvious talent? He was once ranked as high as number thirty-eight back in 2012. Four years later he’s struggling to get back to the top fifty. When you watch him play a match the way he did today, you see his talent. Why can’t he play at this level consistently? Young has struggled because of his lack of mental consistency. He has worked hard to improve his physical fitness; however, he needs to work on improving his mental fitness.
What would Young consider his ultimate success in tennis? I do not think any player pursues a career without goals. Young would like to win some titles, a Major or two, and break into the top ten. Can he still accomplish those goals? He has two of three ingredients necessary for success; however, can he get mentally strong enough to win on the days when he is not playing well? Can he get mentally fit enough to grind out the victories when his opponent is being resistant to defeat?