TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 29th of May 2014. D. Young d. F. Lopez 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. An interview with Donald Young
Q. It seems a little bit out of nowhere, you haven’t played too much on clay, haven’t had much success here. Now you’re in the third round, played a quality player straight sets. Talk a little bit about what’s going on.
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, it feels good. I have been playing well all year, but I didn’t play much on clay, so it wasn’t like I had a chance to maybe lose a little confidence on clay or know what’s playing well and what’s not playing well. I mean, I played last week and lost in the quallies. The guy played really well, kind of slapped me off the court.
I didn’t take it too negative because it was my first tournament on clay, I won a couple of matches, that was the goal.
To beat a quality player like Feliciano is awesome as well. And definitely to be in the third round is something I’ve never done. I have actually never won a match outside of the U.S. on red clay. So to win two here at the French Open, it means a lot.
Q. How much do you actually play on clay? I mean, in the U.S. there is a push to build more clay courts and to practice more on it. But how much are you actually exposed to it regularly?
DONALD YOUNG: Green clay, it’s what we have. It’s definitely not the same. It’s not close.
I played three challengers on green clay in the States, but I don’t get to play on it often. I kind of try to stay away from it, to be honest.
When I get on it, it’s all right. It just takes a little time to get used to it. The green is definitely different from the red, and I prefer the red to the green.
And we don’t have that at home except for Houston. It’s not exactly the same as this.
Q. I kind of wanted to ask you about your years in Chicago. Looked up a quote from Obama that said, Let me tell you something, I’m from Chicago, I don’t break. Just talk about your years there, tennis in Chicago. Does that help you in some way? Or just talk about it.
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I mean, that’s where the foundation was laid for my tennis was in Chicago. I was there from birth to 14. So, I mean, most of my tennis and strokes and learning was there.
Being from there, it’s awesome being from there. The weather, I don’t miss. The people, I do.
But, yeah, Chicago is a great city. Yeah. That’s just where my start was. So I will definitely have a lot of fond memories from there.
Q. Taylor Townsend had a big breakout here. Talk about when you first met her, and that’s probably earlier than anyone else at this tournament.
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I have known her since she was born, since she was just in the cradle and all that. I would be over there. Her mom would couple times I was sick. I had to go over there after like school, and my dad was working. I’d go over there.
Definitely I have known her forever. I seen her grow up and it’s great to see her playing well and winning matches. And to be at this level, it’s awesome. I’m really excited for her.
Q. What’s the connection? How did the families know each other?
DONALD YOUNG: Well, my parents and her parents have been friends since before I was born, and they were born obviously my parents started her playing tennis. They were like the first coaches and kind of worked like that, and they were always around.
It’s almost like it’s more of, her and her sisters, are mother like brother/sister type thing, yeah, than friends because I have known them forever.
Q. Do you have any thoughts why it hasn’t happened? Do you think like you were, you know, too much hype around you or things like that? Any thoughts on that?
DONALD YOUNG: Hindsight is 20/20. The hype came because at the time I was doing things no one else had done. It’s the first for everything. You don’t know how to deal with, the first for everyone around.
Looking at it again, you might do some things different, but, you know, I can’t do it now. If I had it over to do again, I probably would do a few things different.
Q. About the match today, what do you think was really working for you? He seemed pretty frustrated. What were your keys today?
DONALD YOUNG: I think I served pretty well. I kept him off balance quite a bit and was able to get it high to his backhand. He has a one hand, so it’s a little tougher above the shoulders. Moved him well, and I took my opportunities and was quite aggressive until that one game at 5 4 in the second. I got a little nervous.
Q. You said if you had it to do over again you might do a few things differently. Could you tell us what those things are?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah. You know, at one time I was a lot better than a lot of my peers and you can rest on your laurels a little bit. I maybe didn’t work as hard as I could have and gotten better and trained harder.
Definitely seeing the way the outcome was, I would have taken a few fewer wildcards to tour events, ATP Tour, taken a couple, like the ones I won, like Kalamazoo to get into the Open, I would have taken those for sure. Everyone who wins that tournament gets the opportunity to do that.
Definitely, and, work harder, maybe go somewhere just to, kind of like a college environment, not college but somewhere they train year round, a bunch of people trying to do the same thing as well on a more regular basis.
Apart from that, I wouldn’t change anything.
Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo
World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo.
Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina.
Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown.
Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead.
Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2.
Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4.
Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.
“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit.
Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo
Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117 Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5.
Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2.
Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets.
Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco.
Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point.
Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance.
“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi.
Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open.
The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai.
Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006.
“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit.
Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia
ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital.
The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October).
“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi.
During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.
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