PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 17, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How you feeling?
DONALD YOUNG: Pretty good.
Q. What do you make of the match just now?
DONALD YOUNG: It's okay. Played the No. 2 player in the
world, so I'm like 86. But overall, you know, it was the
first -- obviously I was really nervous, you know, first
time playing No. 2 in the world on Stadium Court, a lot of
Not the first time I played in front of a lot of people, but
it's first time I played No. 2 in the world. Second set I
felt like I played a little better, I felt I had a couple
chances, got a little overanxious and missed a shot. But
overall I felt it was pretty decent.
Q. Did the nerves go away in the second set?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, losing 6-1. I think they go away.
Q. When you look at the bracket and you see Nadal a
couple wins away, do you say, Hey, I want to get there?
DONALD YOUNG: I was just looking at the first round, and
then looking at the second round. Then after I won the
second -- obviously you see that. You look at the draw, but
you can't really focus there right now. You have to work on
winning matches and getting better.
Q. Been a good week for you in that respect. Good to get
in a couple wins?
DONALD YOUNG: Good week, two wins. Last tournament I played
I got two wins, so keep going like this so I keep my record
Q. You had a hard time holding your serve first set, and
then pretty easy first two games in the second set. What
adjustment did you make?
DONALD YOUNG: Just get the serve in and not try -- he's not
a player who's going to attack your second or serve like
Yeah, just put it in play, start the point, don't just give
free few points or a lot of second serves.
Q. You had him up Love-30 at 2-4 and kind of overhit on
two shots. Did you feel the pressure to break back or what
was going through you your mind?
DONALD YOUNG: I don't know if I was feeling the pressure,
probably just wanted to win the game so bad that I didn't --
didn't hit the ball. I just wanted to put it in play.
But I guess you can call it -- I wouldn't really call it the
Q. Last year and lately, momentum has kind of been going,
you've been gaining momentum. What are you better at right
now that you weren't a couple years ago?
DONALD YOUNG: I just think I'm a better player who's
physically stronger, mentally a little tougher than I was
before. I'm just not being -- just adds as overpowered as I
was when I first started. I can stay in there on some of the
rallies with some of the guys. I've won some matches so I'm
starting to feel confident, and confidence is a big part of
winning and losing.
Q. That first win last August, how big a deal was that?
DONALD YOUNG: That was everything for me that summer and
that year. That just made my year great. My best year so
far, it was, on the tour, and playing pro tennis, period. So
I was excited.
Q. Did that feel like the biggest match of your career so
DONALD YOUNG: No, not really. I thought the US Open third
round against Lopez was maybe, or close to the biggest match
of my career. Or Davydenko at New Haven. If I would have won
that one I would have beat someone 4 in the world, two
I think I've had a couple kind of close, but this definitely
ranks up there with the top.
Q. Just sort of managing your emotions, how is it
different to go out and play a guy like Nadal and you feel
nervous and you have nothing to lose versus maybe playing
the finals of the Australian Open juniors when you're
supposed to win?
DONALD YOUNG: First of all, when I'm playing juniors usually
better most of them. So I go out here and play the No. 2
player in the world and you're not better, you're not
supposed to win, but you want to put on a good show. You
don't want to go out there and just get beat 0-0, kind of
like I've already have happen.
I was really happy to get the game the first set, but it
wasn't about getting games. I wanted to actually win the
match and play well, but it didn't go that way, and that's
Q. But at some point you're thinking, I can't win this
match. I just need to win a game and then I'm going to get
DONALD YOUNG: Well, after the first set I didn't think the
match was over. Once I started playing the second and had
opportunities, I felt if I would have played well enough and
kept playing my level I could have possibly won the set and
just see wherever it would take me.
Q. What do you learn from playing an opponent like that?
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, you see what the top is. He's won
Slams, Masters Series. You just get to see what it feels
like to be on the court with someone at that high level,
that caliber of player, that has consistently been winning
matches for a while.
Q. Did you find the difference between somebody like that
and somebody who's at a lower level?
DONALD YOUNG: They don't give you free points, they don't
show too much emotion. Or, you know, it's just the aura you
feel when you go out there with the guys. It's different
from somebody 80 or 70 in the world.
They have a presence on the court that's a lot different
from, you know, a challenger player or junior player. And
then you see them on TV all the time, so that definitely
Q. Is it a kind of arrogance or...
DONALD YOUNG: Everybody has to have some sort of confidence.
I wouldn't say it's arrogance, but obviously he's very
confident in himself. He's won a lot of matches and there's
no reason he shouldn't be.
I would say he definitely has a lot of confidence.
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah.
Q. You were pleased to break into the top 100 last year.
What would make you pleased this year? What are your goals?
DONALD YOUNG: Top 50 is the goal this year. I want to finish
the year in top 50. Last year it wasn't even top 100, it was
top 200, and I happened to finish how I wanted. I'll aim for
50 this year, and hopefully that will happen.
Q. You and John and Sam Querrey are part of an exciting
new generation. Who do you think has more of an upside
potential between your friends, Sam and John?
DONALD YOUNG: I don't know. I don't want to really say that.
(laughter.) I mean, I really wouldn't know. They both have
humongous serves, big forehands, both can play.
They've both won matches and shown they can beat players. I
think they both have, obviously, a very bright future.
They're older than me, so definitely -- I'm not going to put
a cap or a limit on what I think they can do.
Q. The crowd definitely seems supportive out there. Do
you feel that when you're out there, and is that kind of the
case wherever you go?
DONALD YOUNG: Well, definitely I would hope so in the United
States, America, I would get a little support. But, I mean,
obviously he's defending champion and a crowd favorite, fan
favorite. Everybody loves him. So for them to cheer for me
playing against him, I definitely felt it. Definitely.
Q. People have kind of known who you are for a while now
and there's been expectations. Do you sense the people are
rooting for you, kind of?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah. I mean, obviously you're going to have
people rooting for you, rooting against you. I think most of
the people are rooting for me. They've known me over a
while, but just starting with some matches, so there's been
a lot of negative things. Starting to become little more
Q. One of the great tennis centers in America is an hour
or so from Atlanta, the University of Georgia Tennis Center.
Do you ever go out there to play with Diaz and those guys?
DONALD YOUNG: No, I went out there last year to watch the
NCAAs. I've never been out there to practice. Hour and a
half, almost two-hour drive. I haven't really found the
time. Gas is -- no.
Q. How do those fans out there compare to the US Open
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, there -- it's probably hard to play
probably with all those barking fans at you from another
school. So, I mean, I'm happy that's not against me and I
can just watch and be part of it.
End of FastScripts