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Pacific Life Open: Donald Young, March 17, 2008
   

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PACIFIC LIFE OPEN


 

March 17, 2008


 

Donald Young


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 people there.
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 even.

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 that, but...
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 pressure, though.

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 far today?
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 points away.
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 what happened.

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 into it?
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 helps.

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.

Q. Swagger?
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 positive.

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 fans?
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


 

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