Pagliaro: Young’s The Comeback Kid

(Photo: US Open)
Slapping his palm against his thigh as if trying to shake his legs into action. Donald Young barked at himself behind the baseline after dropping the first set.

“Hit it D! Step up! Move forward not back!” Young shouted at himself.

In the past, Young sometimes transformed singles matches into group scrums battling his opponent while beating himself up for his transgressions.

Today, the American exhorted himself into action for another comeback on Court 17.

Dictating play with his whipping forehand and fast feet, Young fought past Aljaz Bedene, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the US Open third round for the third time.

On the same court where Young rallied for a 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over 11th-seeded Gilles Simon—his first career victory from two sets down— he once again revved himself up from an early deficit.

“I was quite tired at the beginning and the beginning of the second set,” Young said. “I told myself, ‘You’ve come this far and it’s the US Open. You can’t give up. You gotta give it all.’ ”

Young, who also owns a US Open win over Stan Wawrinka on Court 17, took charge of baseline rallies in what has become his Flushing Meadows home court. After the match, Court 17 announcer and Tennis Now contributor Blair Henley asked Young what he’ll do if tournament officials schedule his third-round match on another court.

“I’m definitely gonna protest,” Young joked to Henley and the crowd. “I definitely love this court. Thanks for coming out and watch me play. I appreciate it. In the beginning, it was very hot and humid. I’m from Atlanta, I’m used to a lot hotter.”

Varying the angle and depth of his lefty forehand, Young broke for a 5-4 second-set lead when Bedene netted a forehand. He slid an ace for double set point and snatched the second set despite serving just 42 percent.

Footwork was a crucial in the heat as Young danced around the backhand and repeatedly cracked his forehand to stretch the 57th-ranked Briton. They exchanged breaks to start the third set.

The 26-year-old American zapped an inside-out forehand to score his second straight break for 3-2. Young backed up break at love—reeling off his eighth straight point for 4-2. He never looked back.

It wasn’t a flawless performance. Young, whose second serve can be shallow under stress, hit seven double faults after clanking 11 double faults in his opening-round upset of Simon. If Young can shore up the second serve, it will allow him to attack his first serve which is a solid shot.

Still, he moved with urgency, competed with vitality and smacked his twisting forehand with ambition.

The former junior world No. 1 will face 22nd-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki for a spot in the fourth round. Troicki has scored successive wins over American opponents, beating Frances Tiafoe in round one and defeating Rajeev Ram in round two. Troicki beat Young in their lone prior meeting, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, on the clay of Madrid in 2012.   – See more at:

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