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By Scoop Malinowski | Thursday, February 23, 2017

Donald Young

Donald Young reached the Memphis Open semifinals last week.

Photo credit: Memphis Open Facebook

Former ITF junior world No. 1 Donald Young turned pro amid great expectations.

Lately, the man friends call DY has been a giant killer.

Watch: Novak Djokovic Admonished By Wife Jelena

In a rematch of the 2015 Delray Beach final on Tuesday, Young squeezed out a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) victory over second-seeded Ivo Karlovic in his Delray Beach Open opener.

The left-handed Chicago native shook off 13 of 15 break points he faced today rallying past Taylor Fritz, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the Delray Beach quarterfinals where he will face Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis.

Young defused a giant dangerous server for the third time in the last week.

At last week’s Memphis Open, Young downsized 6-foot-11 Reilly Opelka, 7-6 (3), 6-3, before upsetting 6-foot-10 John Isner, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals.

That run bumped Young's ranking up to No. 69, which makes him the sixth highest-ranked American man behind Jack Sock, Isner, Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison.

Author Scoop Malinowski caught up with Young in Delray Beach for this Biofile interview.

Size: 6-feet, 175 pounds.

Born: July 23, 1989 in Chicago, IL

First Tennis Memory: Playing at our local club in Chicago. Just running around with my parents, just hitting balls around with a racquet that was too big and just hitting balls.

Tennis Inspirations: Pete Sampras. John McEnroe. I really liked Marcelo Rios. Andre Agassi. All the guys that were winning pretty much.

Last Book Read: I can't remember the name of it. I have it in my bag. Sports book, something about the conscious mind. It's a mental book my mental lady prescribed it for me.

Greatest Sports Moment: Probably getting to the fourth round at the US Open (2011 and 2015) was pretty big for me. I've never been that far at a Slam. And it's especially (nice) at the home slam.

Most Painful Moment: Was losing 6-0, 6-0 when I was sixteen to Carlos Berlocq. And then James Blake beating the guy 6-0, 6-0 the next day [smiles].

Strangest Match: There's a lot of those matches, I can't name one. Maybe one in juniors, I lost the first set 6-0, I won the second set 6-0 and I won 7-6 in the third. Kinda weird. (Versus who?) Carsten Ball. It was in the Orange Bowl 16s.

Favorite Tournaments: I really like the US Open, Australian Open. I like Winston-Salem, New Haven.

Funny Tennis Memory: I think in the finals of US Open junior doubles on match point the guy hit an overhead and finished and touched the net. So he kind of touched the net at the end. So it was kind of funny for my partner and I. (Against?) Thiemo De Bakker and Carsten Ball again. I was playing with Alex Clayton.

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: John McEnroe. I was about eight years old. At the Nuveen Championships in Chicago.

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: Basketball. I enjoy basketball quite a bit.

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods. And LeBron James.

Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: It's fun. I think it symbolizes life. If you don't put in the work you don't get the results. You have to work hard and you have to keep working at it. It's just a great sport to play.

Current Car: I drive a Corvette (black). Like it a lot. (The new model?) No it's not the new one. I want the new one but it's not the new one. '08.

People Qualities Most Admired: Honesty. And good work ethic.

A long-time journalist and nationally-ranked USTA player, author Scoop Malinowski interviewed dozens of John McEnroe's former rivals and friends for his fifth booth, Facing McEnroe. To order Facing McEnroe, which retails for $9.99 or for more information on the book, please visit this Facing McEnroe link.


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