From my column in FoxSports.com:
John McEnroe ruined Donald Young. Young’s parents ruined Donald Young. His own bad, lazy attitude ruined him. His agent, IMG? Ruined him. The media: Ruined him. The U.S. Tennis Association?
Ruined Donald Young.
Young has been a study in all the different ways to screw up an American tennis phenom. He was supposed to be tennis’ Tiger Woods. By 2007, The New York Times dubbed him a failure with a story in its Sunday magazine entitled: “Prodigy’s End.”
But the last, last, last straw didn’t come until this spring, when things dropped so far that Young wrote on his Twitter account: “F— USTA” and they’re “full of s—.” Only he didn’t use dashes.
So it’s a little hard to figure out how Young, now 22, is the story of this year’s US Open, after Serena Williams that is. He has beaten two seeded players to reach the fourth round, the final 16. He beat Stan Wawrinka in a classic fifth-set tiebreaker, tennis’ ultimate test of mind, body and guts. Tuesday, he’s scheduled to play No. 4 Andy Murray for a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Everybody’s light comes on at their own time,” Young said. “Hopefully, mine is coming on now.”
These phenom stories are all mapped out. Either a sudden emergence, or a straight arrow to the top. Anything less is how a 17-year old winds up being labeled a failure.
There has always been too much reality in Donald Young’s fairy tale. Is it possible to take all the wrong steps to the mountaintop?
Please read the rest of this column on FoxSports.com