Donald Young Apologizes to USTA, McEnroe for Twitter Tirade

by Tom Gainey | April 26th, 2011, 10:07 am

Donald Young has been in the news this past Easter weekend for all the wrong reasons. On Friday, after losing in the final match of the USTA French Open wildcard playoff to Tim Smyzcek, Young ripped into the USTA via twitter.

“Fuck USTA!! Their full of shit! They have screwed me for the last time! #enoughsaid” Young tweeted.

He then backtracked, a little, in a follow-up tweet. “that tweet was out of character. ive never been like that before. but im tired of it. sry about the language, but not the thought behind it.”

Young proceeded to delete his twitter account but the damage had been done. The 21-year-old who’s had a nice season of results and a Top 100 ranking, felt slighted for not receiving an automatic French Open main draw wildcard (his ranking was not high enough to warrant a direct berth at French Open entry deadline).

But the USTA, which has helped Young through his upbringing with coaching help, wildcards, support and money, was not pleased with Young’s outburst, saw it a different way and yesterday player development head Patrick McEnroe defended their actions.

“I was obviously taken quite aback by the language and also by the intent of what he said in his comments,” McEnroe said. “His subsequent comment came
before he took down his Twitter account that he apologized for his language, but not for the message behind it. When I read that, I thought a lot about the
time and effort that our team at Player Development has put into Donald in trying to help him reach his potential.

“I can just tell you that we have worked hard and long to try to help him. And I think he was making quite a bit of progress based on the amount of time he spent with our team in the last six months at a couple of our centers, including Carson and Boca.”

Despite the scuttle, McEnroe said they are still supporting Young. “I can only tell you that we’re not withdrawing our support,” he said. “We want our players to do well. Quite frankly, I’m offended. I’m offended for the people on our team that have worked very hard to try to help Donald because when he said what he said about them, I think it was taken quite personally by a lot of members of the Player Development team. I think that Donald should apologize for what he said. I think at that point we can move on.”

Young, who is in Florida this week for the Sarasota Challenger where he plays Giovanni Lapentti later today (corrected, thanks Sax), has since apologized for the incident.

Young was the No. 1 ranked junior (winning 3 of the 4 junior Grand Slams) many years ago but just had the big breakthrough on the professional ATP circuit. He currently ranks No. 95.

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17 Comments for Donald Young Apologizes to USTA, McEnroe for Twitter Tirade

dari Says:

Geeze what is up with twitter tirades? It’s one thing to spit something out verbally, but he had to pit his fingers to work and hit SEND
Sometime during that process he shoulda changed his mind! That’s some bad mojo out there now.

Kimberly Says:

but he had to pit his fingers to work and hit SEND
Sometime during that process he shoulda changed his mind!

Agreed. I’ve started numerous facebook posts and emails that have never been sent. In fact even a few tennis x posts but on most of those i just let it rip.

The Daveed baby hate ball launch you can see, your pissed and it happens in the moment. But to write that obscenity and be aware of the repercussions and still hit send, wow. I’ve heard Young has a nasty temper and launches balls into the stands etc. in frustration. But it seems to me he’s been on the receiving end of a lot of wilcards and good graces so he shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds him.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

How can you be ranked 95 and not be admitted directly to a 128-draw? Each slam has 40 wild cards or what??? I don’t get it.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

Australian open had 8 wild cards, and 16 qualifiers. 128 – 8 – 16 = 104. I even don’t include the injured players.

dari Says:

According to bodo article, young was ranked 104 the week or so ago the desisions were made. I guess that was just beyond direct entry cut-off.
Another article I read had quotes from some of the big guys at the USTA and they thought young had it pretty good, having only to beat someone ranked 170’s to get a wild card.

Lenny Says:

Yeah, I’m headscratching about that, too. I thought the top 100 get direct admittance? With 28 spots then left for quallies and wildcards?

dari Says:

Whoops I mean OUTSIDE 104.
He’s 90 something now, but wasn’t at the cut off time.

funches Says:

Yeah, it’s not very complex.

The cutoff line came a week or two before the Tallahassee Challenger because players have to have time to make flight plans and figure out where they are staying. It’s the same for all the slams.

The top 104 players receive direct entry into slams, and Young was outside of the top 110 before winning Tallahassee.

It would be nice if someone at the USTA had the balls to tell him to go fuck himself. He’s received wild card after wild card for years and years and has a .250 winning percentage at ATP events. He’s gotten many more chances than he deserves. He actually has the talent of a top 50 player and can still get there if he gets his head on straight, but he has not matured at all or ever showed he could string wins together at anything other than challengers.

scineram Says:

Kudos for being the first news site that actually stated what he wrote.

PMac handled it well.

Laurie/Allaboutcabo Says:

I think that social media and twitter in particular allows athletes a voice and I don’t think he should feel bad about how he tweets.

We live in a different time and upcoming athletes have grown up expressing themselves on Facebook and twitter. They use the “F” word as an adjective and hear it frequently among friends and T.V. so why are people so shocked?

thetennisguy Says:

Donald Young has already reached his potential. He’s too small and underpowered for the men’s top 20; it would be a miracle in my mind if he ever makes the top 50.

I’ve seen him play in person and his game is flashy but his attitude is terrible. He’s like a spoiled child coddled by everyone.

Life is harsh. If you want to success in Tennis you’ve got to earn it, it’s hard work. Only a handful of successful juniors ever make it on tour. It’a big man’s game these days. A small man’s attitude isn’t going to cut it.

Inextirpable Says:

Guess Mr. Young feels like he’s owed something – not surprising. You dont like it Mr. Young, than just work harder – you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. Everyone else is playing by the same rules – why do you think you should be treated any different? Just shut up and let your racquet do your talking for you (if it can).

tennisfan Says:

FYI- the world of the USTA is not always happy or fair – it is business which functions on the “what have you done for me lately” mind set. Whatever happened to Scoville Jenkins, Jemea Jackson, Alexandra Stephenson – all USTA hopefuls at one time? How quickly we have forgotten about Agassi’s & McEnroe’s early career antics on an off the court! -and yet we now admire the men & their games? I keep reading the talk about Young’s feeling that he is owed something, all of the WC’s Young has received, the challenges caused by his size, and the problems with his insistence to have his parents as coach. Guess who has received a wild card into the Houston Clay Courts (4/4), Miami (3/22-4/3), Indian Wells (3/7-3/20), Delray Beach (2/19-2/27) to name a few of the recent free passes, is also listed 6′ tall and 160 lbs, and has his dad (an IMG coach since only 2009) as his coach? No excuse for foul language in the world of instant social media, but newsflash folks – the USTA eats what it kills!

racquetluv Says:

AMEN tennisfan! If you don’t or won’t advocate for self who will?? I guess no one out there has done or said anything silly or regrettable at 21?! Or even recognizes the frustration Donald must feel at the intended message being sent from the USTA in the number of wc’s and team positions being handed out to the next but lower ranked, “done for us lately – Ryan Harrison.”
Donald’s passion on the court is exactly what drives a winner. It’s the same passion that burns in the belly of all top players. We see and admire it as passion in Murray, Robredo, Roddick, Fish, and yes Harrison. However, the Young version of passion for winning has been interpreted as whining? It’s the same passion and hard work that Young hopes to have recognized and rewarded rather than dismissed, overlooked & vilified. Young has always been respectful in his interactions with the press during his career so what must it have taken for him to decide speak up & out against members of the tennis power family about a perceived injustice or double standard on Twitter; what familial courage, in the age of toss away people it must take to continue to stand by and with his parents. Young is trying to let his racquet talk (beating Murray was a sign of things to come that was quietly mentioned rather than celebrated as proof positive of the return on the USTA’s investment in time and training. He is playing by the rules, and making great physical and emotional strides, rather than decide to be the next quiet road kill victim to be lost under the controlling, but necessary bus of the USTA

Polo Says:

If Young should feel frustrated, it should be towards his own self because he has not done anything to prove he was worth any wild card entry to any tournament. He beat Murray at the time when Murray was losing consecutive matches. And what did Young do after that win? Lose the next match. Hardly anything to support the notion that his win over Murray was a glimpse of what is to come. Sorry, but in spite of your dissertation, it does not change my mind that Donald is more whiner than winner.

dari Says:

People overlook things when they are done by better players. “Arrogance” in #100 is “confidence” in #3. “Whining” in #98 is “Passion” in #4. You have to earn that positive spin on your character by showing that it produces results for you. So far its not for d young.
I do sincerely hope that this experience is a learning one and that it can somehow improve his game/work for improvement.

killerc Says:

Yall knocking d-young pretty hard. I can see why he was pissed tho. He’s ranked in the right spot for “AUTOMATIC” entry but he missed it due to a technicality. Than forced to play a wildcard playoff after a short turnaround to lose in the final. Hell I’d be flippant too! Now he’s gonna have to work hard and get screwed over by french people in the qualies.

Doesn’t excuse his profanity, he should apologize (if he hasn’t publicly and call it a day)&move on.

He’s used a lot of wc’s but he was AMERICAS TOP TALENT at one time. They put him into the draws too early before he developed and his game. Why? because USTA wanted another poster boy of success. His parent’s were worried about his health and didn’t let him get the training the usta wanted – hey that’s their own right. Yet you hear usta/thru espn bash em about missing opportunities at the grandslams. don’t air dirty laundry or bash his family! No one would appreciate that. I would find it somewhat hypocritical to not let em play because he had too many wildcards too. He’s still a great player. Honestly, someone who jacked many free wildcards in his time was patrick mcenroe — all because his brother’s noteriety. It’s a double edge sword, Young didn’t play good boy- be like blake and get accepted. He’ll probably just fade off like that many other prospects already mentioned.
Truthfully D-young should seek out a world class team – away from usta people, get a coach (maybe monfils coach), get a real physio and get into better shape— OR EVEN maybe switch to adidas team – use gil reyes and cahil/gilbert coaching. Its working for the jap kid kei. Young is a lefty version of that style yet has shot making ability.
he’s got another good 5-10 yrs to change it in the right direction, maybe get top 20 or better. He should focus his anger into his game, punish the opponents on the other side of the net, treat em like usta’ers lol.
Wish em well. Do well and win D-young!

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