Who watched Young vs. Blake? What started out as a ritual slaughter of the first round sacrificial lamb (i.e. Coco Vandeweghe), turned into a five-set thriller under the lights! Midway through the fifth set, it looked like a full reversal of hunter vs. hunted, with James wobbling at the knees and the crowd roaring for blood. All credit to the soon to be twenty-nine-year-old (!) for prying himself from the jaws of a humiliating defeat and proving to everyone that he’s become a real five-set warrior.
But Donald Young was the star. Here was the guy I’d caught hiding in the shadows a couple weeks ago at the Countrywide Classic showing off a brilliant, all-court game in the electric atmosphere of Arthur Ashe stadium. He looked so complete – great lefty serve, ripping forehand, Djokovic-worthy backhand, Blake-like movement and killer feel at net (a talent all his own.) And the most promising development in his game? He was enjoying himself!
So what do y’all think? Was this a flash-in-the-pan performance (and a loss, at that) or a glimpse at an on-the-cusp superstar? And if you do think Young’s destined for greatness, where and when will he finally achieve it?
No matter what, we can agree that we were treated to an action-packed first day at the ’08 U.S. Open. And we have Haas vs. Gasquet and Williams vs. Stosur, on tap for tomorrow!
Photo: Sipkin/New York Daily News