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Atlanta Teen Youngest And First African-American To Win Slam Junior Title

February 1, 2005 10:50 AM

Donald Young Jr. defeated Sun-Yong Kim of South Korea 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 11 minutes in the boys’ singles final of the Australian Open.

Young entered the Australian Open ranked a career-high No. 2 in the ITF World Junior rankings. The 15-year old lefty moved to Atlanta from Chicago in January of 2004, only two short months after turning professional and signing with IMG.

Donald won the singles title at the prestigious 27th International Casablanca Junior Cup in Mexico and reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Hardcourt Championships. Young is 9-1 in ITF circuit play this year and the Australian Open marks his third appearance ever in a grand slam tournament.

Donald Young is being called the next Andy Roddick of American tennis, which is understandable as he is the first American since Roddick to hold the world’s No. 1 junior ranking. At 15 years old, he has earned his place in history after becoming the youngest male and first African-American to win a junior Grand Slam title and the first of both to win the Australian Open boys’ title.

Young credits parents, Donald Sr. and Illona Young, as they are the only coaches he has ever had despite offers from several tennis academies. His first appearance at an Australian Open proved to be monumental not only for Young, but also for American children who desire to be amongst tennis elite.

“I’m really excited,” Young said. “I don’t know what to say. I’ve been waiting to win this for a while, and it happened. Maybe tomorrow when I see actually No.1 by my name, then I’ll realize it.”

 

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