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Donald Young Secures Year-end No. 1 Ranking

December 9, 2005 09:22 AM

Donald Young of Atlanta became the youngest player and first African-American to win the ITF World Junior Champion title Thursday when No. 2 Marin Cilic of Croatia was upset in the third round of the 59th Annual Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Fla.

At the age of 16 years, 5 months, Young will end the year No. 1, replacing France's Richard Gasquet as the youngest player to finish as the top-ranked junior boy in the world and earn the International Tennis Federation's World Junior Champion title for players 18 and younger. Gasquet was a month older when he captured the title in 2002.

"It feels great. It was the goal the whole year - to win the Australian Open and stay No. 1 for the rest of the year," said Young, who won two matches on Thursday to advance to the Orange Bowl quarterfinals. "I feel like there's been a big target on my chest. It will probably be even bigger next year. It's been hard. I've been thinking about it all the time."

Young entered the Orange Bowl in a three-person race for the top ranking with Cilic, who lost to Kevin Botti of France in the third round, 6-3, 7-6 (1), and No. 3 Ryan Sweeting of the Bahamas, who retired in the third set of his first round match on Monday. Cilic, the reigning French Open boys' singles champion, Sweeting, the US Open boys' champion, had to win the Orange Bowl in order to overtake Young.

Young became the youngest player to be ranked No. 1 in the world after he became the youngest player to win the Australian Open boys' singles title in January. He defeated Cilic in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

Young is just the third American to win the World Junior Champion title, joining Andy Roddick (2000) and Brian Dunn (1992). He joins a list of other past champions that includes Roger Federer (1998), Marcelo Rios (1993), Stefan Edberg (1983), Pat Cash (1981) and Ivan Lendl, who won the first title in 1978.

59th Annual Orange Bowl International
Crandon Park Tennis Center
Key Biscayne, Fla.
December 5-11, 2005

For information and results of the 2005 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships click here.

ITF Junior World Champions

2005Donald YoungUSA
2004Gael MonfilsFRA
2003Marcos BaghdatisCYP
2002Richard GasquetFRA
2001Gilles MullerLUX
2000Andy RoddickUSA
1999Kristian PlessDEN
1998Roger FedererSUI
1997Arnaud Di PasqualeFRA
1996Sebastien GrosjeanFRA
1995Mariano ZebaletaARG
1994Federico BrowneARG
1993Marcelo RiosCHI
1992Brian DunnUSA
1991Thomas EnqvistSWE
1990Andrea GaudenziITA
1989Niklas KultiSWE
1988Nicolas PereiraVEN
1987Jason StoltenbergAUS
1986Javier SanchezESP
1985Claudio PistolesiITA
1984Mark KratzmannAUS
1983Stefan EdbergSWE
1982Guy ForgetFRA
1981Pat CashAUS
1980Thierry TuslasneFRA
1979Raul ViverECU
1978Ivan LendlTCH
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