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Young Wins Fourth USTA Pro Circuit Title In California

June 10, 2010 05:48 PM
By Steve Pratt

CARSON, Calif. – During the entire month of May, the USTA has celebrated the Tennis Mom. So it seemed only fitting that Atlanta’s Donald Young would win his fifth career USTA Pro Circuit event in front of his mother Illona, the first time she’s traveled with him since last October.

"Yeah, it really helped me to have her here all week," said the 20-year-old Young, who beat No. 5 seeded Robert Kendrick in the final of the LA Men’s Open $50,000 Challenger on Sunday at the Home Depot Center. "She hasn’t been out here with me since October so it’s especially sweet to win in front of her."

The fourth-seeded Young thanked his mother for the support in his post-match speech to the crowd and reminded everyone how much he enjoys playing in California.

His last four Pro Circuit titles have come in California as he has won Aptos ($75,000, 2007), Sacramento ($50,000, 2008) and Calabasas ($50,000, 2009) events previously. "I don’t really like the trip out here but there’s just something about California," said Young, who will stay in SoCal and play the Weil Academy Ojai $50,000 Challenger beginning on Tuesday.

Young, who won $7,200 first-place prize money, said he had to stay aggressive against a tough player like Kendrick, who played in all four Grand Slams last year. The two have a bit of a rivalry going on as Young now holds a 5-4 career mark against Kendrick and has won the last three times.

Young said he plans to head to Wimbledon and hopes he can gain enough points to qualify right into the U.S. Open. The Carson event has been kind to the past several men’s players who have won as they have used it as a springboard for a solid summer.

"The men’s winners have definitely gone on to have some great success," said tournament director John Lansville, who cited last year’s winner Michael Russell as an example.



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