Patrick McEnroe to Donald Young: Apology necessary
Last Friday, after 21-year-old Donald Young, who has been groomed by his parent-coaches to be a tennis star since he was 15, put out on Twitter an obscenity-laced tirade against the United States Tennis Assn.
After losing Friday in the finals of a playoff for the U.S.' automatic wild-card spot into the French Open main draw, Young, who is ranked No. 95 in the world -- which isn't high enough for him to gain direct entry into the season's next major tournament -- posted a Twitter that included two obscenities (and this misuse of "their" for "they're" which might also offend grammarians).
About an hour later, Young made another Twitter post apologizing for his language but, he said, "not for the sentiment," and after that his Twitter account was closed.
On Monday, Patrick McEnroe, general manager of player development for the USTA, said that though the USTA was not withdrawing its support of Young, "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 Donald should apologize for what he said."
McEnroe also said there had been no confusion about the process of earning the wild card to the French Open but that Young's father emailed McEnroe three days before the qualifying event to ask that Young receive the spot after Young had won a challenger-level event earlier in the month.
"We invited Donald and five other players" to the wild-card playoff, McEnroe said. "After Donald won a Tallahassee [Fla.] challenger, which was the week just before the playoff, about three days before the competition was to take place, we received at Player Development an email from Donald Young Sr., asking us to give Donald a wild card to the French Open.
"We, of course, elected not to do that because that would be going against the principles of what we have established: having the players earn it."
Neither Young nor his parents have commented and Young's agent at IMG, Carlos Fleming, has not responded to a request for Young's side of the story.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Donald Young reteurns a shot against Andy Murray during their match at the BNP Paribas Open. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press