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January 30, 2005

Donald Young


THE MODERATOR: Tomorrow Donald will become No. 1 and he'll be the youngest No. 1 junior since the rankings began, and also he's the youngest junior Grand Slam winner. First question, question.

Q. What do you think of that?

DONALD YOUNG: I'm really excited actually. I mean, I really don't know what to say. I mean, I'm really excited. Been wanting to win this tournament for a while and it happened so I'm really excited.

Q. At what point did you think you won, when you got the break at 4-All?

DONALD YOUNG: Well, the first set -- well, I knew coming into the match, he was tired. He had like four three-setters. I mean, I just wanted to work him, move him around, keep him out there a little while. It happened. He got tired, and I started playing better, so I won.

Q. Midway through that second set, you got a bit frustrated.

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I was getting upset because I started rushing and missing, because he just started getting it in play and not hitting any pace on the ball. But I just kept it in play and attacked him, and I won.

Q. When you lost the Orange Bowl final to Tim, you seemed almost inconsolable.

DONALD YOUNG: I don't know. I was really upset after that. I was expecting to win, because I beat him before. He came out a different person and started playing a lot better than he had ever played before. I was surprised, and he got me. But hopefully it will never happen again.

Q. Back then you seemed so upset. Could you envision just a month later here you are?

DONALD YOUNG: No, I really couldn't. Coming into this tournament, I was telling my parents, he's like you're going to win it. I'm like, No, I'm going to lose, first or second round. Obviously, that didn't happen.

Q. What do you think is different in your game in the last six, eight months? I've seen you lose in the first round in a couple of these events. You just sort of stormed your way through here.

DONALD YOUNG: I think it's confidence more now. I mean, I feel like I'm capable of playing with the players and not they're all bigger. They're all bigger pretty much than me anyway, but I feel like I can play with them and they're a little closer to my age. About to be 19 this year. Some of them, they were like 18. But I just had a lot more respect for the ones last year. Now I feel like I'm up there with the rest of them.

Q. Did what happened at the Orange Bowl help you?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I think, yeah, it helped me a lot. Now I'm not taking anybody for granted. I might say they're a scrub or something. But, I mean, I'm not really serious about it. But now I don't take anybody for granted.

Q. When you won, you sank to your knees and yelled something and repeated it. Do you remember what that was?

DONALD YOUNG: I just said, "What, what," a couple times.

Q. You said, "What"?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, "What." I mean, it's like -- I mean, I didn't know. Obviously I was so excited.

Q. When you go home at night and watch some of these matches, Roddick and Hewitt, Safin, what are you thinking? How big a gap do you think there is between where you are now and getting to that next level?

DONALD YOUNG: Obviously, a big gap because, I mean, they're out there getting to the main Slam finals or whatever. But when I get bigger and older hopefully, you know, I can be up there in a couple years or try at least.

Q. Do you have confidence that, "I can do that someday"?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I mean, if I'm playing the same players. Most of the players I'll probably play will be in the Juniors, I mean, or some of the ones that are out there now, but they'll be getting a little older. Hopefully so.

Q. The fate of a successful junior like yourself in the US, particularly with the USTA, you're a little young, but Andy, they kind of pounce on you with all these expectations coming your way. How do you think you're going to deal with that, or do you have any idea that it was happening?

DONALD YOUNG: Well, I just try to keep playing and winning and playing good. If that comes with it, it comes with it, which it does. So, I mean, I just try not to focus on it.

Q. Who have you been talking to here, if anyone, among the main draw players?

DONALD YOUNG: No one actually. No one. Because we're in a separate locker room, like far away from the rest of them. So no one really.

Q. Do you know any of them?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I talk to Roddick. But, I mean, I saw him like one time, and that was about it. That was it. So I didn't really see any other pros, except walking by them.

Q. How much of an advantage do you get from the lefty look, from guys not facing that very often?

DONALD YOUNG: A lot because, I mean, most players are righties. They don't get to practice with lefties a lot anyway. So, I mean, different spins. It just helps.

Q. Have you played many lefties?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, one tournament I played all lefties, and I didn't like it. I don't even like playing lefties myself, so I see how the righties feel.

Q. What does it mean to be No. 1?

DONALD YOUNG: A lot. I mean, I've wanted to be No. 1 since I started playing ITFs or whatever. But it's here now, so I don't really know. It's kind of like no feeling to it. I mean, I thought it would be -- it is awesome, but I thought it would be a lot -- I mean, I don't know. It just feels like nothing now. But I'm excited about it (smiling).

Q. Maybe it needs to sink in?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, right. Maybe tomorrow when I see actually No. 1 by my name, then I'll realize it.

Q. Granted you just walked off the court, but does this sort of accelerate your plans in terms of wildcards and challengers, that kind of thing?

DONALD YOUNG: No, not really. I try to stay on the same plan or whatever, play a couple more pro tournaments. But still play all the junior Slams or whatever. You know, hopefully I can come back next year and see what happens.

Q. Gael Monfils almost won the junior Grand Slam. You have one now. Is that a goal of yours?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah. I think that's most people's goal when they win the first one. See how it goes. Yeah, but I'm not going to try to put the extra pressure on myself.

Q. Any idea how you're going to celebrate tonight?

DONALD YOUNG: No, not really. I don't know. Watch a movie. I don't know really because my parents are talking about going to the casino, but I can't go in. So there's no point. I don't know, I'll just sit outside, I guess.

Q. Do you have to wait for them outside?

DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, right.

Q. Maybe they'll bring you a drink.

DONALD YOUNG: No (smiling).

Q. What is important to you besides tennis?

DONALD YOUNG: My parents. I mean, family. I mean, tennis, obviously, school. I mean, normal things that's important to everybody else. I mean, nothing special.

Q. No other secondary hobby or anything?

DONALD YOUNG: No. I mean, I used to play baseball and soccer, but I was okay, not too good. I was obviously better at tennis, so I stuck with tennis.

End of FastScripts….

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