WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (JULY 20, 2011) – The Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University announces that Donald Young will compete in the inaugural tournament as a wild card player.
Young, who will turn 22 later this month, was once tabbed as America’s next great hope. He became the youngest player in history to end a year at No. 1 in the junior rankings, when he finished No. 1 in 2005 at 16 years and 5 months. That also made him the first African-American male to be ranked No. 1 in the world junior rankings.
He won the Australian Open junior boys singles at age 15 in 2004, and won the Wimbledon junior title in 2007.
Young is currently ranked No. 105 in the South African Airways ATP rankings, after reaching as high as No. 73 in April of 2008. But the promise is still there. He won a Challenger event in Tallahassee in April and then pulled a stunning upset at Indian Wells, beating Andy Murray in straight sets in the second round.
Young has one Winston-Salem connection. He was a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup squad that beat Spain at Joel Coliseum in 2007.
Young began playing tennis at age three with mother, Illona, and father, Donald, Sr., who are both tennis teaching professionals and continue to serve as his coaches. While acting as a ball boy at the age of 10, Young had the opportunity to play with tennis legend John McEnroe. McEnroe later said that Young "has hands like another lefty I know very well." Young’s celebrity catapulted when he was the only sports figured included in Newsweek Magazine’s "Who’s Next?" feature in late 2004.
"Since Donald turned pro in 2004, he has been one of the rising stars of tennis. He’s a passionate player and is a tremendous addition to our playing field for the Winston-Salem Open," said tournament director Bill Oakes. "John McEnroe recognized Donald’s potential very early in his career, and he has continued to be a very strong emerging player."
About the Winston-Salem Open
The Winston-Salem Open, an ATP World Tour 250 event with a total purse of $625,000, will take place from August 21-27, 2011, with qualifying set for August 19 and August 20. The tournament will be the final men’s event of the Olympus US Open Series. The tournament will receive national television exposure via Tennis Channel and ESPN2, including the singles final broadcasted by CBS. The Winston-Salem Open offers a text update program to keep fans informed about the tournament. To enroll in the free service, text WINSTON to 55333. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Winston-Salem Open, please go to www.winstonsalemopen.com.
About the Olympus US Open Series
The Olympus US Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer through national television coverage, culminating each week with back-to-back men’s and women’s finals on Sunday afternoon. Players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. In 2008, Olympus became the first title sponsor of the Series. The Olympus US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express and Evian. Andy Murray won the 2010 Olympus US Open Series men’s title and Caroline Wozniacki won the women’s title. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women’s sports history – and again equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Olympus US Open Series in second place.
About the ATP
The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles and South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points at Grand Slams (non ATP events), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season, only the world’s top 8 ranked men’s singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2011 ATP World Tour No.1 in singles and doubles. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.