19 Feb YOUNG GETS FIRST WIN OF 2018 WHILE CHUNG GET FIRST DELRAY BEACH WIN
By Steve Dorsey
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Donald Young was anxious to erase the goose egg on the left side of his 2018 win-loss record, and the 28-year-old American wasted no time chalking up his first victory of the season Monday afternoon in his first-round match at the ATP World Tour Delray Beach Open.
Young needed only 69 minutes to defeat qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 6-1, 6-2 on the Stadium court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center after consecutive first-round setbacks in his first three tournaments this year.
“There were a lot of nerves the whole time, even when I was up 4-0 (in the first set) and 5-2 (in the second set). It’s like playing a final almost,” Young said. “I got a rough start (this season). Last week was tough (at the New York Open). I just had to get through it. Once you get the first one, you never know what can happen.”
“I had to worry a little about him because I had never played him before,” Young said. “You have to get past the first hurdle to get to the rest.
Young might have sensed Delray Beach would be the place to notch his first win of the year. He was a semifinalist here last year, losing to 2017 champion Jack Sock, and was a finalist in 2015, losing to Ivo Karlovic. Even the somewhat windy conditions Monday didn’t faze the Chicago native.
“I love coming here. It’s awesome,” Young said. “Any tournament in the state, especially this one in Florida, there’s great weather. I like the conditions. I think it just suits my game. I like the wind. I’m from Chicago, the Windy City.”
Young won’t know his second-round opponent until after Tuesday’s match between Russian Evgeny Donskoy and “lucky loser” Darian King of Barbados. King replaces Kevin Anderson, who was to be the No. 3 seed here but withdrew Monday because of an elbow injury after winning the New York Open on Sunday.
The only seeded player in action Monday afternoon was Korean Hyeon Chung, the No. 8 seed here this week.
Chung, ranked No. 30 in the world and the winner of the ATP Next Gen Finals last November, rallied from down a set to oust Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, another “lucky loser” in the main draw, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Chung said he had a tougher time adjusting to the wind than Young did.
“It was really tough today because the wind was strong,” said Chung, who reached the Australian Open semis last month, a career first at a Grand Slam tournament. “I was just trying to stay calm, just focus on every point. (Norrie) has a good forehand, so I was just trying to make him move from side to side. . . . I lost in the qualies here last year, so I’m just trying to do better than last year.”
The only other afternoon match on Day 1 was in the doubles draw, where the Canadian team of Peter Polansky and Denis Shapovalov, a wild card entry, rallied to beat Swede Robert Lindstedt and Croation Franko Skugor 4-6, 6-3, 10-2.