21 Feb 2015 Delray Beach Open by The Venetian™ Las Vegas Semifinals Saturday
[frame align=”left”][/frame]SINGLES SEMIFINAL:
(Young) American Reaches 2nd ATP Final
By Steve Dorsey
DELRAY BEACH, FL. – Donald Young is one victory away from attaining a dream he has had for many years, and the 25-year-old American will get that opportunity Sunday afternoon when he tries to notch his first ATP World Tour title at the Delray Beach Open.
Young reached his second ATP World Tour final by rallying from a first-set loss to defeat Aussie Bernard Tomic 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Saturday in the first singles semifinal. Young also beat Tomic in a three-setter last week at Memphis to each his first semifinal this year, and much like last week Young again needed to overcome early struggles in the first set to register a victory.
“I was pretty irritated,” Young said of his play in the first set. “I took a nap before the match and woke up and everything my mom was saying, I was getting mad about. Little things were bothering me. It was just a weird mood I was in. Usually those days don’t turn out really well in the past. Those were pretty bad days, and I’m happy I was able to regroup, focus and come away with a win.”
The last time Young played in an ATP World Tour final, his first, was 2011 when he lost to Andy Murray at Bangkok. Young hopes his second finals appearance will be different from his first four years ago.
“I lost pretty badly,” Young said of his inaugural final, adding that he didn’t think it would take another four years to get another crack at a title. “It’s tough to get to finals. It’s not like it’s something you do every day, but there were other things that I felt were holding me back. It wasn’t just my game. It was about the consistency and mental part and putting together back-to-back matches, so I’m happy I’m able to do that lately. I was so happy to get there (at Bangkok), to be honest. I’m a little more mature.”
That certainly was evident in the second set when Young was staring at the possibility of a straight-sets loss. Young was serving with the set tied 4-4 and facing two break points at 15-40. Young won the next four points, however, to win the game and take a 5-4 lead. Young then broke Tomic to take the set 6-4 and tie the match. It was the fourth time in 2015 that Young has come back from a set down to win a match.
“It was either do or die, or go home, and I really didn’t want to go home yet, not like that, at least,” Young said of what in essence was the turning point of the match. “He missed a backhand return, so I had a little help as well, so it worked in my favor.”
The momentum now in Young’s court, the left-hander who is ranked No. 56 in the world, became more aggressive and grabbed a 3-0 lead in the decisive third set. He again displayed his mettle in a clutch situation when he faced two break points again in the seventh game. And again, Young reeled off four straight points to take a 5-2 lead and command of the match.
Young, who overcame eight double faults, put the final touches on the victory when he broke Tomic, who delivered 13 aces in the match, to clinch a berth in Sunday’s final.
“My goal was to be more aggressive, move forward, not give (Tomic) too much time to start planning his attack because once he gets you on a string of the way he wants you to play it’s tough to get off of it,” Young said. “So that was my game and that’s what I’ve been doing lately, is try to play a little more forward and aggressive and moving toward the net.”
“I should have went after him at 15-40 at 4-all (in second set), but I didn’t do it and that’s why I lost,” Tomic said of the game that arguably was the turning point in the match. “I should have won those points, but that’s tennis. I didn’t play very good and I was still winning. I had my chance. I stayed too defensive and he played three good points, so full credit to him. There were a lot of big points in that third set as well and big points that he played well on.”
Young admitted that he wanted to break Tomic and not have to serve for the match. As for Sunday’s final, he’s just going to try to keep the same mental approach he’s been taking lately.
“I haven’t been here often, but I’ve talked to people who have won and hopefully I can draw on some of that information and strength,” Young said. “Hopefully, I can get my first (ATP title), and I’m really excited to have a chance to compete for one.”
Moving forward, Tomic said his goal is to reach the Top 20 soon in the ATP rankings. “I’m not far away,” Tomic said. “I have to keep working and we’ll see the next few months.”
Young, if he should win the title in Delray Beach, would be the eighth player to win their first title here.
[frame align=”left”][/frame]DOUBLES SEMIFINAL:
Bryans Reach Fifth Semifinal in Delray Beach
By Ismail Ercan
The first match of the day at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center saw defending champions and No. 1 seed Bob and Mike Bryan defeat fellow Americans Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram 4-6, 6-3, 10-4 in an entertaining three-set tiebreaker.
Both teams were hardly strangers to each other, having played each other numerous times over the last few years. Ram, a 2011 Delray Beach doubles champion, most recently faced the Bryan brothers team in a semifinal defeat at the 2014 U.S. Open, while Butorac recorded a straight set victory over the American twins en route to the 2014 Australian Open finals with partner Raven Klaasen.
The match began with a bit of a scare for the Bryans, as Mike tweaked his back early in warm-ups, and quickly took a medical timeout on the first changeover to address the issue.
“I felt a little stab, a little pull during warm-ups,” Mike Bryan said. “It’s mid-back, which is better than lower back. A lot of massage and just treatment really is all that I needed. I took a couple Aleve (during the medical timeout). It started going away at the end just because of anti-inflammatories. It’s not severe and it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Butorac and Ram capitalized on several shaky service games from the Bryans, crucially breaking midway through the first set and holding serve to win the set.
Butorac and Ram continued to apply pressure early in the second set, but the Bryans withstood the barrage, saving four break points throughout their service games. They made their move in the fourth game, breaking Ram’s serve for 3-1, before holding serve to close out the set 6-3.
The 10-point match tiebreaker was decided in the first few points by uncharacteristic errors from the underdogs, notably a double fault by Butorac.
“We just hung in there really,” Bob Bryan said. “They missed a couple (shots) by an inch and we made a couple by an inch. We played some really great points, especially on the pivotal ones in the second, because they (Ram and Butorac) had a lot of great shots and chances.”
The win puts the Bryans into their 155th career final and their fifth at the Delray Beach Open.