Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Updated: April 29, 8:41 AM ET
Donald Young sorry for Twitter rant
ESPN.com news services
American tennis player Donald Young has apologized to the USTA, saying he is sorry for the obscenity-laced message he posted on Twitter criticizing the American tennis federation.
Young lashed out after losing in the final of a USTA qualifying event that would have secured him a wild-card entry into the French Open.
"[Expletive] USTA! Their full of [expletive]! They have [expletive] me for the last time!" the entry read Friday.
On Tuesday, the 21-year-old player from Atlanta made amends with several of his coaches and contacts at the USTA, including Patrick McEnroe, who had said Young needed to apologize for the relationship to continue.
"Basically, I want to just apologize for what I said and the way I said it," Young said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It wasn't the right way to say it, at all."
On Monday, McEnroe, the USTA's director of player development, took umbrage with Young's comments. He detailed the services USTA has provided for Young since 2005, including grant money, coaching and training opportunities, and called on Young to apologize.
"I'm offended for people on our team that have worked very hard," McEnroe said Monday. "When he said what he said, it was taken quite personally by members of the player development team. I think Donald should apologize for what he said. At that point, we can all move on."
Young apparently heeded that advice, as USTA coaches David Nainkin and Jay Berger both said they had received apologies from Young, the Los Angeles Times reported. Berger said Young told him he also had apologized to McEnroe.
Nainkin and Berger both said they believed Young's apologies were sincere, according to the report.
"What Donald said really hurt, to be honest," Berger told the Times. "And sometimes you have to earn things. This was one of the easiest paths to a Grand Slam. Basically, Donald had to beat a guy ranked 176th in the world. Maybe what he said was out of anger but it still hurt."
Although the USTA has offered resources to Young, he has remained under the tutelage of his parents, Donald Sr. and Illona. That has caused tension between the family and the USTA, as they have differed on the best training regiment for Young.
Also, last summer, when McEnroe was still captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, he selected Ryan Harrison for a match over Young, despite Young's higher ranking.
Young, who defeated second-ranked Andy Murray at Indian Wells last month, recently won a lower-level tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., that vaulted him into the top 100 -- the cutoff for automatic entry into the French Open.
But his ranking didn't rise until a week after the cutoff date for Roland Garros. That forced him to play in the wild-card tournament in Florida, where he lost in the final to 176th-ranked Tim Smyczek.
Young can still make the French Open field by going through the qualifier in Paris the week before the tournament.
But Young wasn't looking ahead when he tweeted on Friday. A bit after the expletive-filled post, Young followed up by tweeting, "That tweet was out of character. ive never been like that before. but im tired of it. sry about the language, but not the thought behind it."
By the weekend, he had shut down his Twitter account.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.