Young apologizes to McEnroe, USTA for outburst
American tennis player Donald Young has apologized to the U.S. Tennis Association, saying he is sorry for the obscenity-laced message he posted on Twitter criticizing the American tennis federation.
Last week, Young sent out the expletive-filled tweet, saying he was sick of the treatment he received from the USTA, after losing in the final of a tournament that awarded the organization’s wild-card entry into the French Open.
On Tuesday, the 21-year-old player made amends with several of his coaches and contacts at the USTA, including Patrick McEnroe, the head of player development, who said in a pointed interview on Monday that 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. I appreciate the USTA’s support over the years. It helped me out a lot. I’m ready to turn the page. I’m proud to be an American player. I need the USTA’s help to keep going further in my career.”
Young said McEnroe accepted his apology.
“He wants nothing but the best for me. He wants me to do well,” Young said.
Young, who defeated second-ranked Andy Murray at Indian Wells last month, recently won a lower-level tournament in Tallahassee, Florida that vaulted him into the top 100—the cutoff for automatic entry into the French.
But his ranking—currently at No. 95—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.
The USTA receives a wild-card entry for the men’s and women’s draws at the French and can distribute them however it pleases. Young said his frustration grew out of “a miscommunication of what I thought and what they thought” would happen with the wild card.
“It’s their wild card, and they can choose to do what they want with it,” he said. “It’s their procedure. I should’ve won the tournament. It’s the way they choose to do it. I have to respect that.”
Young, who won his opening round at a lower-level tournament in Florida on Tuesday, said he plans to play in French Open qualifying the week before the main draw starts at Roland Garros.
He said he’ll continue being coached by his parents, while also accepting USTA help, which he has received, on and off, since 2005.
Shortly after his expletive-filled tweet, Young posted a milder follow-up, saying he was sorry for his language but not for the intent behind the post. A bit after that, he shut down his Twitter account for good. He said he has no plans of delving back into the world of social media.
“I think I’m done with that,” he said. “It’s brought me nothing but trouble thus far. I was good without it and before it, and I don’t need to know what everyone’s doing every 15 minutes.”