MELBOURNE, Australia — Donald Young wouldn’t call it a setback, but his glum face and petulant reaction to his Australian Open exit told a different story.
Last season, the American reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open and made his first ATP final, putting him in the top 50 for the first time.
On Wednesday, he lost 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to qualifier Lukas Lacko in the second round Down Under. He had beaten the Slovakian in straight sets at the U.S. Open.
Walking into a post-match news conference, Young angrily chucked his shoes and bag in the corner of the room and slumped into a chair.
When asked what happened on the court, the 22-year-old testily replied: “He won the match. It’s quite obvious.”
“It’s very disappointing actually but ... it’s over now, not much I can do about it. It’s definitely not how I hoped it to end.”
The dispiriting loss came just as his game seemed to be gathering momentum.
Young, who turned pro at 14, has had an up-and-down relationship with the United States Tennis Association. It hit a low in April when he used an expletive-laced tweet to blast the USTA decision to make him compete in a playoff for a French Open wild card.
CURTAIN CALL: Former second-ranked Tommy Haas realizes his lengthy career might be coming to a close.
The 33-year-old German, who has slumped to No. 190 in the rankings, lost to Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round.
Haas is back after missing more than a year on tour because of hip and elbow surgeries. Since returning at the French Open last year, he’s struggled to regain his form, winning just seven matches in 2011.
Under the ATP’s protected ranking system, Haas has entered the main draws of ATP tournaments using his ranking from the date of his injury.
But time is running out on the exception.
“It becomes tricky where you have to play qualifying and maybe go back and play some challengers. I’m not sure if I’m up for the task of doing that,” he said.