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Which player will Donald Young look like when he finds his game? Serbian player Dusan Vemic is like no [mds.pdf���] one else you've ever seen. Donald Young turned 19 a week ago and believe it or not, this is his fourth year on tour. He’s a young 19. After he lost his second round match to Marc Gicquel at the Countrywide Classic this afternoon, he looked like a teenager slumped in his chair with disappointment. Half of him wanted to answer our questions and the other half wanted to get the hell out of there. So, I ask myself, When he does grow up, which player will he turn into? My best guess is Radek Stepanek. Without the gamesmanship and complaining and unnecessary injury timeouts, of course, but with the stylish all court game and net play. While gamesmanship is annoying, it does express a strong desire to win and that part I don’t know about in Young’s case. I’d say that Stepanek’s career high number 8 ranking is probably a bit higher than Young is likely to reach. Gicquel is a more polished version of Young. Young disagreed that their game was similar when I suggested it to him after the match, but he was willing to concede a few things they shared and I think it’s a fair assessment of his game: He runs a lot of balls down, he gets a lot of balls back, he makes you play different shots, and he can hit his forehand, he can step up and hit it. He has all the strokes. I wouldn’t say we’re alike but we have all the strokes and can do a lot of stuff. I’m guessing that “all the strokes” carried Young to the number one ranking in juniors because most teenagers are still developing the strokes he already had. In the pros he has two problems: lack of power and immaturity. I’ve only seen Young play a few times but I’ve never seen him hit harder than his opponent. MDS.pdf��� the word “whack” doesn’t come to mind when he hits the ball, it sounds more like “thock. ” Young may not be able to do anything about that but he’s definitely got game, it’s just that it might take him a bit longer than most to learn how to use it. He's not just standing at the baseline whacking the ball to the corners and he’s had to adjust his expectations a few times. That’s the burden of being a child prodigy: expectations have to be adjusted with each new passage in life. What starts out as a life of unlimited possibilities slowly becomes a series of concrete results which seldom match expectations. Young seems emotionally solid enough to have crossed that bridge. He’s happy to be earning a whole lot more money than the college graduate he would have been if he hadn’t turned pro and there’s something to that. He’s earned $168, 000 so far this year and that’s with a best result of one quarterfinal. Emotionally he’s okay so what about his game? Like most young players, Young knows what he needs to do but he can’t quite do it. He lost the first set and was even at 3-3 in the second set when Gicquel was called for a foot fault. Gicquel was furious. He complained to the chair umpire (“Only in the USA” he said twice, meaning patriotism played a part on the foot fault call because Young is a US player) and generally fell apart. Young knew mds.pdf��� Gicquel was out of whack and he knew enough to take the game to him, but when he got to the net and had the easy put-away volley for the service break, he hit the ball into the bottom of the net. The line judge had given him a gift and he couldn’t take advantage of it. Then, like most young players mds.pdf���, Young lost his focus and couldn’t recover. He lost his serve then Gicquel served out the match to win it, 6-3, 6-3. John McEnroe and Jim Courier sat still for a media session late afternoon - I’ll get to that tomorrow – and then I went out to watch Andy Roddick’s match. I wasn’t interested in Roddick except maybe to see if his shoulder is holding up - it is. I wanted to see Dusan Vemic and he is something everyone should see. I’d only been out there a few minutes when Vemic hit a 135mph serve. A few points later he hit a forehand slice which is a cross between a drop shot and a squash shot. I’d barely gotten over his physical appearance with the black socks, white shoes, wraparound silver Oakleys, ponytail and beard, when he slipped and fell into a full split then jumped up as if nothing had happened. I’ve never seen that before on the men’s tour! Vemic is tall, moves lightly, and he’s got those goggles. He’s a mixed up tennis player with a huge serve and funky drops shots and lobs. Tipsarevic is the next model up which still comes with the goggles. And then there are the top three. Think of it like this: Vemic is Serbian tennis player Beta version 1. 0. Tipsarevic is Beta 2. 0. Djokovic, Ivanovic, and Jankovic are the release versions and their release was timed to coincide with the Olympics. All along we’ve been thinking that Russia and China have been building the perfect Olympic athlete and it was Serbia who was doing it and right under out eyes. I’ve detected a few glitches. The Vemic model goes through an abbreviated practice service motion before it serves as if some incomplete code had been left in the program, and the Djokovic model gets into programming loops now and then. It bounces the ball endlessly before it serves. All in all I give the release version 4. 5 stars.