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Teen phenom loses in straight sets

2/8/2005

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Donald Young's ATP Tour debut didn't
last long.

Robby Ginepri defeated the teen sensation who's touted as the
future of American tennis 6-2, 6-2 in 50 minutes in the first round
of the SAP Open on Monday night.

Young, a 15-year-old American coming off the Australian Open
junior singles title, had the most success on his service games,
but struggled to return Ginepri's powerful serve.

"It was a lot of fun actually," Young said. "I was really
excited. I had a couple chances. He played well. ... When he needed
a first serve, he had one. When I needed one, I missed it. I guess
when I get older and bigger I'll be able to hit my serve better."

Ginepri came out "shaky and tight" against Young, but knew his
opponent had to be more nervous. It took a few games for Young to
shake the jitters.

"Any time someone's seven years younger than you and just
getting into the teenage stage, it's tough," Ginepri said. "It's
a match you should win. But you still have to go out and get the
job done. Of course you don't want to lose these matches."

Young acted his age, too. He constantly fiddled with his racket
and watch, talked to himself between points, and looked at his
racket as if asking the equipment for help. He even congratulated
his opponent on several shots.

Young is the world's top-ranked junior -- and the youngest ever
to earn the No. 1 ranking. He turned pro in 2003 at age 14, and won
$117.50 in his first pro event for losing in the first round at the
USTA Futures in Tampa, Fla.

Both his parents played college tennis, and John McEnroe has
called Young "the next John McEnroe."

The left-hander is the first since Andy Roddick, the top-seeded
player here and the defending champion, to win the Australian Open
junior's event and then become No. 1. Roddick accomplished the feat
in 2000.

"He's going to be a talented player," Ginepri said. "He's got
a long future ahead of him."

In the first night match, Hyung-Taik Lee needed only to stay
relatively steady. Jan-Michael Gambill did the rest.

Lee outplayed the inconsistent American all match, advancing to
the second round of the SAP Open with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory Monday
night.

"It's been a while since I've played some matches," Lee said
through coach Choi Heejoon. "It took me a couple games to get into
it, but I felt good after that."

Gambill, who fell to 1-4 this year, is trying to switch from a
two-handed forehand to a one-hander. He used both, but couldn't
find a rhythm with either because of footwork problems. He seemed
to lack a game plan against the 58th-ranked Korean -- and Gambill
looked little like the player who finished the 2001 season ranked
21st in the world.

He finished with 56 unforced errors, five in the tiebreaker, and
10 aces.

"He didn't give me a whole lot of pace today," Gambill said.
"He played a very careful match. Normally when a guy does that,
you take a lot of chances. I did, and I missed a lot of balls."

Lee, who in one impressive second-set point chased down a series
of shots that seemed out of reach, broke Gambill's serve in the
second game of the match and took the first set in 40 minutes.

Both players have been part of a doubles championship in this
tournament.

Also Monday, qualifier Frank Dancevic rallied from one set down
to beat American Jeff Morrison 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0 in another
first-round match.

Dancevic, a 20-year-old Canadian who has played only 10
main-draw matches, bounced back from last week's first-round exit
at Delray Beach to post his first win of the year and second of his
career.

The first two sets took 1:34, then Dancevic needed only 22
minutes to finish off Morrison in the third.

In other first-round action, Kevin Kim defeated Jan Hernych 7-5,
6-3; Kenneth Carlsen hit 12 aces and rallied after losing the first
set in a tiebreaker to beat Irakli Labadze 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3 -- who
had 11 double faults -- in a match that lasted 2:33.