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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Clayton and Young Capture U.S. Open Junior Doubles Title


©Colette Lewis 2005--
Flushing Meadows NY--
Back-to-Back Doubles Championships for U.S. teams


I’m not going to do justice to the matches today, since I’ve been spending the last four hours creating research sheets for The Tennis Channel. I was hired to provide some background, and since I’m getting paid, and it’s my only chance to make a good first impression, it had to take priority over tonight’s post.

But there is definitely good news to report. For the second straight year, an team from the U.S. won the Junior Open doubles title. Alex Clayton and Donald Young, seeded eighth, earned the Waterford Crystal chalices after a nailbiting 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-5 victory over the second seeded team of Carsten Ball and Thiemo de Bakker. Last year, Brendan Evans and Scott Oudsema won their third Grand Slam title of the year under a similarly cloudless sky.

And addition to being thrilling, the championship match was just plain strange. First, with Young serving at 4-4 in the third, he and Clayton were down 0-40, with one point due to an egregious baseline call, and yet held it together to win the next five points to take a 5-4 lead in the third. The first strange match point came next, with Ball serving at 4-5. The Newport Beach resident, who now plays under the Australian flag, had not been broken, but despite a 40-15 lead, ended up at ad out. A spun reflex volley by deBakker bounced crazily, and Young ended up touching the net in his attempt to retrieve it. The chair called “touch” and the Ball de Bakker team escaped with the game two points later.

Clayton then served a strong game to 6-5 and in the ensuing game hit two backhand return winners to put Ball and de Bakker behind the eight ball. At deuce, their miscommunication led to a racquet clash and another match point. After a spinetingling rally, with all four players at the net, de Bakker racquet ticked it and again came the call of “touch” from the chair, giving Clayton and Young their U.S. Open Jr. title.

“Coming into the tournament, I knew we had a chance to do well,” said Clayton, “but I did not really think that we could win it.”



“This is my last junior tournament, and to win a doubles grand slam, it doesn’t get any better.”

Clayton, 17, gave credit to his partner Young for his ability to take a difficult singles loss in stride.

“He lost 7-6 in the third (against Kim in Friday’s quarterfinals) and then bounced back and played a great doubles match (the straight set semifinal win over the third seeds).”

And Young admitted that his country’s Grand Slam Junior Doubles Championship did help him feel better.

“At least I won something--I’m going home with a trophy,” he said with a laugh.


For complete draws, including doubles action, see usopen.org

For more photos see ustaboys.com

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