THE MAN BEHIND THE RACQUET
Donald Young may have been born in Chicago, but Atlanta can now claim this professional tennis player as its own. Young began playing tennis at age 3, so it’s no wonder Donald has achieved significant success: Both his parents taught tennis professionally and even owned South Fulton Tennis Center for a time.
Though Donald is now only 28 years old, he is a veteran of the professional tennis circuit. He turned pro in 2004 and has been consistently getting better. So far, 2017 looks like it may be one of his best years yet. He reached the finals of the French Open in doubles and has accumulated over $500,000 in prize money in just the first seven months of the year.
Despite his achievements, Donald has blended in to the fabric of Atlanta. He practices occasionally at Life Time Fitness Tennis Center in Peachtree Corners. He eats pizza at Oz Pizza in Fairburn, and he fondly remembers bowling in Union City—he’s just like us!
South Fulton Lifestyle sat down with Donald Young recently to learn more about the man behind the racquet.
SFL: What is a common misconception people have about you?
DY: The most common misconception about me is that I’m SHY. I don’t think that I am. It just takes me time to get to know you and loosen up. Also, if you watch me play, I can look angry at times. But all the other times, I am a super chill person.
SFL: What are your goals?
DY: I would love to make it into the Top 10 and also compete for Grand Slams on a regular basis. I just enjoy winning. I want to do as much of that as I possibly can. My goal off the court is to help kids, like through my partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I just like to see kids out of the house, off video games and getting active.
SFL: What do you like about living in Atlanta?
DY: What I like about living in Atlanta is honestly the space. The people are great. There are tons of different cultures. There is always something happening. There isn’t a dull moment in Atlanta!
SFL: Why is tennis so popular in Atlanta?
DY: I think tennis is so popular in Atlanta basically because the weather is great. It just has such a rich history in general here, with pro tournaments at every level. The recreational tennis programs like ALTA are the biggest in the whole country. Plus, since so many adults play, it’s only natural for lots of kids to play as well.