Of all the teenage prodigies to emerge over the past few years, none have been more hyped or arrogant than the American, who at 15 won the Australian Open junior title and became the youngest boy ever to be ranked world number one. Young went straight into the professional ranks, albeit returning to juniors to win the Wimbledon title in 2007, and at 18 he was ranked in the top 100 and had reached the third round of the US Open. But then things began to unravel as Young became frustrated and disillusioned by his lack of success, the great hope of American tennis plummeting back outside the top 200. Slowly, though, things have started to turn around again, and a key result for Young, now 22, came in the second round at the Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells in March when, as a wild card, he upset Murray. “At that point it was the biggest win in my career,” said Young. “It still is level-wise of an opponent and ranking-wise.”
More encouraging results followed, including a run to the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour event in Washington last month, which lifted him back into the top 100. That came too late for automatic entry into the US Open but the United States Tennis Association’s decision to give him a wild card has been royally rewarded with wins over Stanislas Wawrinka and Juan Ignacio Chela.
On Tuesday afternoon he will take to Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest court in tennis, and attempt to register a second win over Murray to reach the quarter-finals. It will be a different world number four he finds on the other side of the net, though, with the Murray of Indian Wells stuck in a post-Australian Open final malaise. The Scot is determined to make amends for that day, and Young said: “Definitely it will be different. “It’s three out of five. It’s at a slam. I don’t think he had too much confidence coming to Indian Wells. He wasn’t playing his best. But I’m playing well also.”
The match is first on Arthur Ashe at 11am (4pm BST), scheduling Murray described as “interesting” on Twitter following his late-night win over Feliciano Lopez on Sunday, but, given the forecast for heavy rain, it could be a blessing in disguise.