Winston-Salem, NC, United States (4E Sports) – American Donald Young ended a 17-match losing streak by beating Leonardo Mayer, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Monday in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University.
“It feels great to get the match win,” the 23-year-old Young said. “I haven’t had one in a while so it’s good to get the monkey off my back, kind of. It feels awesome. I feel a little lighter. The things I have been working on have finally come around.”
Ranked No. 80, Young last won a match when he defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the first round at Memphis in February. He lost in the first round in each of his next 16 tournaments and saw his ranking drop from No. 38 to 80th.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling the pressure. I kept saying ‘This match is going to be it,’ ‘This match I’m going to win,’ and it didn’t happen,” said Young, who came into the Winston-Salem Open with a 2-20 record for the year.
“So every match became more and more crucial to winning because the Open was coming up. I had to just not think about it that much and practice, because in practice I was playing great,” he added.
In the second round, Young will now face ninth-seeded Feliciano Lopez, who drew a first-round bye.
Michael McClune stunned Alejandro Falla, 6-1, 6-4 while Ernests Gulbis beat Carlos Berlocq, 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the second round together with Benjamin Becker, who beat Tatsuma Ito, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; and Sergiy Stakhovsky, who defeated Gilles Muller 7-6 (4), 6-4.
In other matches, Thomaz Bellucci advanced when Marcos Baghdatis retired, with Bellucci leading 7-5, 3-1; Lukasz Kubot beat Tommy Robredo, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2; Martin Klizan beat Benoit Paire, 6-2, 7-6 (4); Yen-Hsun Lu beat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 7-6 (3); and Robin Haase beat Nikolay Davydenko, 6-3, 6-2.
Over at the New Haven Open, fourth seed Sara Errani beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the second round together with Sofia Arvidsson, Maria Kirilenko, Mona Barthel, Dominika Cibulkova, Olga Govortsova and Andrea Petkovic.