US Open Tennis

Donald Young, of the United States, returns a shot to Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

There has only been one time in history that an African American has won the men’s singles at the U.S. Open in New York. This rare moment happened 47 years ago when Arthur Ashe, an amateur tennis player, became the first and only Black male to win a Grand Slam Title.

Fast-forward to today and 26-year-old professional tennis player Donald Young has the potential to change that. Young has repeatedly proven that he has what it takes to become a tennis champion. While Venus and Serena Williams dominate women’s tennis, many have been long-awaiting a Black male tennis star since Ashe’s retirement in 1980.

Though Young is out of this year’s U.S. Open after losing to Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round on Sept. 7, he has shown the world that he is an outstanding player.

Born in Chicago, Ill. on July 23, 1989, Young was raised by both of his parents, Illona and Donald Young Sr. who introduced him to the game of tennis at age of three.

Both Illona and Donald Sr. are experienced tennis players and they continue to coach Young in his professional career. It has been said by some tennis professionals that his parents’ coaching has hindered Young’s ability to become the tennis champion that he has the potential to be.

Despite those claims, Young has made a name for himself over the years.

At 16 years old, Young won the Orange Bowl title for players ages 16 and younger. One year later, in 2004, he played his first professional match and has had an on and off career since then.

Within a year of becoming a professional player, Young was said to be the number one tennis player in his age category in the world. He was the first African American to hold that title.

Young would have progressed to the quarter-finals if he would have defeated Wawrinka. Despite the loss, his popularity is rising among tennis fans.

Even though Young is out of this year’s U.S. Open, he is one of the most successful Black male tennis players to emerge in quite some time.

Young has another chance at the U.S. Open next year. What he does with that chance remains to be seen.