Sunday, February 22, 2015

Young vs Karlovic in Delray Beach Open final

Young vs Karlovic in Delray Beach Open final

Donald Young scored a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory over Bernard Tomic and reached the Delray Beach Open final.

Young will face Ivo Karlovic, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Adrian Mannarino. At a week shy of his 36th birthday, Karlovic, the 2010 runner-up, is the oldest finalist in the 23-year history of the tournament.

Against Tomic, Young hit eight double faults in the swirling wind - two in a row to lose his serve in the fifth game of the first set--but he also saved seven of 10 break points, including two at 4-4 in the second set, another while serving at 3-1 in the third and two more to hold for 5-2.

"I took a two-hour nap before the match and woke up irritated," said Young, who admitted that he was bothered by everything from the way a ball boy handed him his towel to the engine-revving of a courtside promotional car. "Usually those days don't turn out too well."
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But instead of panicking, Young revved his own engine, fired forehands deep to Tomic's backhand, and stormed the net, hitting a bevy of stab volley winners.

Tomic had 13 aces and many more service winners, but Young had to rely instead on his foot speed and his guile, both of which are vastly improved this year.

Up 5-2 in the third, the 56th-ranked Atlanta resident pushed Tomic to 15-40 with a sneak-attack forehand volley winner. After Tomic saved a match point with a 117-mph ace, Young claimed victory when Tomic punched an unforced forehand long.

Young is 10-3 on the season, the best start of his career. Last year, he did not win 10 tour matches until mid-June. With a win Sunday, he will likely rise back into the world's top 40, close to his career-high No. 38 in 2012.

Against Mannarino, Karlovic served 17 aces, including one on match point, and he saved all five break points he faced in the second set. Karlovic has served 78 aces in four matches and hasn't dropped serve all week. He has held 47 consecutive times and been broken just four times in 13 matches this season.