Friends, Romans and a 63-Year-Old Ballboy

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124144813FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — Despite pressure from the USTA and others, Donald Young has made it clear that he has no intention to sever the family ties, preferring the parental coaching of his parents, Donald, Sr., and Illona.  Following his loss to Andy Murray in the fourth round, the 22-year-old talked about the importance of the family bond.  “Family is very important to me.  That’s how I was kind of raised and brought up.  I enjoy being at home with my parents and family, period.  And friends. They started me and I appreciate that.  They’ve been everything for me.  When I was doing bad, they were there.  When I was doing good, they were there — unlike a lot of other people. But we won’t say.  They’ve just done everything for my tennis. I’m not not interested in adding someone to the team, but they’ve been there, and they’re there to stay.”  Young hopes his five-set 7-6(7), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(1) win over Swiss Stan Wawrinka and straight-sets 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 upset of Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela prove a launching pad.  “Definitely, it’s given me a lot of confidence.  I’ll leave more confident and a better player for it,” said Young.  “Winning my first-ever five-set match in a tiebreak in the fifth, and also coming back a couple days later and solidifying a win in the next match relatively — or convincing, not easy — in three sets, was pretty big for me…The tournament I have had here, the Slam, is the best tournament I’ve ever had.”

ANDY’S ON THE FENCE: Told that there was a guy fan on the fence and a baby crying during his match against David Ferrer on Court 13, Andy Roddick quipped, “At least there wasn’t a baby crying on the fence.”

ISNER ON DIAZ: John Isner called his former University of Georgia coach, Manny Diaz, “the biggest reason why I’m here today, because I spent four years under his tutelage. He’s such a great coach and a good friend as well.  I’m happy to have him on my side.”

FOOTBALL IS KING: Asked if Andy Roddick‘s U.S. Open win of 2003 made a big impression on him, John Isner said, “I was probably watching NFL football, to be honest.”

THAT’S ONE WEALTHY UNCLE: Asked what she would do with a potential $2.8 million in prize money if she wins the U.S. Open, Serena Williams informed us, “I give half to my favorite uncle, and then the rest I probably save it, hopefully.  Pray that the banks don’t go down.”

9/11 REMEMBRANCE: With the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11, U.S. Open semifinalist Sam Stosur took a moment to reflect on the tragic day: “I was playing $10,000s [Challenger events] in Japan. I woke up to the TV or one of the other Aussie girls there calling the room and saying, ‘Turn on the TV and look what’s going on.’ It was unbelievable.  I was only 17 at the time.  There were four or five of us traveling around in a group together and had no idea what was going to happen.  We all thought planes aren’t going fly ever again and didn’t know.  Watching those images, going out to play your matches at a $10,000 event all of a sudden became pretty irrelevant…It’s kind of strange to be back here in New York on the 10th anniversary.  It’s great to see how people have moved on.  It was a really sad time, but everyone’s getting through it.”

HEADLINES

Nadal Storms Officials

Zinging In the Rain

A Rain of Error

THE NUMBERS

63: Age of Jerry Loughran, the oldest ballperson at the U.S. Open.

10: Shirts John Isner went through during his fourth-round win over Frenchman Gilles Simon. (Said the former Georgia Bulldog, “I ran out of shirts.  I had to go get somebody to go get me some more.”  Where did he find the reinforcements?  A friend had to run out to the Nike store.  “I needed them, because it was so humid out there.  I just kept going through my shirts.  At one point I counted in my bag and I only had two left and it was in the beginning of the third set.”)

60: E-Mails received by Angelique Kerber following her quarterfinal win over No. 26 seed Flavia Pennetta.

QUOTEBOOK

“If the Romans could put a roof on the ancient Colosseum, why can’t the United States Tennis Association add a roof to one of its show courts at the United States Open?” — Karen Crouse, The New York Times

“The top players are members of the Association of Tennis Professionals, but care almost exclusively about their own careers, about their endorsements…In tennis, the stars never stay aligned for long.” — Filip Bondy, Daily News

“Whenever his fascinating odyssey reaches its conclusion, Donald Young won’t mind being a cautionary tale as long as his story has a happy ending.” — Mark Cannizzaro

“I always go out wearing either shoes that cover all my foot or most of it.” — Serena Williams on life after the foot injury she suffered stepping on glass in Munich

“Caroline is one of the most underestimated players out there, because you have to win each and every point against her.  If you don’t do it, you lose.” — Andrea Petkovic on Caroline Wozniacki

“I wake up last night and I was thinking, ‘It’s a dream or it’s real?'” — U.S. Open semifinalist Angelique Kerber of Germany

“Everybody says Roger is finished.  But for me, he’s still the same player.” — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had beaten Roger Federer in consecutive matches, but fell to the Swiss 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in the U.S. Open quarterfinals

“Her weapon is the fact that she never gives up…That’s probably the biggest weapon I think you can have in all of tennis.” — Serena Williams on semifinal opponent Caroline Wozniacki