Donald Young has made impressive back-to-back runs to the semis – last week in Memphis, now in Delray Beach. His victims include some of the biggest servers in the game – Reilly Opelka and John Isner in Memphis, Ivo Karlovic and Taylor Fritz in Delray Beach. Over the last few years, it has been pleasing to see Young shake off his early career struggles and at last get himself into the thick of competition. His Delray Beach semi opponent is Jack Sock. Sock has won their two previous matches, most recently beating Young in the second round of Toronto last year, 64, 63.
Intrigued to see Novak Djokovic take a wild card into Acapulco. Usually this week, Djokovic’s played in Dubai, a tournament he’s won four times. But ever since Djokovic completed the career Grand Slam at Roland Garros last year, his previously well-organized tennis house has splintered. It is fascinating indeed how a player can suddenly but subtly go from dominance to disarray – a step here, a forehand there, and like that, the aura of invincibility Djokovic earned has greatly diminished. As one ex-pro once told me, “Every player is a shark, and when he smells the slightest bit of blood out there – even from the top players – it’s feeding time.” Acapulco’s location off the water – along with a field that boasts top tenners Milos Raonic, Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and David Goffin -- will likely reveal more about Djokovic’s buoyancy.
Condolences to the McEnroe family on the loss of its patriarch, John McEnroe, Sr., who died on February 18 at the age of 81. For many years, McEnroe was a highly visible part of the tennis world, courtside with his floppy hat, watching his two sons John and Patrick. McEnroe made his living as a lawyer at the prestigious Manhattan law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison, skills he brought to bear in aiding the business affairs of his boys (and others in tennis too). Passion, intelligence, engagement – this was a man who was always paying attention.