When Donald Young lost to Jeremy Chardy in the first round of the Toronto Masters, it was the American’s 16th consecutive defeat. For losing 16 consecutive matches, Young has earned 133,071 US dollars (84,874 pounds). One of those defeats was unpaid – at the London Olympics.
Young is now just five short of fellow American Vince Spadea’s modern era record of 21 consecutive defeats across 1999 and 2000. So what’s Spadea doing now? According to Tennis X, he is “a rap artist, restaurateur, boutique acting and modelling agent, and mentor to young tennis players – on the side, he’s planning on creating a clothing line, selling a DVD series and investing in a renovations company”. As Vince once rapped: “I’m Spadea, I ain’t afraid of ya”.
It was eight years ago that Newsweek included Young, then just 15, in their ‘Who’s next?’ feature (he was the only athlete on the list). It was last season that Young beat Andy Murray, now the Olympic champion, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. It was just six months ago that he was at a career high of 38 in the world, and he’s now at 84.
Young’s last victory was in February, when he beat Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round of the Memphis tournament. He lost in the next round to American John Isner. Since then he has lost in the first round in: Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami, Casablanca, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Nice, Roland Garros, Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Newport, Atlanta, the London Olympics and Toronto.
What Canada’s National Post made of Young’s latest defeat: “Donald Young says he is not counting anymore. Maybe it is because he has lost count. It was 16 losses ago that he last won a match. Every tournament for him is the same. He arrives in a new city, hits a few balls in the first round, and leaves before jet lag can even set in.”
“Hopefully,” Young has said, “I can laugh about this later this year.”