Donald Young playing pickleball.
Donald Young competing at the Veolia Houston Open. PPA Tour

Donald Young enjoys memorable singles run in Houston

DALLAS, TX – There’s nothing like a tournament upset, and last week at the Veolia Houston Open, former tennis pro Donald Young enjoyed quite a run in men’s singles.  

Young, who was seeded 35th, is still in the early stages of his pickleball career.

It appears, however, that Houston was definitely his lucky city.

“I put in a lot more work on the singles court. I did a lot more point play and working on certain shots, so that when I was actually in the match, the shots became second nature and I could execute,” he shared. “I focused more on strategy as opposed to just making the ball.”

He opened the event with a victory over 24th-seeded Frank Anthony Davis.

“That was important because I haven’t won many matches, so beating Frank Anthony was awesome,” said Young. 

Donald Young playing pickleball
Donald Young at the Veolia Houston Open. PPA Tour

Then, he won matchups with Jay Devilliers and youngster Cason Campbell.

“Jay is a friend of mine, and he’s eighth in the world, so he’s really good. Once I won that one, it gave me a bit of confidence to continue playing well,” explained Young. 

He then found himself in the quaterfinals against third-seeded Connor Garnett, and emerged with a hard-fought 11-8, 9-11, 12-10 triumph in a contest that went the distance. 

“Playing Connor was a battle,” said Young. “He’s another friend of mine on tour and we’ve practiced a bit. He beat me the last time we played, so it was nice to get out there and have a good match. It was a lot of fun.”

Although Young eventualy lost to second-seeded Federico Staksrud in the semis, he still played for a bronze medal on Championship Sunday against sixth-seeded Jaume Martinez Vich.

While Vich ultimately claimed bronze, Young's success shows just how quickly talented newcomers can learn the intricacies of the game and make some noise on the pro circuit.

And he's hoping to make more headlines at the Veolia LA Open in the coming days. 

“I’d like to keep the momentum going, but I don’t have any expectations right now,” concluded Young. “I’m just getting better day by day and letting the work and the results happen as they may.”