Young slumps to 2nd-round exit in Melbourne

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Donald Young wouldn’t call it a setback, but his glum face and petulant reaction to his Australian Open exit told a different story.

Last season, the American reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open and made his first ATP final, putting him in the top 50 for the first time.

On Wednesday, he lost 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to qualifier Lukas Lacko in the second round. He had beaten the Slovakian in straight sets at the U.S. Open to begin his best Grand Slam run.

Walking into a post-match news conference, Young angrily chucked his shoes and bag in the corner of the room and slumped into a chair.

When asked what happened on the court, the 22-year-old testily replied: “He won the match. It’s quite obvious.”

“It’s very disappointing actually but … it’s over now, not much I can do about it. It’s definitely not how I hoped it to end.”

The dispiriting loss came just as his game seemed to be gathering momentum.

Young, who turned pro at 14, has had an up-and-down relationship with the United States Tennis Association. It hit a low in April when he used an expletive-laced tweet to blast the USTA decision to make him compete in a playoff for a French Open wild card.

At the U.S. Open, he was full of contrition, saying he felt a light had been turned on. After the tournament, he finally began working with a USTA coach. But he’s currently coached again by his parents.

On a breezy day at Melbourne Park, they sat wrapped in towels as their increasingly frustrated son stumbled to defeat.

“Let’s go, man. Every point,” his father, Donald Sr., shouted as Young walked out at 5-3 down in the fourth set. He lost the game at love.

___

CONTENTIOUS CALL: John Isner’s latest five-set, marathon win was overshadowed by David Nalbandian’s outrage at a controversial call.

The towering American rallied to defeat Nalbandian 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8 in a second-round match that lasted for 4 hours, 41 minutes, including a 99-minute deciding set.

Although the match didn’t go nearly as long as Isner’s 11-hour, 5-minute battle with Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010 _ which the 6-foot-9 Isner won 70-68 in the fifth set _ it certainly wasn’t short on drama. An angry Nalbandian complained when his request to challenge a line call was rejected by chair umpire Kader Nouni.

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