x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Donald Young doing himself no favours on Twitter

Donald Young, the enfant terrible of American tennis, who last week blasted the US Tennis Association (USTA) for not adequately supporting him, in his telling.

Tennis and Twitter seem made for each other, a highly personal sport and a social network that connects stars with the fans who believe they know them.

Vania King's Twitter feed on the WTA home page informs us that she is yearning for "some good Taiwanese food". Good to know. And Julio Goerges revealed that she just had "treatment with my very nice physio". Thank goodness.

Every sport, however, has had more than a few moments when high officials must wish Twitter had a few more filters.

The most recent example: Donald Young, the enfant terrible of American tennis, who last week blasted the US Tennis Association (USTA) for not adequately supporting him, in his telling.

He committed 14 of about 60 characters in his message to expletives, which did nothing to put tennis on a higher intellectual plane, popularise the game or endear us to Young.

He made a different sort of news with impressive results as a junior. In 2005, at age 15, he became the youngest male to win the Australian Open junior championship. Stardom seemed to beckon.

He apparently thought he deserved a wild-card slot into the French Open next month; the USTA typically has a tournament to decide who gets that one berth. Young did not win it.

A few seconds of Twitter madness later, Young was making the wrong kind of news and later apologised. Twitter and tennis? Sometimes it is a form of anti- social media.