• Young, Baker in action at Atlanta Open

    7/15/12 10:58 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Young, Baker in action at Atlanta Open Americans Donald Young and Brian Baker will headline the Day 1 night session in Atlanta. They are set for respective meetings with Steve Johnson and Igor Kunitsyn.

    (WC) Steve Johnson vs. Donald Young

    Two 22-year-old Americans will be squaring off for the first time in their careers when Johnson and Young do battle in round one of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Monday. Of course, the two compatriots are at very different points in their professional lives. Johnson is just now embarking on the ATP Tour after dominating the college level as Southern California's No. 1 player. Young turned pro way back in 2004.

    It took Young much longer than expected to make serious noise, which he finally did last year. However, the world No. 57 has collapsed in 2012 and is on a losing streak that could go down in history if he isn't careful. Young is 2-16 for the season and has dropped 13 matches in a row, including 12 straight first-round setbacks. Johnson should be able to take advantage of his opponent's fragile mental state, so look for the wild card to prevail in three sets.

    Igor Kunitsyn vs. (WC) Brian Baker

    Baker is in line to earn ATP Comeback Player of the Year for 2012, and that's an understatement. The 27-year-old American missed much of the past six years due to a whole host of injuries and surgeries. Baker finally returned to tennis earlier this season and his rise has been meteoric. He finished runner-up in Nice, won a match at the French Open, then qualified for the Wimbledon main draw and reached the fourth round.

    Up first for Baker in Atlanta is a first-ever matchup against Kunitsyn, who is toiling down at No. 126 in the world. The 30-year-old Russian is a horrendous 4-17 at the ATP level this year and he has not won an ATP match since Houston in April. Baker has surged to a career-high ranking of No. 76 and his climb should continue this week. Count on the wild card cruising in straight sets.

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Kind of surprised Ricky is picking Johnson although I'll admit I don't recall seeing him play before. Surely this must be the point at which Young snaps back to life and avoids further risk of attaining Ginepri's record of futility down the road. Haven't seen Baker on hard court. Hope he gets a few wins here.

chr18 , 7/15/12 11:16 PM

do you mean Spadea's?

I have seen Johnson play many times. He will take care of Young.

RickyDimon , 7/16/12 3:53 AM

Ya Vince. Don't know why I said Ginepri. The rapper dude lol.

chr18 , 7/16/12 3:56 AM

Spadea was quite the character. LOL.

I hope "The Donald " Young gets grooving into action and earns his spot in the Olympics. he can play great one match and absolutely dismal the next. Dunno when he'll get his body and mind in coordination. It sure is taking a loooong time.

scoretracker , 7/16/12 6:12 AM

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