ATP Indian Wells: Donald Young shocks Lucas Pouille in three sets

ATP Indian Wells: Donald Young shocks Lucas Pouille in three sets

Donald Young kept American dreams alive in the Men's tournament by defeating the 14th seed Lucas Pouille in three sets to progress to the fourth round.


Donald Young surprised the Frenchman Lucas Pouille by defeating him 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to book a spot in the BNP Paribas Open fourth round. He will next play Kei Nishikori, a head-to-head he trails 4-0. 

Young grabs the opening set

The Frenchman began the match with a hold of serve which was followed by a hold of serve from Young as both players got on the board at 1-1. Both players began holding serve and the next two went the same way with the match locked at 2-2. The fifth game opened up with Young taking the Frenchman to deuce who stood firm and powered his way through to stay in front. Just three games later at 3-4, the first break point of the set arrived for Young at 30-40 as the world number 15 fired an unforced error.

Donald Young his a volley (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
Donald Young his a volley (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

Young then went out wide on his serve to which the Frenchman failed to close down as the break point was saved. Young would still be troubled in the game being taken to deuce twice before eventually holding to draw level at 4-4. Pouille would then be put under pressure by his own mistake, hitting a double fault with a second break point of the set going the way of Young. He found his target, struck the forehand down the line and got his reward, breaking for 5-4. A set point would come up for the American at 15-40 but despite Pouille saving the first one, he clinched the set on the very next point, 6-4. 

Pouille fights back, sends match into deciding set

Despite having the momentum on his side, Young failed to take advantage. In the second game, Pouille struck a forehand winner which presented him with a break point at 30-40. A forehand down the line would see the 27-year-old save the break point before holding to get on the board in the game. The 23-year-old held his serve to love and pressured Young, earning triple break points in the next game. At the first time of asking, he broke with a beautiful forehand passing shot which was swiftly followed by a hold of serve for 1-4.

Lucas Pouille towels himself down (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille towels himself down (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

The American would struggle to take a grasp on the set and Pouille attacked causing Young to play a forehand right into the net with a further break point going Pouille's way at advantage. The Frenchman would break for the second time going down the line and finding his mark, 5-1. Despite being troubled, the 14th seed gained a set point at 30-40 with some good, clutch serving. An ace sealed the set for the Frenchman leveling at 1-6. 

Young sends Pouille packing

Young regrouped at the end of the second set and started the decider on fire. After holding serve, he then went 15-40 up, gaining two break points with a forehand down the line. An error from the Frenchman allowed Young to break who then consolidated and went 3-0 up saving two break points in the process.

An error filled game from the 14th seed allowed Young to gain further break points, this time two of them at 15-40. Pouille could only save one break point as a double fault gifted the game to the American who went 4-0. As the Frenchman tried finding his way back into the set, he had another break point saved with Young taking a 5-0 lead.

Donald Young strikes a forehand shot (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
Donald Young strikes a backhand shot (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

Serving to stay in the tournament, Pouille played an error-filled game which gave Young two break/match points. The 23-year-old then used his serve to get out of troubling, saving the double break/match points and finishing with an ace to get on the board at 5-1. This gave the Frenchman confidence, who was forced once again to save two match points before breaking the frustrated American for 5-2.

The eighth game would see Pouille save a fifth match point as he hung on in and held once more for 5-3, hunting down Young. The frustrated American grabbed a further two match points in the next game. Pouille would only save one as he eventually lost the fight and bowed out.