The first round match between Americans Ryan Harrison and Donald Young at the inaugural edition of the New York Open turned nasty and controversial when both players were involved in a long argument.
Harrison beat Young 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a stormy encounter on Monday that involved several altercations between both players throughout the match.
There was no proper broadcast of the match and hence it was impossible to make out what the two players were arguing about. But courtside footage of the incidents show glimpses of the heated confrontations.
The courtside audio is all but non-existent, but looks pretty hostile at the new New York Open between Ryan Harrison and Donald Young. pic.twitter.com/qYH3n8C3dB
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 13, 2018
Harrison, ranked 43 in the world, attempted to play down the argument in his post-match interview, claiming if they were playing another sport it would be less of a big deal. “We both started at a very young age on tour, we both have a lot of pressure and expectations on ourselves that we’ve been dealing with for a long time,” Harrison said after the match. “Like I said, I’ve been really fortunate to have fought through a lot of the adversity and Donald, I think, is trying to fight through the adversity. He’s trying to break back in to where he wants to be.
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) February 13, 2018
“But at the end of the day, you’re competitors out there. If that happened on a football field, people would probably just laugh and say “15-yard penalty and move on” but it is what it is and you move forward and you try to take it in stride,” he added.
However, Young took to social media after the match and accused his compatriot of racism. Young tweeted: “I’m shocked and disappointed, Ryan Harrison, to hear you tell me how you really feel about me as a black tennis player in the middle of our NY match.
I’m shocked and disappointed, Ryan Harrison, to hear you tell me how you really feel about me as a black tennis player in the middle of our NY match. I thought this was supposed to be an inclusive gentleman’s sport.
— Donald Young Jr (@Yimlife1313) February 13, 2018
“I thought this was supposed to be an inclusive gentleman’s sport.” Harrison was quick to respond to the accusations on Twitter, and labelled them as “absolutely untrue”. “The accusations made by Donald Young tonight following our match are absolutely untrue,” the 25-year-old Harrison posted on Twitter.
The accusations made by Donald Young tonight following our match are absolutely untrue. I’m extremely disappointed that someone would say this in reaction to a lost tennis match. Any video/audio will 100% clear me and I encourage anyone with the available resources to find it.
— Ryan Harrison (@ryanharrison92) February 13, 2018
“I’m extremely disappointed that someone would say this in reaction to a lost tennis match. Any video/audio will 100% clear me and I encourage anyone with the available resources to find it.”
While there’s no audio available to the incidents to verify Young’s claims, this is not the first time that Harrison has behaved in a disrespectful way on court.
Just over a month ago at Brisbane, in his quarter-final match against Yannick Hanfmann, Harrison lost his cool and yelled “F***ing German piece of sh*t, f***ing German mother****er,” in anger.
Two weeks later during the Australian Open, Harrison was once again seen abusing, and this time his anger was directed at his opponent Dudi Sela’s fans.
The American won the first round in five sets, 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 but was pissed off at Sela’s celebrations during the match and the support that he was getting from the watching crowd.
Harrison allegedly said to have told the following sentence to his coaches, referring to Sela's fans in the stands: “F**k those fucking people! F**k them off!”
— Jedd Zetzer (@jeddzetzer) January 15, 2018
Given Harrison’s past record of violent outbursts on court, it is imperative that the ATP World Tour take Young’s accusations seriously and investigate the matter further.
Updated Date: Feb 13, 2018 20:49 PM