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Taylor Townsend Turning Heads With Serve-and-Volley Success At The 2019 U.S. Open Tennis – 10sBalls

By: Thomas Cluck

Try, fail. Try again, fail again, fail better. Serve, volley, lose. Come again, this time win. Seven years on from an up-and-down junior career that saw her win three of the four junior Grand Slam titles, hold the junior number one ranking, and embark on her own journey into the pro tour, 23 year-old American Taylor Townsend is finally having her moment of success, breaking through at a major and earning her redemption after trying and failing again, failing better so many times. 

Qualifying into this year’s main draw in Flushing Meadows after three successful, gutsy qualies wins last week, the 116th-ranked Townsend is finally showing the tennis world all her odd unorthodoxly-traditional lefty, crafty, serve-and-volley game can do on the biggest stage in the sport at her home slam at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. 

Following frustrating, heartbreaking losses at the last two majors in Paris and London where Townsend fell to high seeds Garbine Muguruza and Kiki Bertens both in three sets, including from match point up to Bertens at Wimbledon, Townsend is shaking off all those Grand Slam setbacks with a memorable run here in New York City. 

The Chicago native turned Atlanta resident fought back from a set down in the opening round to upend Ukrainian veteran Kateryna Kozlova before earning the biggest win of her career in dramatic, emotional fashion over reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep on Thursday afternoon inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, again shaking off disappointment and demons from squandering match points when serving for the match only to come out on top the final time to the roar of the home American crowd. Coming back from a set down again, Townsend knocked out the former world number one and U.S. Open fourth seed Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 with a bold, brilliant big-hitting, net-rushing strategy, coming into over 100 times to stun her usually unshakable opponent. 

Having battled through a career defined so far by ups and downs, struggles, and missed opportunities, Townsend finally took one of the biggest of all in her still young career, earning her moment in the sun with the Queens (NYC) crowd roaring and applauding a young woman who’s had to fight for every chance in her career. 

Townsend’s tricky, lefty game was developed by a familiar tennis face and family, Illona Young, Mother of Donald Young, another uber-talented American junior with skill, style, and feel befitting a potential great of the game. A good friend of the Youngs, Townsend was turned into a lefty just like Donald by his mother, and remains close with her mentors to this day. Donald Young Senior is her coach.

Taylor didn’t allow the Townsend tale to end there though. Summing the gritty, hard-working attitude Young instilled in her, she passed the harder test, backing it up today with a straight-forward, solid victory over another Romanian, the big-hitting Sorana Cirstea, winning 7-5, 6-2 in front of a packed Labor Day Weekend crowd on Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

Successfully into week two in New York and her third week of play here, Townsend’s task gets no easier on Monday, taking on the battling, confidence-brimming Indian Wells and Toronto champion Bianca Andreescu, the 15th seed, in 4th round.

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