US tennis star denies claim of racism on court
The first day of the inaugural New York Open tennis tournament was embroiled in controversy when Donald Young accused Ryan Harrison of making a raciallycharged comment toward him during their heated match earlier this week.
Young, an African-American player, made the claim on his Twitter account shortly after midnight Tuesday, but did not specify what he heard.
Harrison denied the claim, calling it ‘‘completely false.’’
Following the match, which Young lost, he wrote, ‘‘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.’’
Young was not available for comment Tuesday and did not issue a statement. But Harrison said he hoped a recording of the incident could be found because, he said, it would vindicate him.
‘‘There is zero chance I said anything like he is claiming,’’ Harrison said. ‘‘Please, if anyone has a video or a recording, please points behind his first serve to extend his unbeaten record against Lopez to 3-0.
The seventh-ranked Goffin, who beat Nicolas Mahut in straight sets in his previous match, will next face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych.
Second-seeded Grigor Dimitrov beat Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round and Robin Haase won an all-Dutch contest against Thiemo de Bakker 6-2, 6-2. Dimitrov and Haase were joined in the second round by qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who advanced after Richard Gasquet retired while trailing 3-1. bring it forward.’’
The ATP, the governing body of the men’s professional tennis tour, is conducting an investigation into the incident, and according to two people familiar with it, no evidence had surfaced by Tuesday evening to support Young’s accusation.
‘‘The ATP takes any allegations of racial prejudice extremely seriously,’’ a statement issued by the organisation said.
The incident stemmed from a contentious argument that occurred during a changeover in the first set of Monday’s match, which Harrison won, 6-3, 7-6 (4). It escalated to the point that the umpire had to separate them.