How the Young have grown

NEW YORK -- The grandstand crowd stood and roared their appreciation Sunday, and Donald Young paused for a moment. He smiled. He closed his eyes, feeling the love that has eluded him for so long.

It had to feel good. Isn't delayed gratification the best kind?

This was a dizzying scene that both he and American tennis fans have anticipated for six years when he was the world's No. 1–ranked junior. He beat No. 24-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5, 6-4, 6-3, and finally, at the age of 22, the Chicago-born prodigy is into the second week of a Grand Slam.

"It's been tough," Young said. "There have been times when I didn't want to pick up the racket, times when I couldn't watch TV because they were talking bad about me. I'm just really excited."

The way Young, ranked No. 84 among ATP World Tour players, has been playing, this wasn't a surprise.

Criticized for his lack of conditioning and strength, Young has responded here with two impressive back-to-back wins. Friday, he upset No. 14-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka -- in a fifth-set tiebreaker, no less. Sunday's was far less dramatic.

He handled the Argentine in 2 hours, 15 minutes and was broken only twice. Young, whose shot-making talent has never been questioned, stroked 46 winners; Chela, who wasn't sharp, was tagged with 41 unforced errors.

The difference? A month of training with the USTA in California, hitting with Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and, on several occasions, legendary Pete Sampras.

"We were doing two-a-days in the gym, two-a-days tennis, which is more than I've ever done before," Young said. "For a time right after I was beat, but I think it's starting to pay off now."

Young next faces the winner of Sunday night's encounter between No. 4 seed Andy Murray and No. 25 Feliciano Lopez for a berth in the quarterfinals.

Young, it should be mentioned, has already beaten Murray this year, back in March at Indian Wells.

"At times I wasn't winning matches at Challengers, and I was losing to guys 300 in the world," Young said. "Actually this year I lost to some players 300. To go from losing a first-round Challenger in Aptos [Calif.] to the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open is great.

"But you have your highs and lows in tennis. I've definitely had the lows. Hopefully, I'll have a lot more highs."

Where the heart is: It's been a rotten summer so far for Andy Roddick, but now that he's back home in New York, he looks like a different cat.

Roddick and his wife, Brooklyn Decker, have a place in the city and his record at the U.S. Open is 39-10 -- his best among the majors.

Sunday, Roddick sailed into the fourth round with a low-key 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over French wild-card Julien Benneteau. Roddick's serve was never broken.

Later Roddick, 28, who has struggled with his game and injuries, was in a contemplative mood.

"I think this year, more than any, I've looked around a couple times in the stadium and just realized how cool it really is, how special it is," Roddick said. "Afterward, I was happy. I mean, I went from four weeks ago I wasn't even playing tennis to now I'm in the second week of a major again. So it turns quickly sometimes. I was humbled at the end."

This means there will be an intriguing fourth-round match between Roddick and feisty No. 5 seed David Ferrer on Tuesday.

"Obviously, he's tough," Roddick said. "A lot of what I do feeds into what he does well also. I don't think there's a lot of secrets between us. Most of the time we played, whoever has executed better has won."

The King is dead: The 2009 champion here missed last year's event with a wrist injury but had a streak of nine straight wins at the U.S. Open. Thanks to Gilles Simon, that run is over.

The Frenchman took down Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in a match that went three minutes short of four hours.

Drawn and quartered: After all the (genuine) excitement about the young American women, Serena Williams is the only U.S. female left in the second week.

The women's draw is decimated, as evidenced by this Tuesday's quarterfinal: Angelique Kerber versus Flavia Pennetta. At No. 92, Kerber is the lowest-ranked player left in the women's draw. She beat Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-3. She is one of three Germans to reach the third round, along with Andre Petkovic and Sabine Lisicki.

Pennetta is seeded No. 26 and wretched several times serving for the match against Shuai Peng. She won 6-4, 7-6 (6) and probably wouldn't have made it if extended to a third set.

"I think was because it's really humid today," Pennetta said. "It's hot. And also, when you are there you have a lot of emotion in the court. My body just needed to breathe, and I starting maybe to have the sensation to throwing up.

"But without nothing inside, it didn't come out."

Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.