Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bay Area's McDonald sweeps NCAA men's titles

UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald, from Piedmont in the San Fran-
cisco Bay Area, became the first man in 15 years to sweep the
NCAA singles and doubles titles. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   Not only did Mackenzie McDonald lose in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championships last year, he was humiliated.
   The San Francisco Bay Area resident also lost in the opening round of doubles in 2015.
   One year later, McDonald became the first man in 15 years to sweep the NCAA titles.
   The UCLA junior from Piedmont, seeded sixth, outclassed top-seeded Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State 6-3, 6-3 on Monday in Tulsa, Okla. McDonald and Martin Redlicki, the second seeds in doubles, then beat unseeded Arthur Rinderknech and Jackson Withrow of Texas A&M 6-4, 6-1.
   "I'm really happy with this accomplishment," said McDonald, who earned singles and doubles wild cards in this year's U.S. Open with the titles. "It's unbelievable. I always wanted to win something for UCLA, and to bring back two trophies for them this year is really cool to me."
   McDonald, seeded third in NCAA singles last year, lost to Lloyd Glasspool of Texas 6-0, 6-2 in the opening round. Also, McDonald and Redlicki fell to Boris Arias and Jordan Daigle of LSU 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 in a first-round matchup of unseeded teams.
   McDonald rebounded to become the first man to sweep the singles and doubles crowns since Mathias Boeker of Georgia in 2001. The last woman to accomplish the feat was Nicole Gibbs of Stanford in 2012. Gibbs is now ranked No. 72 in the world in singles.
   Meanwhile, No. 2 seed Danielle Collins of Virginia beat No. 1 Hayley Carter of North Carolina 6-3, 6-2 for her second NCAA singles title. Collins also won two years ago as a sophomore.
   No. 3 seeds Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan of Florida won the women's doubles title, crushing No. 4 Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr of Cal 6-2, 6-0.
   Austin reached the singles semifinals in the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger last July.
   A Cal team lost in the women's doubles final for the second consecutive year. Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi fell to Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe of Alabama in 2015.
   McDonald, only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 145 pounds (66 kilograms), could forgo his senior season and turn pro. He already is ranked No. 420 in the world under longtime private coach Wayne Ferreira, who reached a career-high No. 6 in 1995.
   Three years ago, before McDonald had enrolled at UCLA, he became the only unranked teenager to qualify for an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, the highest level for men besides the Grand Slams. McDonald stunned then-No. 79 Nicolas Mahut of France and then-No. 128 Steve Johnson of Orange in the Los Angeles area to reach the main draw in Cincinnati.
  Johnson is now ranked No. 34, and Mahut is No. 44.
  On the U.S. Challenger circuit last fall, McDonald reached the semifinals in Tiburon in the Bay Area, quarterfinals in Sacramento and, as a qualifier, semis in Champaign, Ill.

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