Saturday, September 30, 2017

For McDonald, loss is same old, same old

Tennys Sandgren, above, improved to 5-0 against Mackenzie
McDonald today with a win in the semifinals of the $100,000
Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Mackenzie McDonald couldn't end two winless streaks today.
   He had his chances, though.
   Playing in his native San Francisco Bay Area, the unseeded McDonald lost to second-seeded Tennys Sandgren of Gallatin, Tenn., 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) in the semifinals of the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger at the Tiburon Peninsula Club.
   McDonald fell to 0-5 against Sandgren and 0-7 in Challenger semifinals. Seven weeks ago, Sandgren routed McDonald 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of a $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, a two-hour drive south of affluent Tiburon.
   Sandgren, 26, will face eighth-seeded Cameron Norrie of Great Britain on Sunday not before 2:30 p.m. Norrie, a 22-year-old left-hander, dismantled unseeded Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India 6-3, 6-2.
   Sandgren saved four set points serving at 4-5 in the first set against the 22-year-old McDonald, who was playing in his third consecutive Tiburon semifinal.
   McDonald, who grew up across the bay in Piedmont, served for the second set at 5-4, but Sandgren broke. Sandgren also trailed 0-3 in the tiebreaker.
   Overall, the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Sandgren escaped seven of eight break points against him and blasted 10 aces against three double faults. McDonald, only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters), had three aces and three double faults.
   Sandgren, ranked No. 104, is 2-2 against Norrie, ranked No. 165. They met only two weeks ago, when Norrie won 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 in the second round of a $50,000 hardcourt tournament in Cary, N.C. Norrie reached the final, in which he lost to American Kevin King.
   Sandgren, who underwent hip surgery in 2014, seeks the fourth Challenger singles title of his career and third of the year. Norrie, who turned pro in June after his junior year at Texas Christian, won a $50,000 tournament in Binghamton (N.Y.) in July for his only Challenger title. He was the runner-up to countryman Daniel Evans in Aptos last year.
   The Tiburon title will be the biggest of either player's career.        
   In Sunday's doubles final at noon, top-seeded Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico will meet unseeded former Cal stars Andre Goransson of Sweden and Florian Lakat of France.
   Here are the Tiburon Challenger singles and doubles draws and Sunday's schedule. The tournament is being streamed live.
   Here are the singles qualifying draw, singles main draw and Sunday's schedule for next week's $100,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger at the University of the Pacific's Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center.

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