Friday, July 6, 2018

McDonald reaches last 16 at Wimbledon; Querrey falls

Mackenzie McDonald, playing in the San Francisco Chal-
lenger in February, beat Guido Pella 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (6) today
in the third round at Wimbledon. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Other than being San Francisco Bay Area natives, Sam Querrey and Mackenzie McDonald have little in common.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, a 30-year-old newly married man, is seeded 11th at Wimbledon. He reached the semifinals there last year, which remains his best showing in a Grand Slam tournament.
   The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) McDonald, a 23-year-old bachelor, barely gained direct entry into Wimbledon with a world ranking of No. 103. He had never won a main-draw match there before this year.
   But McDonald reached the round of 16 today at the All England Club while Querrey was upset.
   McDonald held his serve throughout a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (6) victory over Guido Pella, a 28-year-old left-hander from Argentina.
   While McDonald rested on Thursday, Pella completed a win over third seed and 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic after trailing two sets to none in a match suspended by rain.
   Querrey, who was born in San Francisco but attended high school in the Los Angeles area, lost to Gael Monfils, a 31-year-old Frenchman, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
   Monfils, who has plunged from a career-high No. 6 in 2016 to No. 44, improved to 3-0 against Querrey and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time. Querrey will tumble to about No. 30.
   McDonald was born and raised in Piedmont, the hometown of ESPN analyst and former world No. 4 Brad Gilbert. McDonald is mentored by former top-10 singles and doubles player Wayne Ferreira, a South African who lived in Berkeley for many years before moving to South Carolina.
   McDonald turned pro two years ago after sweeping the NCAA singles and doubles titles as a UCLA junior and won his first Challenger title last October in Fairfield, a one-hour drive northeast of Piedmont (not counting the notorious Bay Area traffic). He now trains at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
   McDonald will climb at least 20 places when the rankings are updated after Wimbledon and add a minimum of $216,583 to his career earnings of $416,728. He will play either No. 13 seed Milos Raonic, the runner-up to Andy Murray two years ago, or Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak, ranked No. 171, for the first time on Monday.
   Raonic, who won the last three SAP Open titles in San Jose before the tournament was replaced by Rio de Janeiro in 2014, led Novak 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-5 (on serve) when the match was suspended by darkness.
   Novak knocked off No. 17 seed Lucas Pouille of France in five sets in the second round. Pouille reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open two years ago, stunning Rafael Nadal in the latter tournament.
   Also today, top-seeded Roger Federer dismissed Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. Federer has not lost a set as he seeks his record-extending ninth Wimbledon singles title before his 37th birthday on Aug. 8.
   In women's singles, No. 25 seed Serena Williams is the only remaining American after No. 9 Venus Williams and No. 10 Madison Keys were upset.
   No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands edged Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion (most recently 10 years ago) and four-time runner-up (including last year), 6-2, 6-7 (5), 8-6.
   Evgeniya Rodina, a 29-year-old Russian qualifier, stunned Keys, the U.S. Open runner-up to Sloane Stephens last September, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
   Serena Williams, who won the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford three times (2011, 2012 and 2014) and Keys, last year's Stanford champion in the final edition of the tournament, are scheduled to play in the inaugural Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 30-Aug. 5 at San Jose State.
   Halfway through the third round at Wimbledon, only No. 1 Simona Halep and No. 7 Karolina Pliskova remain among the top 10 women's seeds. Pliskova, the runner-up to Angelique Kerber at Stanford in 2015, topped No. 29 Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 after trailing 6-3, 4-1.
   Men's doubles also has been filled with upsets, as the top three seeds already have lost. Gone are No. 1 Oliver Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia, No. 2 and defending champions Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil, and No. 3 Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia.
   But No. 7 seeds Mike Bryan (Stanford, 1997-98) and Jack Sock reached the third round. Bob Bryan (Stanford, 1997-98) remains out with a hip injury.
   In the second round of women's doubles, No. 11 seeds Raquel Atawo of Sacramento and Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany lost to Tatjana Maria of Germany and Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1.

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