Monday, July 9, 2018

Raonic beats McDonald to reach Wimbledon quarters

Milos Raonic, serving in 2016, pounded 37 aces
in his four-set victory over Mackenzie McDonald
today at Wimbledon. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Mackenzie McDonald avoided playing one towering former Wimbledon runner-up.
   But he couldn't escape meeting another.
   In a matchup of players with strong San Francisco Bay Area ties, 13th-seeded Milos Raonic overpowered the unseeded McDonald 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 today to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the third consecutive year and fourth in the past five.
   The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Raonic, who lost to Andy Murray in the 2016 final, clubbed 37 aces, won 89 percent of the points on his first serve (63 of 71) and did not face a break point.
   The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) McDonald was coming off a straight-set victory over Guido Pella of Argentina. Pella had upset 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Marin Cilic, the third seed and 2017 runner-up to Roger Federer.
   Raonic never lost a set in three appearances in the SAP Open in San Jose, winning the last three titles before the tournament moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2014 after 125 years in Northern California.
   Raonic, 27, will meet 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) John Isner, seeded ninth, in an ace-fest in Wednesday's quarterfinals. The other matchups are No. 1 seed Federer against No. 8 Kevin Anderson, No. 12 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 15 Kei Nishikori and No. 2 Rafael Nadal against either No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro or unseeded Gilles Simon.
   Del Potro leads Simon, 33, of France 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7 in a match suspended by darkness.
   McDonald, a 23-year-old product of Piedmont, won his first Challenger title in nearby Fairfield last October. He will climb from No. 103 in the world to about No. 78 and add $216,583 to his career prize money of $416,728.
   With today's loss by No. 7 Karolina Pliskova, none of the top 10 women's seeds reached the quarterfinals, a first in men's or women's play in the Open era (since 1968).
   Pliskova, who lost to Angelique Kerber in the final of the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, fell to No. 20 seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (1).
   In a matchup of mothers, No. 25 Serena Williams dismissed qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 6-2, 6-2 in 62 minutes.
   Williams, ranked No. 181 after having her first child last September, seeks her eighth Wimbledon singles title. The three-time Stanford champion is scheduled to play in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 30-Aug. 5 at San Jose State.
   Dominika Cibulkova, who won Stanford five years ago, eliminated Hsieh Su-Wei 6-4, 6-1. Hsieh was coming off a victory over top-ranked Simona Halep.
   The 5-foot-3 (1.61-meter) Cibulkova, ranked 33rd, appears to be on a mission to prove Wimbledon wrong when it seeded Williams. That bumped out Cibulkova, who criticized the decision.
   In Tuesday's women's quarterfinals (beginning at 5 a.m. PDT on ESPN), Cibulkova will face No. 12 seed Jelena Ostapenko, No. 11 Kerber will meet No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, Bertens will play No. 13 Julia Goerges, and unseeded Camila Giorgi will take on Williams.
   In men's doubles, two former players at Bay Area universities advanced to the quarterfinals with victories over German teams.
   No. 7 seeds Mike Bryan (Stanford, 1997-98) and Jack Sock of the United States held off unseeded Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5. Also, No. 14 Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) of Japan and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany defeated Philipp Petzschner and Tim Puetz 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
   In the second round of mixed doubles, No. 14 McLachlan and Eri Hozumi of Japan advanced by walkover against Bryan and compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
   Qualifier Keenan Mayo, from Roseville in the Sacramento area, lost to Arnaud Bovy of Belgium 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of boys singles.
   Here's Tuesday's order of play. Wimbledon is eight hours ahead of California.

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