Friday, February 22, 2019

McDonald tops del Potro; Cal women fall to No. 7 Vandy

Mackenzie McDonald, playing in the San Francisco Challenger
last February, beat ailing Juan Martin del Potro, ranked fourth,
tonight in the Delray Beach Open to reach his first ATP Tour
semifinal. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Mackenzie McDonald reached two milestones in his blossoming career tonight.
   The 23-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area recorded his first victory over a top-10 player to reach his first ATP Tour semifinal.
   However, there was a catch. McDonald's opponent, Juan Martin del Potro, was playing in his first tournament since breaking his right kneecap in Shanghai in October.
   The unseeded McDonald, ranked 84th, edged the top-seeded del Potro, ranked fourth, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the Delray Beach Open. Del Potro played with his knee heavily taped, and his mobility was limited during the 2-hour, 18-minute battle.
   McDonald, now based in Orlando, Fla., will surpass his career high of No. 76 in Monday's updated rankings.
   The Delray Beach Open is guaranteed to have a first-time ATP finalist, as the 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) and 160-pound (73-kilogram) McDonald is scheduled to meet Radu Albot, 29, of Moldova at 5 p.m. California time (Tennis Channel).
   Albot, even smaller than McDonald at 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) and 152 pounds (69 kilograms), surprised fourth-seeded Steve Johnson of Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles area 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
   In the other semifinal, second-seeded John Isner of Dallas is set to play qualifier Daniel Evans of Great Britain at noon (Tennis Channel).
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) del Potro, who won the 2011 Delray Beach title, blasted 16 aces and won 81 percent of the points on his first serve (48 of 59) against McDonald. Del Potro, though, converted only one of six first serves in the tiebreaker.
   McDonald pounded nine aces and won 82 percent of the points on his first delivery (40 of 49).
   It was the first meeting between del Potro, who defeated Roger Federer to win the 2009 U.S. Open before undergoing four wrist operations, and McDonald, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last July.
   College women -- Cal's Julia Rosenqvist shocked the nation's third-ranked player, but the No. 24 Bears lost to No. 7 Vanderbilt 4-3 in Berkeley.
   In the deciding match, ninth-ranked Christina Rosca defeated 20th-ranked Olivia Hauger 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Court 2. Rosenqvist, ranked 45th, beat Fernanda Contereras 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Court 1.
   Stanford (5-1) will host Vanderbilt (5-2) on Saturday at noon in a rematch of the NCAA final last May. The Cardinal won 4-3 for its 19th NCAA team title.

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