Saturday, February 23, 2019

Roundup: McDonald falls in Delray Beach semis, etc.

Mackenzie McDonald, playing near home in the $100,000 San Fran-
cisco Challenger last February, lost to Radu Albot of Moldova 3-6,
6-0, 6-0 tonight in the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open. Photo
by Paul Bauman
   Both Mackenzie McDonald and Radu Albot are small and fast.
   Both were seeking their first ATP Tour final.
   The difference tonight was experience.
   Coming from behind for the second consecutive match, the 29-year-old Albot defeated the 23-year-old McDonald 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 in a semifinal matchup of unseeded players in the Delray Beach Open.
   It was Albot's second ATP semifinal in three weeks and third overall. The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter), 160-pound (73-kilogram) McDonald, from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, had never been that far until this week.
   Albot, 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) and 152 pounds (69 kilograms), trailed by a set and a service break in his 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) quarterfinal victory over fourth-seeded Steve Johnson of Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles region.
   Albot, ranked 82nd, evened his career record against McDonald, ranked 84th, at 1-1. McDonald won 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of qualifying in Shanghai last October.
   The Delray Beach Open will produce a first-time ATP Tour champion, as Albot is scheduled to play qualifier Daniel Evans of Great Britain on Sunday. Evans, also 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters), stunned second-seeded John Isner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, breaking the 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) American's serve three consecutive times.
   Evans also ousted third seed and defending champion Frances Tiafoe in the first round and sixth seed Andreas Seppi of Italy in the quarterfinals.
   In doubles, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan reached their first final since Bob underwent right hip replacement surgery last August and their seventh in Delray Beach.
   The 40-year-old Bryan twins (Stanford, 1997-98) beat unseeded Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jamie Cerretani of Reading, Mass., 6-3, 7-5.
   The Bryans, seeking their fifth Delray Beach title, will face brothers Ken Skupski, 35, and Neal Skupski, 29, of Great Britain. Seeded second, they downed unseeded Albot and Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-4, 6-2.
   Open 13 Provence -- Third-seeded Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) of Japan and Matwe Middelkoop of the Netherlands will play unseeded Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin of France for the title in Marseille, France.
   McLachlan, a New Zealand native who plays for his mother's native country, and Middelkoop beat unseeded Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Oswald of Austria 3-6, 7-5 [10-7] on Friday.
   Women's Challenger -- Former Stanford teammates Nicole Gibbs and Kristie Ahn will meet in the final of the $25,000 Shoebacca Women's Open in Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area.
   In the all-American semifinals, the second-seeded Gibbs, 25, outlasted 18-year-old Ann Li 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and the fifth-seeded Ahn, 26, routed 20-year-old qualifier Usue Arconada 6-1, 6-1 in 72 minutes.
   Gibbs is 4-0 against Ahn. This will be their first meeting since Gibbs' 6-2, 7-5 victory in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Waco (Texas) Challenger in November 2015 and their first in a final.
   Gibbs and Ahn led Stanford to the 2013 NCAA championship.
   Men's Challenger -- Fourth-seeded Andre Goransson (Cal, 2014-17) of Sweden and Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland nipped third-seeded Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador and Luis David Martinez of Venezuela 6-3, 3-6 [11-9] in the final of the $54,160 Morelos (Mexico) Open.
   Goransson, 24, won his third Challenger doubles title. His first came in the $100,000 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger in 2017 with former Cal teammate Florian Lakat of France.
   College women -- No. 4 Stanford dominated No. 7 Vanderbilt 6-1 at Stanford in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA final.
   Janice Shin, ranked 58th, gave the Cardinal (6-1) a 5-1 lead with a 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory over Carolyn Campana, a freshman from Hillsborough, on Court 5.
   Vanderbilt's victory came on Court 1 as third-ranked Fernanda Contreras edged 16th-ranked Michaela Gordon, a sophomore from Saratoga, 7-6 (6), 0-6 [14-12].
   No. 40 Melissa Lord and Niluka Madurawe, a freshman from Sunnyvale, clinched the doubles point for Stanford on Court 3. No. 15 Emily Arbuthnott and Gordon of Stanford were tied 4-4 on Court 2 when their match was abandoned.
   Hillsborough, Sunnyvale and Saratoga are in the Bay Area.
   Stanford nipped Vanderbilt 4-3 last May in Winston-Salem, N.C., for its 19th NCAA team title.
   In Berkeley today, No. 5 UCLA edged No. 24 Cal 4-3. In the deciding match, Abi Altick nipped 69th-ranked Anna Bright 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Court 4.
   UCLA's Alaina Miller, a senior from Saratoga, won at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles.

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