Thursday, October 29, 2020

McDonald reaches ATP QF; Ahn ousted in $80K Tyler

Mackenzie McDonald beat former top-20 player Andreas Seppi
3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open in
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 2017 photo by Paul Bauman
   Unseeded Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product, defeated Andreas Seppi, a 36-year-old wild card from Italy, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 today in the second round of the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
   McDonald, who was born and raised in Piedmont in the East Bay, reached his first ATP quarterfinal since Acapulco in February 2019. He underwent right hamstring surgery the following June and missed the rest of the season.
   Seppi climbed to career-high No. 18 in 2013 and defeated Roger Federer in the third round of the 2015 Australian Open for his only victory over the Swiss star in 15 matches. 
  McDonald, who reached a career-high No. 57 in April 2019, will jump at least 18 places to No. 191 in Monday's new rankings. Now based at the USTA National Campus near Orlando, Fla., he is set to face third-seeded Adrian Mannarino, a 32-year-old French left-hander, for the first time on Friday. 
   Mannarino, ranked No. 39, routed qualifier Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1, 6-1.
   In the other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw, unseeded Mikhail Kukushkin, a 32-year-old Russia native who plays for Kazakhstan, will play Emil Ruusuvuori, a 21-year-old qualifier from Finland.
   Kukushkin, the runner-up to Marcos Baghdatis in the 2014 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger, ousted top-seeded Benoit Paire of France 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-1. Kukushkin trailed 1-4 in the second set.
   Ruusuvuori outlasted eighth-seeded Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Thompson reached the semifinals of the 2018 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger.  
   In the first round of Astana doubles, fourth-seeded Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14), a New Zealand product who plays for his mother's native Japan, and Franko Skugor of Croatia edged Matwe Middelkoop of the Netherlands and Hugo Nys of Monaco 7-6 (4), 6-7 (8) [12-10].
   McLachlan, 28, won the Cologne title last week with Raven Klaasen, 38, of South Africa in their first tournament together.
   Top-seeded Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen of Belgium beat McDonald and compatriot Tommy Paul 6-3, 6-4. Paul won the singles title in last year's Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger.
   Erste Bank Open — Jamie Murray, Andy's older brother, and Neal Skupski of Great Britain beat second seeds and defending champions Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at Cal from Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain by walkover in the Vienna quarterfinals. 
   Salisbury and Skupski won the Vienna doubles title in 2018. Skupski played World TeamTennis for the California Dream, based in the Sacramento area, in 2015.
   USTA Pro Circuit — Hailey Baptiste, an 18-year-old wild card from Washington, D.C., overpowered fifth-seeded Kristie Ahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate from Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 6-2, 6-2 on a cold, windy day in the first round of the $80,000 Bellatorum Resources Pro Classic on hardcourts in Tyler, Texas. 
   Baptiste, bundled up in sweatpants and long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts, blasted eight aces, including four straight (the last one on her second serve) to hold at love for 5-2 in the first set, and dominated with her powerful forehand.
   Baptiste stunned second-seeded Madison Keys, the U.S. Open runner-up in 2017, in the opening round in Washington, D.C., last year but had been 0-3 since the pro tours resumed from the five-month COVID-19 hiatus in August.
   CiCi Bellis, a 21-year-old Bay Area product, extended her winning streak to six matches with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Anna-Lena Friedsam, 26, of Germany in a clash of former top-50 players. Bellis, also now based at the USTA National Campus, won last week's $80,000 Mercer Tennis Classic on hardcourts in Macon, Ga.
   Lucky loser Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay beat Katie Volynets, an 18-year-old wild card from Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, 7-6 (6), 6-3.
   Top-seeded Shelby Rogers of Charleston, S.C., dismissed 18-year-old Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton, Fla., 6-3, 6-3. Rogers, who reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal last month in the U.S. Open, wrapped herself in a blanket while Osuigwe (pronounced Oh-SIG-way), formerly the top-ranked junior in the world, took a bathroom break between sets. 
   In the first round of doubles, alternates Allura and Maribella Zamarripa, 18-year-old identical twins from St. Helena, Calif., in the Napa area, routed wild cards Fernanda Contreras Gomez of Mexico and Felicity Maltby, a former Texas Tech All-American from Sunnyvale in the Bay Area, 6-2, 6-1.
   The Zamarripas, who are headed to the University of Texas in Austin next year, are scheduled to face top-seeded Caroline Dolehide and Caty McNally of the United States in the quarterfinals.
   Ahn and Naomi Broady, a 6-foot-2 (1.89-meter) Briton with an unorthodox one-handed backhand, defeated alternates Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia and Renata Zarazua, a 5-foot-3 (1.60-meter) Mexican, by walkover.
   In the recent French Open, Zarazua became the first Mexican woman to reach the second round of singles in a Grand Slam tournament in 20 years.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland and Kamil Majchrzak of Poland beat third-seeded Andre Goransson (Cal, 2014-17) of Sweden and Jan Zielinski of Poland by walkover in the semifinals of the €44,820 ($52,759) Hamburg Challenger.
   Goransson won his first ATP title in February in Pune, India, with Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia.

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