Sunday, January 31, 2021

McDonald ousts 14th-seeded Gasquet in Melbourne

Mackenzie McDonald, a San Francisco Bay Area
product, practices during the 2017 Challenger in
nearby Fairfield. He went on to win the title.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   For someone who's only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 160 pounds (73 kilograms), Mackenzie McDonald has an excellent serve.
   The 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area put on a serving clinic in his 7-6 (2), 7-5 victory over 14th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France tonight (PST) in the first round of the Murray River Open in Melbourne.
   McDonald blasted eight aces, committed no double faults, won 81 percent of the points on his first serve (42 of 52) and faced only one break point in his first career meeting against the 34-year-old Gasquet, a former top-10 player.
   McDonald, now based in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled to play Alex Bolt, a 28-year-old left-hander from Australia, on Tuesday. Bolt, the runner-up in the 2018 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger, defeated compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
   Kokkinakis, in between his many injuries, stunned Roger Federer in 2018, won the Aptos (Calif.) Challenger later that year and was the runner-up in the 2019 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger
   McDonald and Bolt have split two career matches, both on grass.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Sunday through Feb. 21 in Melbourne.
   USTA Pro Circuit — Qualifier Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain beat unseeded American Grace Min, the runner-up to Sofia Kenin in the 2016 Sacramento, Calif., Challenger, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 to win the $60,000 Rome, Ga., Challenger on outdoor hardcourts.
   Burillo Escorihuela, 23, won four of her five main-draw matches in three sets. She also defeated Allura Zamarripa, a University of Texas signee from Saint Helena in the Napa Valley, 10-6 in a match tiebreaker in the first round of qualifying.   
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Second-seeded Vivian Ovrootsky, 16, of San Jose, Calif., lost to Jwany Sherif of Huntington Beach in the Los Angeles area 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of the second-place in Newport Beach, Calif. Ovrootsky has verbally committed to Texas.
   In other semis in the $25,000 singles-only tournament:
   —Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento, demolished second-seeded Katie Codd, a high school junior from Carlsbad in the San Diego region, 6-1, 6-0 in the third-place playoff. 
   Nelson is scheduled to face Taylor Ng, 25, of Collingswood, N.J., on Monday. Ng, a former Dartmouth standout, defeated Skyler Grishuk of Newport Beach 5-1, retired.
   —Hind Abdelouahid of San Jose beat Misa Malkin, a South Carolina signee from Tucson, Ariz., by walkover in the fourth-place playoff.
   Abdelouahid, who starred at Saint Mary's in the Bay Area, is slated to meet Mika Ikemori, a high school sophomore from Huntington Beach, on Monday. Ikemori defeated Leyden Games, a USC signee from Irvine, Calif., by walkover.

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