Sunday, February 14, 2021

Medvedev masters McDonald to reach AO quarterfinals

Mackenzie McDonald had been the only re-
maining U.S. man in the Australian Open.
2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia dispatched Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour, 29 minutes today in the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   Medvedev, the runner-up in the 2019 U.S. Open, advanced to his first Australian Open quarterfinal. He has won all nine sets in his four career matches against McDonald, who had been the only remaining U.S. man in Australian Open singles.
   McDonald, now based in Orlando, Fla., equaled his best result in a Grand Slam tournament. He also advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2018 before undergoing right hamstring surgery in June 2019 and missing seven months.
   The women's quarterfinals will feature an all-American matchup between 22nd-seeded Jennifer Brady and unseeded Jessica Pegula. 
   Brady, who swept the singles and doubles titles in the 2014 Redding, Calif., Challenger, beat 28th-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-1, 7-5. Vekic reached the semifinals of the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif.
   Pegula, the 26-year-old daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, surprised fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach her first major quarterfinal.
   Advancing to the doubles quarterfinals were fifth seeds and defending champions Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley, and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain as well as unseeded Sharon Fichman and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico. 
   Ram and Salisbury topped 10th-seeded John Peers of Australia and Michael Venus of New Zealand 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4).
   Ram and Salisbury will meet unseeded Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and Philipp Oswald of Austria. Daniell, 31, announced last month that he will donate 10 percent of his prize money for the rest of his career to charity.
   Fichman and Olmos — who had never advanced past the second round in a major, separately or together — dominated unseeded Leylah Fernandez, 18, of Canada and Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-3, 6-2.
   Fichman and Olmos will face third-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.
   Krejcikova and Siniakova won the French Open and Wimbledon in 2018. Krejcikova also captured the Australian Open mixed doubles title in 2019 with Ram and last year with Nikola Mektic of Croatia.
   In the second round of mixed doubles, sixth-seeded Krejcikova and Ram are tied with Ena Shibahara and Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) of Japan 6-4, 3-6. Shibahara and McLachlan, whose mother is Japanese, are natives of the Bay Area and New Zealand, respectively.

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