Tuesday, March 23, 2021

McDonald tops Karlovic to qualify; Brooksby falls short

Mackenzie McDonald practices his serve during the
2017 Fairfield, Calif., Challenger, which he won.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Mackenzie McDonald, only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters), beat 19th-seeded Ivo Karlovic, 6-foot-11 (2.11 meters), 7-6 (3), 6-4 today to qualify for the Miami Open, an ATP Masters 1000 tournament.
   Karlovic, 42, of Croatia blasted 18 aces and won 89 percent of the points on his first serve (34 of 38). McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, was almost as effective on his first serve, winning 84 percent of the points (42 of 50). 
   McDonald, the only American man to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open last month, is scheduled to play former world No. 25 Vasek Pospisil of Canada for the first time on Wednesday in the first round. Pospisil reached the final of the $100,000 San Francisco Challenger in 2017.
   Pospisil or McDonald will face 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) John Isner, the 18th seed and 2018 champion.
   Meanwhile, 22nd-seeded Thomas Fabbiano, only 5-foot-7 (1.70 meters) and 154 pounds (70 kilograms), outlasted Jenson Brooksby, 20, of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in 2 hours, 31 minutes in the final round of qualifying. Brooksby, who turned pro in December, was playing in his first ATP Tour event.
   Fabbiano, an Italian, advanced to the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Aptos, Calif., Challenger as the top seed in 2018. The following year, he stunned then-No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karlovic to reach the third round at Wimbledon.
   On the women's side of the Miami Open, Nadia Podoroska of Argentina routed wild card Mayar "Who Shot The" Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round of the main draw. Podoroska advanced to the French Open semifinals as a qualifier last October.
   In the final round of qualifying, Olga Danilovic, 20, of Serbia beat 21st-seeded Kristie Ahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   College women — California's Haley Giavara won on Court 1, but No. 4 Pepperdine dominated the No. 20 Bears 6-1 in Malibu, Calif. No. 18 Giavara, a sophomore from San Diego, defeated No. 33 Jessica Failla 6-4, 6-1 as Cal dropped to 10-3. The Waves are 9-2. 
   College men — No. 11 USC throttled Stanford 7-0 in Los Angeles to improve to 13-4 this season. The Cardinal fell to 2-2. Top-ranked Daniel Cukierman defeated No. 20 Axel Geller 7-5, 2-0, retired on Court 1.

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