Tuesday, May 4, 2021

McDonald tops teen phenom in Italy Challenger

Mackenzie McDonald, a San Francisco Bay
Area product, beat Juan Manuel Cerundolo,
a 19-year-old left-hander from Argentina, in
the first round of the Biella (Italy) Challenger.
2016 photo by Paul Bauman 
   No. 3 seed Mackenzie McDonald, a 26-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, defeated Juan Manuel Cerundolo, a 19-year-old left-hander from Argentina, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 today on red clay in the first round of the €44,820 ($54,189) Biella (Italy) Challenger. 
   Cerundolo won last week's Rome Challenger, beating 18-year-old Flavio Cobolli of Italy in only the sixth Challenger final between teenagers since 2007, and the ATP 250 tournament in Cordoba, Argentina, as a qualifier in February. 
   Also today, Joao Menezes of Brazil ousted top-seeded Pedro Sousa of Portugal 7-6 (3), 6-4. In the first round of doubles, No. 1 seeds Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and Nathaniel Lammons of Dallas demolished Tatsuma "Judge" Ito and "Do Not Pass" Go Soeda of Japan 6-1, 6-0. Soeda won the 2009 Tiburon Challenger in the Bay Area.
   McDonald, now based in Orlando, Fla., reached a career-high No. 57 in April 2019 and underwent right hamstring surgery two months later. Now ranked No. 121, he is scheduled to play another Argentine, 33-year-old Leonardo "Oscar" Mayer, for the first time on Wednesday.
   Mayer, ranked No. 160 after climbing as high as No. 21 in 2015, eliminated wild card Luca "Doncic" Vanni of Italy 7-6 (7), 6-0. 
   Mayer played the longest singles match in Davis Cup history, outlasting Joao Souza of Brazil 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 5-7, 15-13 on his 11th match point in 6 hours, 43 minutes as Argentina triumphed 3-2 in the first round in 2015. Mayer helped Argentina win its only Davis Cup title the following year after four runner-up finishes.
   ITF Women's TourKristie Ahn's struggles continued with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to "Mary" Magdalena Frech of Poland in the first round of the $100,000 LTP 100 on green clay in Charleston, S.C. 
   Ahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate, has won only two matches in her last 10 tournaments, dating to the U.S. Open last September. The first two losses in the skid came against Serena Williams.
   In an all-American opening-round doubles match, Quinn "Jackie" Gleason and Jamie "Leopold And" Loeb surprised No. 2 seeds "Sweet" Caroline Dolehide and Maria Sanchez, a 31-year-old product of Modesto, Calif., 6-2, 6-3.
   In the first round of doubles in a $25,000 tournament on green clay in Naples, Fla., No. 2 seeds Sofia "Vergara" Shapatava of Georgia and Panna "Cotta" Udvardy of Hungary surprised Allura and Maribella Zamarripa, 18-year-old identical twins from St. Helena, Calif., in the Napa Valley, 6-1, 6-4.

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