Sunday, May 30, 2021

Qualifier McDonald advances in French Open

Qualifier Mackenzie McDonald, a 26-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product,
beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in four sets in the first round of the French Open.
2016 photo by Paul Bauman
   Mackenzie McDonald reached the second round of the French Open for the second consecutive year today, this time as a qualifier.
   The 26-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area defeated Emil Ruusuvuori, 22, of Finland 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 as the year's second Grand Slam tournament began in Paris. 
   Ruusuvuori, ranked No. 75, fell to 0-4 since reaching the fourth round in Miami in late March, shocking seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev in the second round.
   McDonald, only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 160 pounds (73 kilograms), pounded 10 aces to the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Ruusuvuori's two. McDonald also converted seven of eight break points and saved 17 of 21 against him.
  McDonald climbed to a career-high No. 57 in April 2019, underwent right hamstring surgery that June and missed the rest of the year. He reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2018 and the Australian Open in February.
   Now ranked No. 119 and based in Orlando, Fla., McDonald is set to face 22nd-seeded Cristian Garin of Chile for the first time on Tuesday or Wednesday. Garin, 23, beat Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
   Meanwhile, Pablo Andujar scored another big win. The 35-year-old Spaniard, who defeated Roger Federer two weeks ago in the Swiss star's first match since March 11 and third of the year, ousted fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 4 hours, 28 minutes. No Grand Slam champions remain in the bottom half of the draw.
   Thiem reached the French Open final in 2018 and 2019, losing to — who else? — Rafael Nadal.
   On the women's side, qualifier Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine eliminated 26th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-2, 6-4. Kerber, a 33-year-old left-hander, has won every Grand Slam tournament except the French Open.
   Both players won singles titles in Northern California in 2015. Kerber claimed the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford on the WTA Tour, and Kalinina captured the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger in the Sacramento, Calif., area. 

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