Thursday, June 24, 2021

McDonald, Volynets qualify for Wimbledon; Fery falls

Mackenzie McDonald rallied from two sets down to defeat
former UCLA teammate Maxime Cressy in the final round
of Wimbledon qualifying, 2016 photo by Paul Bauman
   Mackenzie McDonald made a big comeback today to return to the Wimbledon main draw for the first time since reaching the fourth round at the All England Club in 2018. 
   Seeded No. 2, the 26-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area outlasted former UCLA teammate Maxime Cressy, a 24-year-old Paris native who represents the United States, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the final round of qualifying at Roehampton in London.
   McDonald missed Wimbledon in 2019 after undergoing right hamstring surgery, and last year's tournament was canceled because of the pandemic. The 2021 draw will be held Friday, and the first round begins Monday.
   Also today, No. 8 seed Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands topped British wild card Arthur Fery, a rising sophomore at Stanford, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-2. 
   Katie Volynets, 19, of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area will make her Wimbledon main-draw debut after beating Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 7-5, 6-4. Volynets lost only four total games in her other two qualifying matches.
   No. 13 seed Kristie Ahn, a 29-year-old Stanford graduate from Englewood Cliffs, N.J., dispatched Ekaterine Gorgodze of Georgia 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of qualifying.
   Ahn will seek her second main-draw berth at Wimbledon when she meets Monica Niculescu, 33, of Romania for the first time on Friday. Ahn also qualified for Wimbledon in 2019, losing to No. 12 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the first round.
   ATP Tour — In a matchup of 33-year-old former Wimbledon semifinalists, San Francisco native Sam Querrey defeated No. 3 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinals of the inaugural Mallorca (Spain) Championships on grass.
   In Eastbourne, England, No. 3 seeds Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley from Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain won twice to reach the grass-court final. 
   In the semifinals, Ram and Salisbury beat No. 2 seeds, defending champions and reigning Wimbledon champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia 6-0, 6-7 (0) [10-6].
   Ram and Salisbury are set to face top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia on Friday. Mektic and Pavic have not lost a set in two matches against Ram and Salisbury this year.
   WTA Tour — No. 2 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan eliminated unseeded Sharon Fichman of Canada and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico, 6-3, 6-3 in the Eastbourne quarterfinals. Shibahara, 23, was born in Mountain View in the Bay Area and starred at UCLA.
   ITF Men's Circuit — Christian Langmo, 25, of Boca Raton, Fla., beat qualifier Connor Farren, a 26-year-old native of Redwood City in the Bay Area, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the $15,000 Fighting Illini Open on hardcourts in Urbana, Ill.

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