Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Qualifier Escobedo ousts seed McDonald in Los Cabos

Ernesto Escobedo improved to 4-0 against fellow Cali-
fornia native Mackenzie McDonald. 2019 photo by
Paul Bauman
   In a matchup of California natives and former top-70 players, qualifier Ernesto Escobedo eliminated No. 8 seed Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the ATP hardcourt tournament in Los Cabos, Mexico.
   The 182nd-ranked Escobedo, a lifelong Los Angeles-area resident, improved to 4-0 against the 106th-ranked McDonald, who was born and raised in Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each previous match was close.
   Escobedo, 25, earned his first main-draw victory in three attempts in Los Cabos. McDonald, 26, made his tournament singles debut. On Monday night, McDonald and San Francisco native Sam Querrey reached the doubles quarterfinals as wild cards. 
   In the 2017 Fairfield Challenger near San Francisco, McDonald won the first of his three titles at that level, and the top-seeded Escobedo lost in the first round to former Stanford star Bradley Klahn.    
   Also in first-round doubles in Los Cabos, Hunter Reese of Knoxville, Tenn., and Sem Verbeek (University of the Pacific, 2013-16) of the Netherlands edged No. 1 seeds Luke Bambridge and Ken Skupski of Great Britain 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4) [10-8].
   Bambridge won the Fairfield doubles title in 2017 with David O'Hare of Ireland. 
   ATP Challenger TourSam Riffice, a 22-year-old wild card and Sacramento native, outlasted Tatsuma Ito, 33, of Japan 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5 in 2 hours, 44 minutes in the first round of the $52,080 Atlantic Tire Championships on hardcourts in Cary, N.C.
   Riffice won the NCAA singles title as a Florida junior in May and helped the Gators capture the team championship.
   USTA Pro Circuit — No. 6 seed William Griffith, a former University of California, Berkeley standout from Fresno, Calif., beat No. 14 seed Joshua Howard-Tripp of South Africa 4-6, 6-2 [10-3] in final-round qualifying for the $15,000 Edwardsville (Ill.) Futures on hardcourts.
   No. 3 qualifying seed Kyle Seelig, a former Ohio State star from Hatfield, Pa., eliminated Ethan Quinn, 17, of Fresno 6-4, 6-3.

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