American Mackenzie McDonald reached the fourth round in his debut Wimbledon appearance as he registered the best Grand Slam performance of his young career. The American fought his way to a pair of comeback victories in the opening two rounds before booking his place in the last 16 with a straight-sets result against Argentina’s Guido Pella.
Despite falling to No. 13 seed and 2016 finalist Milos Raonic on Monday, McDonald did manage to take a tiebreak set off the Canadian, improving his record to a perfect 5-0 in tiebreakers across the tournament.
The former UCLA Bruin dropped the opening set of his tournament against Ricardas Berankis but advanced with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory. He won another tiebreak to open his second-round match against Nicolas Jarry, but the Chilean answered back to take the next two sets. Once again, McDonald fought his way out of trouble as he won a marathon five-setter, 7-6, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2, 11-9.
Here’s more on the rising American.
The Mackenzie McDonald File
Birthplace: Piedmont, Calif.
Current Rank: 103
Career-High Rank: 101
Best US Open Finish: First Round (2016)
-McDonald made his Wimbledon main-draw debut having played just six career matches on grass courts at the ATP and Challenger level, with a lifetime record of 3-3. In just one week, he doubled his career win total on the surface.
-McDonald is assured of a new career-high ranking after his Wimbledon run, as he is projected to move into the ATP’s Top 80 when the next rankings are released. He earned 180 ranking points for reaching the fourth round in southwest London.
-After making his Grand Slam debut at the 2016 US Open via a wild card, McDonald had been absent from the Slam singles main draws until the 2018 Australian Open. After earning his way into the event through qualifying, he notched his first career major victory by defeating Sweden’s Elias Ymer in four first-round sets. The American nearly upset No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round, but he ultimately fell in five hard-fought sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6.
-McDonald geared up for his professional career with three successful collegiate seasons at UCLA. He ended his Bruins career in 2016 by making individual history as the first man since 2001 to win both the NCAA singles and doubles titles in the same year. Fellow Bruin Martin Redlicki was his doubles partner during the 2016 title run.
-In 2017, McDonald stepped out of his California comfort zone as he moved to the East Coast to train at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. It was a major sacrifice for the longtime California resident, but he credits much of his recent success to the world-class training conditions on offer at the new home of American tennis.
They Said It!
“I’ve always admired Roger and Rafa, but I know I can’t base my game around them. I’ve learned to love other players like Goffin and Kei [Nishikori]... There are a lot of great guys who are more my height.” –A realistic, 5-foot-10 McDonald told USA Today after reaching Wimbledon’s second week.