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McDonald Reaches First-Career ATP Tour Final

Aug 7, 2021
Mackenzie McDonald (Photo: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)

WASHINGTON – Former UCLA men's tennis standout Mackenzie "Mackie" McDonald reached the first ATP Tour final of his professional career Saturday, handing Kei Nishikori of Japan a three-set loss in singles play at the Citi Open.

The unseeded McDonald, who entered the tournament ranked No. 107, needed nearly three hours to dispatch of the tournament's 2015 champion, who recently competed at the Tokyo Olympics. The back-and-forth affair saw McDonald take the first and third sets, closing out the match with a pivotal break of serve that sealed his 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory.

McDonald appears primed to approach his previous career-best ranking of 57, set in April of 2019. In addition to No. 67 Nishikori, McDonald has defeated No. 49 Benoit Paire of France, No. 65 Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, No. 77 Nick Kyrgios of Australia and No. 103 Denis Kudla of the United States.

Standing between McDonald and his first ATP title is a Sunday showdown with 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy, who entered the draw ranked No. 24. Sinner defeated American Jenson Brooksby in Saturday's other semifinal. Tennis Channel will air the championship match at 2 p.m., PT.