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McDonald Earns First ATP Title in Tokyo

Oct 9, 2022
Mackenzie McDonald, on left (Photo: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

TOKYO – Mackenzie McDonald, who won the 2016 NCAA singles and doubles championship as a member of the UCLA men's tennis team, earned his first career ATP title by collecting the doubles crown alongside Marcelo Melo at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.

McDonald and Melo, who were unseeded going into their first tournament as a team, bested No. 3 seed Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez in a third-set tiebreaker to claim the top prize.

Just one break of serve was needed in each of the first two sets, with McDonald and Melo collecting the opener. The pairs were knotted at three points apiece in the tiebreaker when McDonald and Melo took control of the match. The next four points went to the American-Brazilian combination, which ultimately prevailed by a 6-4, 3-6, 1-0(4) score.

Matos and Vega Hernandez represented the third seeded opponent McDonald and Melo were able to get past in the 16-team field. In their first contest, McDonald and Melo beat Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-1. Next up was the tandem of No. 4 Dan Evans and John Peers, which gave McDonald and Melo all they could handle in a 6-2, 6-7(6), 1-0(5) decision. When top-seeded Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios were forced to withdraw, McDonald and Melo advanced.

McDonald previously reached his first ATP final when he achieved runner-up status at the 2021 Citi Open in Washington, D.C. He upset top-seeded Kyrgios in the first round and went on to defeat Denis Kudla and Kei Nishikori before falling to Jannik Sinner. McDonald has since seen his ATP singles ranking climb to a career-best No. 48, which occurred Aug. 1, 2022.