DELRAY BEACH, February 23, 2019
It was a tough night for seeded players Friday night at the Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.com, as top seed and World No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro as well as No. 4 seed Steve Johnson fell in the evening quarterfinals.
Mackenzie McDonald from the United States celebrated his biggest victory when he knocked out a hobbled del Potro 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5). Del Potro was playing his first tournament since the ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai in October last year due to knee injury.
McDonald withstood 16 aces from the Argentine, hitting nine of his own to prevail after two hours and 18 minutes. The win gave the 23-year-old US-American his first ATP Tour semi-final berth and first victory over a Top 10 player. McDonald is guaranteed to surpass his career-high of No. 76 when the new ATP Rankings will be released on Monday.
Mac Attack 🇺🇸
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 23. Februar 2019
“I’ve played a couple of these Top 10 guys before and it’s always tough. There were some nerves at the end, but I’m handling it better each time,” said McDonald. “I’m handling it better and better, and finally I got a win over one of them.”
Del Potro, who was scheduled to defend his title at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco next week, announced his withdrawal from the tournament.
Del Potro on injured knee & pulling out of Acapulco…It’s really difficult to win the match playing like this. I couldn’t run 100-percent. Now I have to take a break a little bit longer to be ready for Indian Wells” #ATP #DBOpen
— John Horn (@SportsHorn) 23. Februar 2019
McDonald will next challenge Radu Albot, who upset Steve Johnson earlier on Stadium Court. The 29-year-old from Moldova rallied from a set down to secure a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) win. Albot won one point less than the US-American but had the better ending in the tie-break of the final set.
Isner to face Evans
No. 2 seed John Isner defeated No. 8 seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6(2), 6-4. The World No. 9 from the United States fired 24 aces, winning 78 per cent of his first service points to advnace in one hour and 33 minutes.
Isner will meet British qualifier Daniel Evans in the stage of the final four. The 28-year-old from Birmingham edged out No. 6 seed Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-4, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 27 minutes.
“He’s obviously playing extremely well since that first round,” Isner said of Evans. “He could very easily had been out. A lot of times that’s what it takes, when you win a match that you’re down and out in. But credit to Dan. He kept his head and kept fighting and won that match and he’s been playing great ever since. I know I’m going up against a very confident player.”