McDonald Battles Into Tiburon Challenger Semis

Mackenzie McDonald (photo: Tiburon Challenger)

TIBURON, October 1, 2016

Mackenzie McDonald and Frances Tiafoe headlined quarterfinals action at the $100,000 Wells Fargo Tiburon Challenger on Friday. The 21-year-old wild card beat the US-American teenager, coming back from a set down, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.

McDonald won 76 per cent of his first service points and broke serve four times to prevail in two hours and 21 minutes. In his first Challenger semi-final since the $50,000 event in Champaign in November last year, McDonald will take on Darian King. The 24-year-old from Barbados knocked out the tournament’s number four Dennis Novikov 7-5, 6-2.

Defending champion Tim Smyczek eased past fellow US-American Mitchell Krueger, winning 6-2, 6-4. The third seed from Tampa sent down six aces and capitalized on four of his six break point opportunities to finish the match in 75 minutes.

Smyczek will next face Michael Mmoh, who emerged victorious from another all-US-American encounter with second favourite Bjorn Fratangelo 6-0, 7-5. The 18-year-old qualifier, who started his year off strongly by qualifying for his first ATP World Tour main draw at the Memphis Open in February, won 57 per cent of the total points played to advance to his first semi-final at Challenger level. Mmoh is recovering his form after an injury earlier this year.

“Earlier this year, I was out for three months from the elbow injury,” said Mmoh. “Now I’m really felling good about my game, and it’s showing this week.”

Men’s Singles Quarterfinals

[Q] Michael Mmoh (USA d [2] Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 60 75

[3] Tim Smyczek (USA) d Mitchell Krueger (USA) 62 64

[WC] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) d [4] Frances Tiafoe (USA) 36 76(5) 75

Darian King (BAR) d [5] Dennis Novikov (USA) 75 62

Men’s Doubles Semifinals

[3] Matt Reid (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) d [1] Marcelo Arevalo (ESA)/Julio Peralta (CHI) 63 36 10-4

[WC] Sekou Bangoura (USA)/Mitchell Krueger (USA) d Darian King (BAR)/Frances Tiafoe (USA) 62 63