2021 AUSTRALIAN OPEN: McDonald Making Americans Proud

Mackenzie McDonald 2021 Australian Open

Melbourne, Australia

Round 3/Day 6 American Results

The Americans are making noise down under. All four players won their matches to advance to the second week of the Australian Open for the first time.

[22] Jennifer Brady continues to play her best tennis, dispatching the Slovenian, [104] Kaja Juvan (SLO), 6-1, 6-3.  [57] Shelby Rogers took advantage of this opportunity to play some quality tennis against [21] Anett Kontaveit (EST).  Kontaveit led 4-1 in the first set and simply fell apart, losing 4-6, 3-6 to the American. [61] Jessica Pegula is playing the tournament of her career. Her 6-2, 6-1 defeat of [52] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA), sends her into the second week of a major for the first time. 

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McDonald Bouncing Back Nicely

[192] Mackenzie McDonald, at twenty-five-years-old, is playing the tennis he has always known he was capable of.  As a fan, I am thrilled to see this. In 2018, the American  made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon.  Unfortunately, like so many athletes, injury derailed his career.   However, this performance will certainly go a long way to helping him climb back up the ATP rankings.  McDonald defeated [91] Lloyd Harris (RSA) 7-6 (7), 6-1, 6-4 and keeps American hopes alive of a male champion.

Nadal Expects Battle With Fognini

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[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) faces his nemesis, [16] Fabio Fognini (ITA), in round four.  There is no love lost between these two players and Nadal knows that Fognini is a legitimate threat.  Although Nadal leads their head-to-head 12:4, Fognini has had impressive victories over Nadal. 

The 2015 US Open comes to mind, where Nadal led two sets-to-none against the Italian before completely falling apart.  That loss is still in their memory banks.  In addition, in two of the four losses, Nadal won the first set; therefore, that will also be preying on Nadal’s mind.  Fognini always makes life on the tennis court extremely uncomfortable for Nadal and his team. How will Nadal respond with his “lingering back issue“?

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