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Mackenzie McDonald returning and rising

Victoria Chiesa | May 14, 2021

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate, is taking a look at Asian-Americans past, present and future – those who have helped to shape the game, and those who could soon cement their place in it.


After seven months on the sidelines, Mackenzie McDonald was ready for a thunderous return to the ATP tour in 2020 following a hamstring injury that curtailed his 2019 season.


Following the COVID-19 pandemic pause, however, the former NCAA champion and Top 60 player is looking to get back where he belongs.


On the road to those goals, the 26-year-old had a surging start to his 2021 season: he matched his career-best performance at a Grand Slam at the Australian Open, and later, captured his third career ATP Challenger title in February in Kazakhstan, his first title in three years.


Here's more on the former UCLA Bruin.

The Mackenzie McDonald File

Age: 26
Birthplace: Piedmont, California
Current Rank: No. 120
Career-High Rank: No. 57 (April 2019)
Best US Open Finish: Round 1 (2016, 2018, 2020)


The Baseline

- In addition to his title in the Kazakh capital, McDonald reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the second time in his career. Ranked world No. 192 at the Australian Open, McDonald became the lowest-ranked player to reach the fourth round since Guillermo Cañas (No. 248) in 2004. Among his wins, he beat world No. 25 Borna Coric before falling to eventual finalist Daniil Medvedev in the last 16. 

- McDonald's breakthrough on the ATP Tour came in 2019, where he reached a career-high ranking of world No. 57. Prior to undergoing hamstring surgery in June, following an injury he picked up at the French Open, he reached his first ATP semifinal in Delray Beach. Along the way, he scored the best win of his career over then-world No. 4 and former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro. 

- McDonald's other career highlights so far include a fourth-round showing at Wimbledon in 2018—his main-draw debut at the All-England Club. He earned his first ATP ranking points by qualifying for Cincinnati in 2013, beating two Top 100 players (Steve Johnson and Nicolas Mahut) as an unranked wild card.

- Prior to turning pro, McDonald had a decorated college career at UCLA which saw him win the singles and doubles titles at the NCAA Championships in 2016. He was the first male college player to sweep the national singles and doubles titles since Matias Boeker did so for the University of Georgia in 2001. In addition to his All-American honors, he was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2013.

- As a junior, McDonald reached the semifinals of the 2012 Australian Open and also won the Easter Bowl 18's title that year.


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