California native Mackenzie McDonald knows about Oracle’s relationship with tennis, better than most. The 2017 recipient of Oracle’s US Tennis Award, the young 2016 NCAA Men’s Singles Champion and UCLA grad has catapulted into the professional tennis scene over the past couple of years, propelling him into the World No. 81 position. McDonald, or “Mackie” as he is known on tour, is participating in his first ever Oracle Challenger Series event this week in Newport Beach, where he won his first match against fellow American Mitchell Krueger in straight sets: 6-3, 6-4. Canadian Brayden Schnur, who beat American qualifier Maxime Cressy, is up next for Mackie. The two have met twice before, with Mackie winning both in three-set tie breaks.
Fellow American Christian Harrison was not so lucky, falling to Ecuador’s Roberto Quiroz in two sets: 7-6, 6-2. Quiroz, who was quickly eliminated in the Chicago event by eventual finalist Reilly Opelka, advances to the third round of play where he will meet Taylor Fritz, the winner of the all-American matchup with Marcos Giron on Court 1. Giron, who has played in every Oracle Challenger Series event, put up a good fight agains the 2018 Newport Beach champion and World No. 50 Fritz, losing narrowly 2-6, 7-6, 7-6. The exciting match, which lasted 2 hours and 9 minutes, drew quite a crowd at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.
Oracle Challenger Series veteran Darian King of Barbados continues on his quest for a Newport Beach title, outlasting Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi to beat him in two sets: 6-4, 6-2. A 2018 Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach quarterfinalist, as well as a 2018 Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells finalist, King is ranked World N0. 171. He next faces off against Japan’s Kaichi Uchida who, after getting bageled in the first set, came back to beat Canadian Peter Polansky in three: 0-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Lucky loser Californian Alafia Ayeni fought hard but wasn’t able to get past Germany’s Dustin Brown, falling to the World No. 223 in three sets: 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. Brown advances to meet American alternate Collin Altamirano who got the better of Victor Astrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic. This will be the first meeting for Brown and Altamirano, who are World No. 223 and World No. 309, respectively.