McDonald Beats Former USC Rival; Faces Another Trojan In Saturday
Semifinals At Southern California Pro Futures Tournament
One Trojan down, one to go for Mackenzie McDonald to make the singles final at the Southern California Pro Futures Tournament, a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event being played on the campus of USC.
The No. 5-seeded former UCLA Bruin All-American McDonald beat No. 2-seeded former USC star Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador, 6-3, 7-5, in the quarterfinals on Friday at Marks Tennis Stadium. He will next face former Trojan No. 1 player and Quiroz’ doubles partner this week Yannick Hanfmann, the No. 4-seed from Germany, in a 9 a.m. semifinal on Saturday morning.
In the other semifinal to be played at the same time, University of Virginia freshman Carl Soderlund of Sweden meets former University of Michigan standout Evan King.
McDonald said he faced Quiroz four times during his freshman year at the No. 3 singles spot with Quiroz winning two, McDonald one with the other match undecided. “I remember losing a devastating match to him right here on these courts,” McDonald said. “It was on Court 3 and he said before the match he requested Court 3, which was where we played.”
McDonald hopes to recall some better past memories of playing the Trojans today as he also played Hanfmann four times during his sophomore year in 2015 at No. 1 singles with McDonald winning three times and the fourth match ending after sets were split.
McDonald said it was tough playing his former doubles partner Marcos Giron in the second round on Thursday. “It was a super tough match,” he said. “There is a lot of outside stuff you can bring into the match, but I think both of us handled it well.”
McDonald, who is represented by Octagon, said he wouldn’t change much about his first seven months on the pro tour. ““I’m really happy the way things are going and I’m happy being a pro tennis player,” McDonald said.
Hanfmann and Quiroz teamed up to win the doubles title on Friday. The pairing beat the top-seeded team British team of Luke Bambridge and Joe Salisbury, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
After graduating from USC in 2015, Hanfmann said life as a pro tennis player has had its ups and downs, but he has mostly enjoyed the experience. He trains full-time in Munich, and isn’t looking forwarded to going back to Europe. “I just love it here,” he said. “It’s just great to be back. I love USC and this place. It’s like my second home and I’m just so happy seeing all the guys and my coaches.”