Tuesday, February 9, 2021

UCLA at the Australian Open 3 of 4 Through 1st round (doubles not started yet)

 (from the Bruin Web Site)


Three former UCLA tennis standouts earned wins on Days 1 and 2 of the Australian Open in Melbourne, kicking off the first Grand Slam of the calendar year. Former men's student-athletes Maxime Cressy and Mackenzie McDonald were victorious in singles play, as was Jennifer Brady on the women's side. Marcos Giron dropped his first-round match in the men's draw.

Tasked with taking down No. 6 seed and world No. 7 Alexander Zverev of Germany, GIron won a first-set tiebreaker in Margaret Court Arena. Zverev returned the favor in a second-set tiebreaker and controlled the match the rest of the way for a 6-7(8), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2 decision, nixing Giron's hopes of an upset. Giron is not done in Melbourne, though, as he is set to team with Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the doubles draw.

Cressy, who qualified for the main draw in January, also started his match against No. 117 Taro Daniel of Japan with two tiebreakers. Cressy was victorious in each of them, putting him well on his way to his second singles win in a Grand Slam. He finished the job in straight sets, 7-6(1), 7-6(3), 6-4, on Court 15. Cressy will get a shot at Zverev in the second round.

McDonald got Day 2 underway on Court 6, where he dropped his first set to No. 79 Marco Cecchinato of Italy before turning the match around. McDonald was dominant the rest of the way, securing a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory for his third-career singles second round appearance at the tournament. No.-22 seed Borna Coric of Croatia is next up for McDonald.

Brady, seeded 22nd as the world No. 24 player, needed just 59 minutes to take care of Aliona Bolsova of Spain on Court 17. Brady's 6-1, 6-3 win put her halfway to her career-best showing at the tournament, achieved in 2017, and set up an all-American second-round date with Madison Brengle.

Joining Giron in the men's doubles draw is McDonald, who will continue his partnership with fellow American Tommy Paul. Also upcoming are first-round doubles matches for Brady (with Ashleigh Barty of Australia) and the seventh-seeded tandem of Bruin Ena Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama, representing Japan.

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