ATP Miami: Mackenzie McDonald edges struggling Matteo Berrettini


Mackenzie McDonald is through into the last 32 at the Miami Masters for the second straight year. Mackenzie met Matteo Berrettini in the second round and prevailed 7-6, 7-6 after two hours and 16 minutes. The American beat the Italian for the first time in three encounters, emerging at the top in the pivotal moments to deliver Berrettini’s another early loss. Mackenzie won three points more than Matteo, as they stayed neck and neck after two break points squandered on each side. Berrettini dominated with his first serve, and McDonald kept his second serve safe to remain in touch and overpower a better-ranked opponent in both tie breaks. Both players fired over 30 service winners, and the Italian stood as a more aggressive player. He played well at the net but still failed to take a set in another heartbreaking loss while recovering from an injury. The Italian squandered a set point in the opening set’s tie break and two more on the return at 6-5 in set number two, leaving the court mighty disappointed.

Mackenzie McDonald prevailed against Matteo Berrettini in two tie breaks. 

They found the rhythm behind the initial shot right from the start, with Berrettini leveling the score at 2-2 with an ace in game four. He landed another in game six before McDonald forged a 4-3 advantage with a service winner in the next one. The Italian followed that pace with a booming serve in game eight and painted a forehand down the line winner while serving to stay in the set at 4-5. The 12th game saw the first deuces, and Matteo survived them to bring it home and introduce a tie break. The Italian grabbed a mini-break in the fifth point and opened a 4-2 gap. The American climbed back and won four points in a row for 6-4. Berrettini saved both set points with mighty forehands and denied the third at 6-7 for more drama. Berrettini fired an ace in the 15th point to open an 8-7 lead and earn his first set point.

McDonald erased it with a forehand crosscourt winner and created the fourth set point at 9-8. Matteo netted a routine forehand in the 18th point to hand the set to his opponent after a thrilling battle. Berrettini played against two break chances at 1-1 in the second set and denied them with powerful serves. They stayed neck and neck until the 12th game when McDonald served to stay in the set. The home player experienced the first issues behind the initial shot and sprayed a backhand error to face two set points. He saved them and closed the game to introduce the tie break and gain a boost. Matteo led 3-1 before playing a loose shot in the fifth point. McDonald hit a service winner at 4-5 and earned a match point with a fine attack. Berrettini netted a forehand to hand the victory to his rival and experience an early exit. 

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