Tennis Prose



Biofile Mackenzie McDonald Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 55. Career best ranking was 48 in August 2022.

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 155

DOB: April 16, 1995 In: Piedmont, CA

First Tennis Memory: At the Harbor Bay Club (in Alameda, CA), five years old, just swinging at tennis balls on court 5.

Tennis Inspirations: Growing up I watched a lot of Roddick and Federer and a little bit of Sampras and Agassi.

Last Book Read: I’ve been trying a couple of books for the last year that my coach gave me. I don’t even know the title.

First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: I was lucky, I got to meet some pretty cool people from a young age. Wayne Ferreira (former ATP no. 6) was coaching me when I was 11 or 12. Before that I remember Billie Jean King when I was nine or ten.

Current Car: I drive a BMW 428i. First car I ever purchased. Got it when I was 23. Still rockin’ it in Orlando. White with red interior.

Greatest Sports Moment: I’d say fourth round of Wimbledon was maybe my greatest moment (including 13-11 in fifth set vs Nicolas Jarry in 2R in 2018). Also winning NCAA in singles and doubles (for UCLA in 2016). Those two weeks really highlighted a lot for me.

Most Painful Career Moment: On Tour… most recently…my match with (Cristian) Garin at the French was pretty painful. It was like 10-8 in the fifth. In college I had a heartbreaker my freshman year against Roberto Quiroga 4-3 at UCLA. Lost the clinching match. Went to the ground cramping. The band of USC started playing their music. And they’re all up cheering – and I’m on the floor dying. That was a tough moment.

Favorite Tournaments: I’d day I like Australian Open. I’d say that’s, hands down, my favorite tournament. I love being down there. I think Melbourne is amazing. The people are great and they do a really good job running the tournament.

Funniest Players Encountered: For sure my friend Reilly Opelka and maybe Tommy Paul.

Closest Tennis Friends: I’d say mostly Americans. I’m pretty cordial and friendly with everyone but I’m tight with Tommy, Reilly, Taylor (Fritz) and Frances (Tiafoe).

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: Rafael Nadal. That’s it. We played at the French 2020 (protected ranking). So that wasn’t fun.

Favorite Artists: Wiz Khalifa. Big Blink 182 fan.

Strangest Match: Pospisil match in Miami was kind of strange. (McDonald beat Vasek Pospisil 63 46 63 which included a profanity-laced rant by the Canadian with ATP World Tour Chief Andrea Gaudenzi who was at courtside during the match.)

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: Beat Delpo and smashed my racquet in happiness and it bounced up and hit me in the face in Delray Beach (2019). I won (64 36 76 to reach first ATP Tour semifinal), threw it down, I was so pumped up and it bounced up and hit me in the face [smiles].

Best You Ever Felt On Court: I don’t know why but there was this one match I played when I was eight years old. It was during a point against Alex Scheinman, second round. I was low ranked. This guy was top seed, it was a big national tournament, all the So Cal players were very good. I remember I beat him like 1 and 4. 12 and under. It was a really big match for me.

Why Do You Love Tennis: I love traveling. This year and last year has been tough not getting out there and seeing stuff. But I’ve been focused on getting my ranking up. I like meeting all the people. I like competing. I love winning.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Half Baked from Ben & Jerry. It’s got the cookie dough.

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: Kobe (Bryant) 100 percent. I’m a big Roger fan. I’d say Roger for sure. I want to say LeBron (James). Why not?

People Qualities Most Admired: Jeez, that’s deep…I just like good, kind-hearted people. Honestly, just showing love and appreciation. Honestly, I think that’s the best thing. People are nice, treat everybody the same, that’s what I like, to be honest.

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