World No.107 Mackenzie McDonald Upsets Defending Champion Nick Kyrgios at Citi Open 2021 R1

Published 08/03/2021, 8:44 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios during his first round match against Portugal’s Frederico Ferreira Silva REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Following a second-round exit in Atlanta Open, Australian professional Nick Kyrgios moved to Washington for Citi Open 2021. Accordingly, he faced American Mackenzie McDonald in the opening round and saw an early exit in straight sets, losing 4-6, 4-6.

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Coming into this match, the crowd-puller Kyrgios also began his defense campaign in the capital city of America. However, with Rafael Nadal debuting in the tournament, his title naturally came under threat.

Hence, the Aussie maverick came in looking for some early momentum in the ATP 500 Washington event. On the other side, the American also hoped to get a win after early exits in Los Cabos and Atlanta.

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Nick Kyrgios vs Mackenzie McDonald, Set 1: Citi Open 2021

Although Kyrgios exhibited some amazing skills last week, his tennis overall still had some rust. Thus, it seemed significant for him to get on his winning ways in Citi Open.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios celebrates winning his first round match against France’s Ugo Humbert REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

But naturally, the Aussie hadn’t had many matches under his belt, and it showed rightfully in the opening game. Somehow, Kyrgios saved a break point to put the first mark on the scoreboard 1-0.

At 2-1, McDonald also saved a break of serve and then switched his gears up to full throttle. Seemingly, the American balanced his opponent’s big serve well and keeingly waited for a crack to open.

Soon after, Kyrgios had to see off three break points at a crucial stage of the opening set. Even though he saved two of them, he gave McDonald a chance to serve for the set, and the American did it, taking the set 4-6. Yet, it looked as if the Aussie was just getting started.

Watch this story: Underarm Tweener Serve, Forehand Winners, And More: Nick Kyrgios Entertaining Showdown in Atlanta

Kyrgios vs McDonald, Set 2: Citi Open 2021

Unquestionably, the 26-year-old McDonald asked Kyrgios all the right questions. Thus, it had come all on the Aussie maverick to show if he has got the will to win.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in action during his third round match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

At 1-2 in the second set, the American yet again held a close service game, saving a crucial break point. Immediately after, Kyrgios offered him an opportunity to get ahead, and he unhesitantly took it.

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The score was 2-3 in favor of McDonald with already a set lead in hand. Naturally, seeing his exit closer, Kyrgios gave his best to get a 40-30 ahead on the American’s next serve but failed to complete his recovery.

At 5-3, the Aussie World No.77 saw off two match points to keep the battle alive. Following that, Kyrgios gave a final fight, obtaining two break point opportunities, but he failed to convert any. Hence, Washignton got its first big upset from World No.107 Mackezie McDonald, defeating Nick Kyrgios 4-6-4-6.

In the second round, he will face French professional Benoit Paire in Washington. Inarguably, it would also be an entertaining tennis encounter to watch.

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Purav Joshi

1121 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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