Dimitrov escapes a big upset – AO 18

What an escape, what a 5 set thriller!

Grigor Dimitrov met Mackenzie McDonald, a 22 years old American, number 186 in the World. But McDonald looked like a top player, like he belonged on big stages.

Mackenzie showed since the first exchanges that he can stay in rallies with World number 3.

I believe it was a big surprise for everyone, as McDonald proved that he has all the shots in his arsenal, both defensive and attacking wise. He served big, returned well and volleyed clinically when approaching the net.

The match had a breathtaking rhythm, full of rallies. Dimitrov was surprised and lost the first set, but looked to recover when in the 2nd and 3rd he took advantage of his superior experience and was more composed during the big points.

The Bulgarian was constantly on the run and had to go full stretch to keep up with the spirited American.

McDonald never won a match at ATP level until Australian Open, where he won 3 qualification matches in order to be on the main draw.

The 4th set was shocking, as Dimitrov won the previous 2 sets in a clear fashion.

McDonald was doing everything right and Dimitrov had a blackout. He started doing tons of unforced errors and barely managed to send the ball over the net. World number 3 was bageled by World 186, 6-0.

But the last year’s semifinalist regrouped somehow and fought to stay leveled with the American in the decider.

Even in the decider McDonald looked sharp, but serving at 7-6, he got emotional and was broken by Grigor, to seal the victory, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6.

I really believe that Dimitrov didn’t play all that bad, except the 4th set. Rather McDonald played at an amazing level. I hope we will hear more about the 22 years old in the future.

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