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Dubai tennis: McDonald stuns defending champion Karatsev

Last year's runner-up Lloyd Harris also lost in straight sets



Mackenzie McDonald of the US hits a return to Aslan Karatsev of Russia during their match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (AP)
Mackenzie McDonald of the US hits a return to Aslan Karatsev of Russia during their match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (AP)
by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 5:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 5:22 PM

Last year’s champion Aslan Karatsev of Russia and runner-up Lloyd Harris of South Africa crashed out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

Karatsev, the seventh seed in Dubai and world number 22, was powerless against unseeded American Mackenzie McDonald in a tame 7-5 6-3 defeat on the Centre Court.

On Court three, Harris, the world number 35, went down in straight sets (6-3 6-3) to Lucy Loser Alex Molcan of Slovakia.

Last year, Karatsev made history at the Australian Open by becoming the first qualifier to reach the semifinal on Grand Slam debut before winning his first ATP singles title in Dubai.

The 28-year-old Russian went on to enjoy great success last year and even stunned Novak Djokovic in the semifinal of the Serbia Open.

But on Tuesday, Karatsev struggled to cope with the power and precision of McDonald, the 26-year-old American who is making his Dubai debut.

“I am very happy with my performance in both the sets,” said McDonald who avenged his Australian Open second round defeat to Karatsev.

“He (Karatsev) is a super tough player, especially on these fast courts. It was fast too in Australia, and he really took the game away. It was almost the same here (in the first set), so I took my time and then pressed.”

In another early first round clash, Karen Khachanov of Russia overcame the challenge of Australia’s Alex de Minaur in three sets 6-3 6-7 (1/7) 7-5.

Results

Singles first round

TUESDAY

(7) Aslan Karatsev (RUS) beat Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 7-5 6-3

Alex Molcan (SVK) beat Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-3 6-3

Karen Khachanov (RUS) beat Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 6-7 (1/7) 7-5


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