A pair of UCLA Bruins were in action in the 140th U.S. Open on Sunday as Jennifer Brady outlasted Angelique Kerber to advance to the quarterfinals in the women’s singles tournament and Mackenzie McDonald and partner Christopher Eubanks gave it their all in a loss to the third-ranked men’s doubles team in the men’s doubles quarterfinals.
Brady, the 28th-seed in the women’s singles bracket, utilized an impressive opening set, opening up a 4-1 lead before breaking the 17th-seed Angelique Kerber in the sixth game to go up 5-1. She served for the opening set win, dominating the game four points to two, and the set 6-1.
Brady looked strong in the first set, winning 24 of a total 36 points available in the quick game. She recorded two aces and was a perfect 2-for-2 on break points in dominant fashion. Brady broke Kerber twice in the first set, and continued that trend in the second set, breaking the opening game, game three and game five to go up 4-1.
However, Kerber finally looked to gain momentum in the second game, breaking Brady right back to head into the third game at 1-1. Brady stole momentum back with yet another break in the third game and held serve in a pivotal sixth game to go up 4-2. She then outlasted Kerber in a long eighth game to go up 5-3 before ultimately taking the match, 6-4.
In total, Brady won 4-of-10 break points, had three aces and 42 service points won in the match. It was a quick victory for her and she’ll now focus on her quarterfinals appearance where she’ll face the winner of (23) Yulia Putintseva vs (8) Petra Martic.
McDonald and partner, Christopher Eubanks, on the other hand, had their hands full with the third-seeded men’s doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury. McDonald and Eubanks had their chances, however, finishing the first set an unfortunate 0-for-3 on break points. Those break points would have changed the course of the first set and instead, Rav and Salisbury finished 2-for-2 on their own break points to outlast the younger duo, 6-2 in the first set.
The second set saw a bit more life from McDonald and Eubanks, breaking the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. They secured their first break-point victory and won their first non-service game, before dropping three consecutive games and falling to 5-5. They pushed Ram and Salisbury all the way into a tiebreak before ultimately succumining, 7-6 (7-5) in the final set.
McDonald and Eubanks continued to play well throughout the match, however, especially on serves, recording eight aces and 43 service points. It was a valiant effort against a top tandem, who now advanced to the semifinals.
Brady played for UCLA from 2013-15 and was a multiple-time All-Pac-12 selection. She was a singles All-American and finished with an 18-4 mark during the 2014-15 season.
McDonald was a three-time singles All-American as well as the ITA National Men’s College Player of the Year in 2016. He also was a 2016 NCAA Singles Champion and 2016 NCAA Doubles Champion during his time at UCLA.