On a day of close calls, Dimitrov fends off McDonald in 5th

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It was quite a predicament for Grigor Dimitrov, still basking in his triumph at the ATP Finals as he entered his second-round match at the Australian Open against a young American who had never won a tour-level match before qualifying for the first major of the season.

Mackenzie McDonald is ranked 186th and played college tennis at UCLA. He had never played anyone ranked better than No. 69 before facing the third-seeded Dimitrov on Wednesday.

McDonald broke Dimitrov’s serve three times in the fourth set and pushed the fifth beyond 12 games — there’s no tiebreakers in fifth sets at the Australian Open — before his first double-fault of the set suddenly gave Dimitrov a match point.

Dimitrov finished it off 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6 as midnight approached.

“Really the game wasn’t there today. I wasn’t feeling well on the court — fourth set was a disgrace,” said Dimitrov, who took Rafael…

Read Story