Mackenzie (Mackie) McDonald is an up-and-coming tennis star from Piedmont, CA. After playing for 3 years in college at UCLA, and winning the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships in singles and doubles, he decided to turn pro. In 2017, he was selected to receive the Oracle US Tennis Award at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells (awarded to “a male and female professional who have demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship and an aptitude for success on the pro tour”). This year, Mackie went toe-to-toe with Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open (losing a nail-biter in 5 sets), and defeated Frances Tiafoe at the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas before losing to Kei Nishikori in the final. He swung by Tennis Express following his performance at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, TX.
Interview with Chris Virk-Brown
What do you think of Houston?
– I love Houston so far. It’s a great city, has a lot of energy, and has a lot of great people. The tennis venues are really nice.
What’s next for you on the Pro Tour?
– South Korean hard court challengers. After that, I’m going to go to the French Open for qualifying.
Now that you’re transitioning to the Pro Tour, how would you compare it to college tennis at UCLA?
– I loved college tennis at UCLA. I did 3 years there before forgoing my senior year. It really helped me a lot with development. I had a great time being on a team and competing with some of my closest friends. I’ll treasure those memories forever.
Who was your favorite rival to play against in college?
– Well, USC for sure.
What are some things that you like to do in your down time?
– You know, just go hang out with my friends. I try to stay in touch with all of my UCLA buddies if I can. I recently moved to Orlando, and have a lot of tennis friends out there. I just got my annual pass to Universal Studios, so I’m sure I’ll be spending more time there, too.
One final question, what’s your favorite city or country to travel to?
– Up to this point, I haven’t been to a ton of places (definitely not as many as some of the guys who have been on tour for a while). So far, I’ve loved the Grand Slams, they’re great places. This year I really loved Melbourne, being there and exploring Australia.
(Mackie McDonald trying out our indoor tennis court)
It was a pleasure meeting one of tennis’ rising stars. We appreciate you coming out after ATP Houston!
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