Winning the NCAA singles and doubles championship is impressive, but winning a professional tennis major is on a whole other level.
Mackie McDonald, the 2016 NCAA dual champion and UCLA alum, begins his first U.S. Open main draw Monday with a first-round match against the Czech Republic’s Jan Satral.
If he wins more than two matches, McDonald will become the first NCAA singles champion to advance past the third round in the same year’s U.S. Open.
He will potentially face 10th seed Gael Monfils in the second round, so he’ll have to beat Satral to do so.
Ranked 406th in singles, McDonald will also play with former UCLA doubles partner and current junior Martin Redlicki. The duo is ranked 478th in doubles, and will have an opening round doubles matchup versus the top-ranked and No. 1-seeded duo of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
And while McDonald is the Bruins’ lone representative in men’s or women’s singles, a total of nine former, current and future Bruins will compete in the men’s and women’s doubles draw beginning Wednesday.
Incoming freshmen Jada Hart and Ena Shibahara earned a women’s main draw wild card after winning the USTA girls’ 18s national championship, and their first-round opponents will be seventh-seeded Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova.
UCLA’s other women’s doubles entry is ’00 alumna Abigail Spears, who, along with Cal alumna Raquel Atawo, forms the ninth-seeded duo and will take on Heather Watson and Michaella Krajicek.
On the men’s side, ’02 alum Jean-Julien Rojer is the lone seeded Bruin with his partner Horia Tecau. Rojer and Tecau were ranked No. 1 in the world earlier this year but will be the fifth seed in Flushing Meadows. They will take on Julian Knowle and Florian Mayer.
Fellow Olympic competitor Marcin Matkowski will look to build on his second-round result in Rio, when he and Jurgen Melzer face Alexandr Dolgopolov and Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Two more recent alums round out doubles play. Dennis Novikov, who went pro in 2013, will team with Denis Kudla against Robin Haase and Artem Sitak. 2012 graduate Nick Meister and his partner Eric Quigley’s opening matchup will be against 12th-seeded Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya.
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