Date: 6 August 2021
Tournament: Citi Open 2021
Venue: Washington DC, United States
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,895,290
Match timing: Approx. 8.30 pm local time, 12.30 am GMT, 6 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Denis Kudla vs Mackenzie McDonald preview
Denis Kudla will take on compatriot Mackenzie McDonald in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Citi Open on Friday. While Kudla survived a marathon match against Brandon Nakashima 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 in the Round of 16, McDonald won 6-4, 6-4 against Ilya Ivashka.
Denis Kudla has had a good record on the Challenger circuit this year, with two finals in Orlando and Nottingham. He further made the third round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
This week in Washington, the World No. 103 has put together a terrific run to his first ATP quarterfinal of the season. Kudla beat former top 20 player Feliciano Lopez in the opener before pulling off an upset win over 10th seed Taylor Fritz in the second round.
His opponent on Friday, Mackenzie McDonald, grabbed his first title since 2018 at the Challenger in Nur-Sultan earlier this year. McDonald also advanced to the fourth round of the 2021 Australian Open, equalling his career-best result at a Major.
The 26-year-old's run in Melbourne included wins over 22nd seed Borna Coric and former Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato. McDonald is now bidding for his maiden ATP title this week on home soil.
Denis Kudla vs Mackenzie McDonald head-to-head
Although their ATP tour main draw head-to-head stands at 0-0, Denis Kudla and Mackenzie McDonald have met five times in lower-tier tournaments.
McDonald has prevailed in three of these meetings. He also won his most recent encounter with Kudla, which took place in 2018 at the Challenger in Dallas, United States.
Denis Kudla vs Mackenzie McDonald prediction
Both men like to engage in fast-paced baseline exchanges. Mackenzie McDonald, however, tends to extend rallies by putting a lot of balls back into play. Denis Kudla on his part will look to be aggressive off both wings and produce winners to thwart his compatriot's defense.
The serve will perhaps be the biggest key to McDonald's success on Friday. In his previous match against Ilya Ivashka, the American hit a whopping eight aces without conceding a single double fault. Kudla, on the other hand, double faulted six times and conceded 10 break points in his third-round match.
If McDonald remains consistent on his serve and showcases his relentless defensive skills against the hard-hitting Kudla, he should be able to sneak out a victory.
Prediction: Mackenzie McDonald to win in three sets.