18 Feb 2023 Daily Notebook – Friday
DBO Daily Notebook – THURSDAY, FEB. 16
1) Saturday is Semifinals Day
A breakdown of our four singles semifinalists:
- Two Americans (Taylor Fritz, Mackenzie McDonald)
- Two seeds ( 1 Taylor Fritz,No. 4 Miomir Kecmanovic)
- One former Delray Beach Open champion (Radu Albot, 2019)
- One NCAA singles champion (Mackenzie McDonald, 2016, UCLA)
- Three countries represented (US, Serbia, Moldova)
2) 24th Straight Year With an American Semifinalist
The tournament is celebrating 25 years in Delray Beach, and there has been at least one American in the semifinals every year except the first. Two Americans are in the DBO semifinals for the third straight time and eight of the last nine, but the last time we had an all-American semifinal here was in 2017 when Jack Sock defeated Donald Young.
3) Top Seed Fritz vs. McDonald
Taylor Fritz won the first three lower-level professional matches he played against Mackenzie McDonald, but McDonald has won the only Tour-level one – right here in Delray Beach in 2019 when he reached the semifinals. This year, world No. 56 McDonald upset fifth seed Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round and came back from down a set and 3-1 to defeat fellow American Michael Mmoh in the quarterfinals. At break point he made a highlight reel effort to retrieve Mmoh’s angled shot and hit a winner, ending up on his back with the crowd on their feet. Last month McDonald reached the Australian Open third round when he defeated world No. 2 Rafael Nadal. He’ll be going after his third Top 10 win when he faces No. 7 Fritz in the semifinals. McDonald’s other win against a Top 10 player came in Delray Beach in 2019 over No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro.
4) Albot and Kecmanovic Both Going for Win No. 100
Our 2019 champion Radu Albot and fourth seed Miomir Kecmanovic are each going for their 100th Tour-level match win when they meet in the semifinals. They have met twice before, both times in Challenger finals in China which they’ve split, but never in a Tour-level match. In his first trip back to Delray Beach since 2020, Albotis enjoying one of his best results since hoisting the trophy here. He upset world No. 18 and second seed Tommy Paul to reach the semifinals. Kecmanovic broke through last year reaching the Australian Open fourth round and the quarterfinals at top-level events in Indian Wells and Miami.
5) Eight Remaining Doubles Players, Eight Colleges Represented
Maybe the most successful of the eight was Australian John-Patrick Smith who was SEC Male Athlete of the Year at Tennessee in 2011, beating out Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton of Auburn. He was an All-American all four years in singles and doubles. His partner, American Robert Galloway, played at Wofford where he was named to the All-Southern Conference team. Before they won the French Open, their opponents honed their games at UCLA (Jean-Julien Rojer) and Tulsa (Marcelo Arevalo). In the other semifinal, three Texas colleges are represented – Texas Christian (Reese Stalder), University of Texas (Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela) and Abilene Christian (Hans Hach Verdugo). The fourth college represented on that court is University of North Carolina, attended by recent Australian Open winner Rinky Hijikata, where his partner, Stalder, is currently a volunteer assistant coach.
Celebrating 25 Years in Delray Beach
The Hurricane YearIn 2004, the tournament was moved to September in order to accommodate the Olympics.That’s hurricane season in Florida. The staff had to wait for hurricanes to pass in order to set up the event, then had to break it down in 48 hours to avoid the next hurricane. Pulling off the tournament was an amazing collaboration with the City staff to make it happen, then host the tournament again only four months later in its regular week.
Kids’ Tickets Half Off
Kids age 2 and under get in free. Tickets for ages 3-12 are 50% off a stadium reserved seat with the purchase of an adult ticket via phone or box office. Call 561-330-6000. Not valid for Veranda, Best or Box seats. Excludes Finals Sunday.