Saturday, September 19, 2015

All-American Final set in Claremont

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Americans Deiton Baughman and Mackenzie McDonald both advanced to the final of the $10,000 Claremont Classic Futures with straight set victories Saturday morning at the Claremont Tennis Club.

Baughman, the tournament's only remaining seed, won the first semifinal, defeating German Sebastian Fanselow 6-3, 6-3. In the second semifinal, McDonald defeated 19-year old American Collin Altamirano, 6-2, 6-2.

Baughman clinched a spot in the top 400, becoming the 25th teenager ranked in the top 400 this week. The 19-year old turned down a scholarship to USC to turn professional and the decision has paid off as Baughman has a 32-16 record in main draws as a professional this year and this is now his fourth final.

The American No. 32 broke Fanselow twice in the first set to claim a 6-3 lead. Baughman continued to attack the Pepperdine graduate's second serve and got another break in the second set before serving out the straight sets victory.
The second semifinal pitted two Americans born in 1995 against each other. Both Altamirano and McDonald are coming off successful college seasons. McDonald was the No. 1 singles player for perennial power UCLA, and finished the year as the No. 3 player in the nation. Altamirano was the No. 50 player in the nation after helping Virginia win a national title as a freshman.

Altamirano already had two wins against Bruins, including a three-set win over former UCLA No. 1 Marcos Giron. Altamirano came back from down a set in their first round meeting, but the Cavalier couldn't repeat the accomplishment against McDonald.

McDonald is the much better mover of the two college standouts, and the difference was evident. The Bruin raced out to a 6-2 lead with a pair of breaks. McDonald shrunk his side of the court with his movement forcing Altamirano to go for more from the baseline, but the 19-year old was misfiring off both wings under the pressure.
McDonald broke again early in the second set for a 2-1 lead, but consolidating that break proved to be his biggest challenge of the match. Altamirano created three chances to break at 0-40, but McDonald fired two big serves and got a forehand error to get back to deuce. Altamirano created three more break points, but McDonald answered each time before three consecutive unreturned serves consolidated the beak for a 3-1 lead that he held onto for victory.
Baughman and McDonald will play the final on Sunday starting at 10:00 a.m. The winner will get 15 ranking points in the first of three consecutive futures events in southern California.

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