Apr 25, 2022
Daily Match Picks

Play of the Day: Ilya Ivashka vs. Mackenzie McDonald, ATP Munich


irst things first, anyone who has bet their fair share of tennis knows how tricky predicting Mackenzie McDonald can be. At his best, the American can exchange crystal clear groundstrokes with anyone, and use his exceptional speed and timing to hit winners from all over the court. At his worst, he can appear sluggish and disinterested—like he did in straight set losses to an aging Gilles Simon, Benoit Paire, and Ernesto Escobedo—all fine players, but all players a motivated McDonald should dispatch with ease.

Now, playing on what is statistically his worst surface, the California hardcourt kid will face Ilya Ivashka in the first round of Munich. They’ve played four times before, with Ivashka winning both matches on outdoor clay. McDonald beat Ivashka at the 2021 Citi Open—arguably his highest level we’ve seen—in a hard fought 6-4, 6-4 match.

After battling a string of injuries, it appears Ivashka is slowly but surely finding his mojo. He pushed Tsitsipas to three sets in Barcelona prior to his extremely impressive straight-set win over Pedro Martinez in front of an all-Spanish crowd. Ivashka might not be 100% back just yet, but he is certainly playing inspired and fiery tennis.

Ivashka lost this point, but Tsitsipas had to finish the point three times, indicating the Belarusian is moving explosively.

Underestimating McDonald can prove costly, but I believe that Ivashka is rounding into form. He was a cash cow on clay in 2021, and possesses a unique game with the ability to hit equally well from both sides. Combine that with the serious motivation he showed in Barcelona, plus Mcdonald’s egg-laying potential, and there is a chance the Belarusian runs away with this one.

In this point, Ivashka combined exceptional forehand depth with point-finishing power on the backhand.

Predicting results, especially large game spreads in the first round of a clay court tournament isn't always the wisest decision, but at the very least, I feel we can trust Ivashka's effort level a bit more than the American's.

All first-round previews and picks can be found HERE

Recommended Play: Ivashka -3 games (-110)

BONUS COLLAB PLAY WITH ALL IN: Over 20.5 games in Korda/Herbert.

The last time Korda played Herbert, on clay, the American won 7-6, 6-4 despite an abysmal 41% first serve percentage from the Frenchman. The market is predicting a Korda beatdown, but with two qualifying wins under his belt, a 6-3, 7-5 in either direction is all this play needs to cash.