So there we are ... what a thrill that was! Join me shortly for Mertens-Gavrilova!
Grigor Dimitrov - Mackenzie McDonald
Australian Open men - 17 January 2018
Australian Open – Follow the Tennis match between Grigor Dimitrov and Mackenzie McDonald live with Eurosport. The match starts at 16:00 on 17 January 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
Head-to-head: see historical stats and visit our detailed profiles for Grigor Dimitrov vs Mackenzie McDonald. Get all the latest on Tennis: fixtures, results and tables.
Dimitrov knows how close that was - he seriously enjoys the relief and the moment. Phew!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 8-6 McDonald
McDonald plays a great volley that looks to have won him the first point of the game, only for Dimitrov to deliver a brilliant winner, squash-shotted down the line. And he's now targeting his man's backhand, slicing deep to it, and McDonald nets - why has it taken him so long to work out his best route to success? But McDonald does brilliantly to make 30-all, and then a fine stretch-volley tugs Dimitrov to the net ... if he gets the ball over it's matchpoint, but he tries to hit it too hard and catches the top of it! McDonald, though, isn't definitive with his next volley, and then a double fault cedes matchpoint! The first serve is long... and MCDONALD NETS ON THE FOREHAND! DIMITROV WINS, BUT WHAT A SENSATIONAL MATCH AND PERFORMANCE THAT WAS! MACKENZIE MCDONALD CAN BE A STAR!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 7-6 McDonald
Dimitrov holds to 15, and he's looking pretty decent on serve.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 6-6 McDonald
Dimitrov gets his nose in front, McDonald dropping short with an approach which is then deposited down the line via backhand - not something Dimitrov has done at all well tonight. And suddenly he's two points away, when during a relatively long rally in which Dimitrov keeps the ball low and spun, McDonald finds the top of the net. But he wins the next point and dominates the one after, forcing his man to lob long, then moves to 40-30. There follows a battery of forehands, well defended by Dimitrov until the opportunity for a drop arises ... McDonald hits the top of the net! It doesn't matter! He wins the next two points quickly, and on we go!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 6-5 McDonald
Dimitrov gets to 40-15 but then McDonald climbs into his second serve for 40-30 ... and he has a chance in the next point too, only to crack a froehand into the top of the net.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 5-5 McDonald
At 30-0 McDonald goes long with a backhand to crank up the pressure. So far, he's tweaked it's nose, and again it's normal service; a strong serve, to the net, and Dimitrov goes long with a backhand. Then another brilliant shot, squash-style down the line, and his parents are going barmy!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 5-4 McDonald
Oh yes! Serving at 30-15, Dimitrov serves up a dolly, right in the slot for McDonald's forehand, and he doesn't miss out, creaming a winner down the line. But the number 3 seed responds well, and closes out from there; McDonald will now serve to stay in the match.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 4-4 McDonald
Dimitrov's topspin backhand isn't working for him tonight, and he then makes a mess of a slice to give McDonald 30-0. Seconds later it's 4-4, and McDonald isn't going anywhere.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 4-3 McDonald
Dimitrov is serving nicely now, and ends a game to 15 with a "come on". That should do it.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 3-3 McDonald
McDonald was born in 1995, the year I did my GCSEs. Ouch. At 40-15, though, he again tries a drop but this time the ball bounces up for Dimitrov to base past him down the line; pressure! But McDonald calmly stops playing a point when he thinks Dimitrov is long ... if he's not, he looks silly ... he is! McDonald incites and exhorts the crowd to noise and why not! This is the time of his life!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 3-2 McDonald
Oh Griggsy. At 30-15 he goes long with a forehand - I think, strangely, he didn't hit it hard enough, or at least get through the ball with his topspin. But he redeems the error with an ace and a service winner down the middle - following some stern words with himself. This is phenomenal.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 2-2 McDonald
I am straight up in awe of what McDonald is doing here. He's playing with so much freedom and confidence, but most of all so much intelligence, reading Dimitrov's drop to send a forehand down the line for 30-15. Seconds later, it's 2-2.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 2-1 McDonald
Dimitrov plays his most convincing game for more than a set. I suppose you'd back him from here, but the locker room will have already taken note.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 1-1 McDonald
McDonald isn't feeling it at all, getting to 40-0 via ace. But Dimitrov then runs down a drop for 40-15 and volleys at the net for 40-30 ... is he back? Well he might be, but a ballsy second serve from McDonald is enough for the hold. I am staggered by how good he is.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 1-0 McDonald
ARE YOU KIDDING ME! McDonald is playing to win! Dimitrov is tentative with the first point of the set and costs him; McDonald then makes it 0-30 with a slashing backhand winner. He gets himself out of trouble though - for now.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 McDonald
McDonald is seriously cool - at no point has he looked like feeling the pressure, not that he's under much here given three chances to close out the set. But from 30-0 it's quickly 30-all ... and a service winner down the T gives him set point! And there it is! Another serve down the T, a forehand into the net, and the world number 186 has bagelled the world number 3! We have ourselves a decider! What a performance this is!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-5 McDonald
Dimitrov is playing like he's got a bus to catch, constantly hitting to McDonald's forehand - exactly what McDonald wants him to do. And at 30-all he only tosses in a double fault! This is risible, execrable behaviour, and another long forehand means that McDonald will shortly serve for a bagel and a final set! You what?
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-4 McDonald
McDonald races to 30-0 but then nets a backhand, only for Dimitrov to run in and stick an easy forehand into the net. He's looking up to his box for information as to what's going wrong, says Mats, but"you've gotta have those answers yourself". The double break is consolidated!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-3 McDonald
Dimitrov is on holiday at 15-30 - this is not the mentality of a Slam winner - and he goes wide with a forehand to give two points for the double break! And a forehand into the net does it! Are we going to have a final set?!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-2 McDonald
McDonald has amazing hands, getting to 30-15 with a delectable forehand volley, again below the level of the net. In his box, a man who is presumably his dad goes ape, and seconds later the break is consolidated.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-1 McDonald
Some stones on McDonald, and some equilibrium. He gets to 15-40 on the Dimitrov serve, and though he can't take the first opportunity, he doesn't have to take the second thanks to a double fault. "Dimitrov needs a broken nose" says Mark Petchey in commentary, and really there's no ezcuse for that: winning a hard set then doing everything possible to chuck away the advantage.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-4 McDonald
McDonald apologies for pausing once in motion to serve - this he's too nice, reckons Mats - and he loses the point anyway for 15-30, then the next for 15-40. Two set points Dimitrov, but what a drop-volley saves the first, below the level of the net, wiped across the ball to send it as far away as possible from his opponent. He is a natural. But it makes no odds when Dimitrov smashes a forehand pass! That's the third set to the number 3 seed, who now leads 2-1!
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 5-4 McDonald
McDonald thinks he's hit a winner for 0-15 but the officials adjudge otherwise and he doesn't challenge. Then, at 40-0, he reads Dimitrov like a book, in perfect position to glide a backhand winner down the line; Dimitrov is unfazed, and McDonald will shortly serve to stay in the set.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 4-4 McDonald
So how will McDonald respond after consecutive disappointments? YES HE CAN! a love hold, and I've no idea who's going to win this set.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 4-3 McDonald
McDonald loves to volley, and gets 0-15 with a deft backhand put-away; Dimitrov then goes long after a poor second serve is returned with interest, and next comes a double! Three break points! But Dimitrov saves all three! And after more deuce fun he sees out the game.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 3-3 McDonald
Oh gosh, this is invigorating, affirming stuff from McDonald, caressing a backhand down the line for 40-0; his mum is absolutely loving it. He then goes long with a forehand, though, and nets with another ... bit of pressure now ... so he delivers a mighty serve but isn't definitive enough with his volley and Dimitrov swipes a backhand pass cross-court for deuce. They then waste an advantage apiece before Dimitrov gets the next opportunity, sand this time he takes it with a crushing forehand on the run, down the line.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 2-3 McDonald
McDonald's form has come back and another deft touch gets him to 15-all; a mistake by Dimitrov and then a murderous forehand cross-court, out of nothing, gets him 15-40! Oh yes! The pair then slug it out from the baseline, McDonald dictating but Dimitrov moving and defending beautifully, and McDonald goes long; Dimitrov then punishes a forehand down the line to earn deuce. But he can't convert advantage, this time losing a sapping rally. And then, when McDonald gets advantage, Dimitrov works an angle but puts his forehand into the sideline! Who saw that break coming?
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 2-2 McDonald
McDonald has a really good tennis brain - you can almost seem him thinking as he constructs his points, and at 0-15 down, he works his way to the net then pirouettes into a volley to combat a Dimitrov mishit. These holds aren't coming easily, but he secures this one to 30 with a lovely drop-half-volley.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 2-1 McDonald
Dimitrov is, like most seem to be, in pink - but of the more salmony, coraly variety. It doesn't look great when, at 30-15, McDonald whips a forehand past him cross-court. An ace out wide follows, but then Dimitrov goes long and will now face deuce; he wins advantage when a few good forehands, also the name of my putative tennis movie, win him a fine rally, and a topspin forehand from roundabout his ankles secures the hold. .
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 1-1 McDonald
McDonald starts the game well, but from 40-15 winds up at deuce after being diddled by a beautiful lob - he caught up with it, but couldn't get the ball back into play. No matter: he plays the deuce points superbly and is looking pretty solid at the net.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 1-0 McDonald
Dimitrov opens set three with an ace, but McDonald responds to a net cord with a forehand cross-court winner, his first in what seems like a while. It doesn't matter though: Dimitrov, though he chucks in a double-fault, is serving really well and takes the game to 15.
Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 McDonald
Yes, the tide has turned alright. A wild backhand from McDonald gives Dimitrov three set points, the first of them missed with a backhand down the line into the top of the net. McDonald then saves the second, but another backhand down the line forces him to stretch into a volley, and he can't control it, sending it wide! it's taken a while, but the world number 3 now looks in command.
Dimitrov 4-6 5-2 McDonald
Dimitrov is accelerating now, and a quick hold leaves him a game away from levelling the match.
Dimitrov 4-6 4-2 McDonald
Following another hold, Dimitrov gets himself to 0-40. McDonald responds with a service winner, but then a double, his second of the game, cedes the break! Is this the turning point? Dimitrov has certainly been doing his best to force it, cajoling himself and varying his tactics to find a weak point.
Dimitrov 4-6 2-1 McDonald
McDonald is reading Dimitrov's serve nicely, but Dimitrov holds easily enough, to 15.
Dimitrov 4-6 1-1 McDonald
McDonald, 186 in the world, holds nicely.
Dimitrov 4-6 1-0 McDonald
Dimitrov holds nicely; will McDonald relax into his cushion?
Dimitrov 4-6 McDonald
McDonald is absolutely loving this, getting to 40-0 in two shakes of a lamb's tail. He then comes to the net and punches a volley wide, loops a forehand long, and now he won't be loving it so much ... but what a serve! That's the set, in 38 minutes, and it's been phenomenally impressive. Can he maintain his level? Can Dimitrov pick his up?
Dimitrov 4-5 McDonald
Dimitrov holds easily. McDonald will now serve for the set.
Dimitrov 3-5 McDonald
Dimitrov gets to 0-30, and a couple of sliced backhands followed a heavily spun forehand coax McDonald into going long to give him 15-40 - that's excellent from the Bulgarian, thinking on the fly. But he then slices a backhand into the net and McDonald reaches deuce with a gutsy second serve and a fine high volley on the backhand. Deuce, and two points later, hold. This is great stuff from the qualifier.
Dimitrov 3-4 McDonald
McDonald fights his way to deuce on the Dimitrov serve, but a balzing backhand pass and an ace quickly put paid to any plans for a double break.
Dimitrov 2-4 McDonald
Dimitrov holds to love, but then McDonald stays in stride - his forehand is a wonderful shot, absolutely pasted with very little backswing. He's never played a match like this on a court like this, but when Dimitrov nets a return he has a love hold.
Dimitrov 1-3 McDonald
McDonald starts the game well, but we end up playing some deuces before a succession of murderous forehands consolidate the break. Dimitrov is in a match because McDonald is not only hitting really well but also thinking really well.
Dimitrov 1-2 McDonald
Look at McDonald, racing to 0-40, and a fine backhand returns off a second serve allows him to the net, forcing Dimitrov to hook wide!
Dimitrov 1-1 McDonald
McDonald can play. Dimitrov does get to 30-all, but yerman confidently closes out from there.
Dimitrov 1-0 McDonald
McDonald looks a nice mover, but Dimitrov still holds comfortably, to 15.
We're about to start on Laver, Dimitrov to serve.
Right then, Grigor Dimitrov and Mackenzie McDonald are on court. Is this Baby Fed's time?