|Collin Altamirano, shown in 2014,|
reached the semis of 25K Long
Beach. Photo by Paul Bauman
Both are 21-year-old Northern California products with sterling NCAA credentials.
The main difference is size. Altamirano is 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters), while McDonald is 5-10 (1.78) and weighs only 145 pounds (66 kilograms).
Altamirano, a wild card from Sacramento, routed the fourth-seeded McDonald, who grew up in Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, 6-3, 6-1 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Legends $25,000 Tennis Tournament in Long Beach.
Two rounds of singles were played Friday after rain wiped out play on Thursday. McDonald, who won last week's USC/Los Angeles $25,000 Tennis Tournament, dismissed U.S. qualifier Mico Santiago 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour, 17 minutes earlier in the day.
Altamirano had a tougher time against McDonald in the 2013 U.S. Open boys round of 16, prevailing 3-6, 6-4,
6-3. Altamirano then lost to top-seeded Alexander Zverev, a German now ranked No. 24 in the world at 19 years old and touted by Rafael Nadal as a future No. 1.
Both Altamirano and McDonald won NCAA titles last year. Altamirano helped Virginia win its second consecutive team championship as a sophomore. He is returning to the team this season. McDonald swept the NCAA singles and doubles crowns as a UCLA junior, then turned pro.
Altamirano will meet his Virginia teammate, freshman Carl Soderlund of Sweden, for the second straight week. Soderlund won 7-6 (7), 6-3 in the Los Angeles quarterfinals en route to the final.
Soderlund, seeded No. 8 in Long Beach, upset No. 1 Tommy Paul of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 7-5 in Friday's quarterfinals. In 2015, Paul joined John McEnroe (1977) and Bjorn Fratangelo (2011) as the only Americans in the Open Era (since 1968) to win the French Open boys singles title.
In the other semifinal, Marcos Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion from UCLA, will face Sebastian Fanselow, a former Pepperdine All-American from Germany.