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Newport Beach’s Max McKennon bows out in first round of French Open juniors

Max McKennon practices at the Racquet Club of Irvine on Sept. 23 for the French Open.
Max McKennon practices on a clay court at the Racquet Club of Irvine on Sept. 23 for the French Open. McKennon lost in the first round of boys’ singles action on Monday.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Newport Beach resident Max McKennon put up a decent fight in the first and only junior Grand Slam tournament of his tennis career.

The 18-year-old suffered a 6-4, 6-2 loss to No. 15-seeded Martin Breysach of France in the first round of the French Open boys’ singles draw in Paris on Monday.

McKennon, a freshman at Arizona State ranked No. 62 in the world in the International Tennis Federation juniors, was one of just four Americans competing in the boys’ singles draw of 64 players. Monday’s match was the last one of his junior tennis career before he transitions to college tennis with the Sun Devils.

“Today was definitely a tough match,” McKennon said in a text message. “Martin is a great player and I thought a few points here and there in the first set was a big difference. He played very well, and I thought it was fun to be out there living a lifelong dream.”

McKennon made 73% of his first serves in the match, compared to 61% for Breysach. But Breysach won 79% of his first serve points in the 73-minute match and 62% of his second-serve points, compared to 53% on both first and second serve for McKennon.

Breysach advanced to play Eliakim Coulibaly of Ivory Coast in the second round.

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