Alexander Zverev bounced back from a disappointing fourth-round defeat at the Australian Open on Thursday when he eliminated Mackenzie McDonald 6-2, 7-6(5) to reach the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France.
The German is now 8-1 at the ATP 250, where he lifted the trophy on his most recent appearance, in 2017. The top seed will next play in-form Frenchman Adrian Mannarino for a place in the last four.
“I’m going to give myself the best chance to do well in this tournament. But obviously, I’m happy to be back here. This is a place I really enjoy coming back [to],” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “After the Australian Open that I had, I wanted to play tournaments before my scheduled tournaments in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami. I said Montpellier is the perfect fit for that and I’m happy to be here.”
For most of the match, it seemed the World No. 3 was in full control. But leading by a set and a break, McDonald was able to raise his level and get back on serve.
In the second-set tie-break, the American surged to a 4/2 lead, but untimely errors proved his undoing. Zverev converted his first match point when McDonald launched a forehand long.
“I think he was going for his shots, he was trying to play extremely aggressive and I was happy to win in two sets,” Zverev said. “I left a lot of chances out there in the second set, but in the end I won, so that’s the most important thing.”
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Zverev’s next opponent, Mannarino, defeated defending champion David Goffin 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the day. The tricky lefty advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open with wins against James Duckworth, Hubert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev.
The German leads their ATP Head2Head series 6-0, but expects a tough clash.
“Every time I’ve played with him, it was always very, very long and very hard and very physical. He’s playing extremely well,” Zverev said. “In Australia he was playing extremely well. Here he’s playing well, so I’m looking forward to the match. It’s not going to be an easy one, I think.”