ACAPULCO, Mexico – Second-seeded German Alexander Zverev defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the round of 16 of the Mexican Open, a hard-court event in this Pacific resort city.
Zverev, who is the tournament favorite after Spanish top seed and world No. 2 Rafael Nadal withdrew due to a lingering hip injury, earned an early break in Tuesday night’s match to go up 3-1 and held serve the rest of the way to wrap up the first set.
In the second set, McDonald, who was a last-minute replacement for American Steve Johnson, managed to stay on serve until 5-5 but Zverev reeled off eight straight points to take the match in an hour and 20 minutes.
Zverev’s serve was the key to his victory, as he won nearly 80 percent of his first-serve points and 70 percent of his second-serve points and saved the lone break point he faced.
Next up for the 20-year-old Zverev in Wednesday’s round of 16 will be Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk, who cruised past Mexican wildcard Lucas Gomez 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday.
In other Acapulco action, two of tennis’ other promising young stars, 24-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem and 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov, set up a much-anticipated round-of-16 clash with victories on Tuesday.
The third-seeded Thiem clawed out a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory over Cameron Norrie of the United Kingdom, while Shapovalov rallied for a 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-1 win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori, a former top-five player who is making his way back after suffering a season-ending wrist injury in 2017.
Wednesday’s match will be the first career meeting between Shapovalov and Thiem.
“He’s a very, very good young player,” Thiem was quoted as saying of Shapovalov on the ATP World Tour’s Web site. “He’s one of the upcoming superstars of the game. So I’m looking forward to playing him for the first time.”
Three other seeded men were in action on Tuesday: sixth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who brushed aside Germany’s Mischa Zverev 6-1, 6-2; seventh-seeded defending champion Sam Querrey of the United States, who lost to Australia’s Matthew Ebden 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5); and fourth-seeded American Jack Sock, who fell to countryman and qualifier Ernesto Escobedo 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).
In women’s singles action on Tuesday, American top seed Sloane Stephens, the reigning US Open champion, easily defeated France’s Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-0.