Alexander Zverev travelled to the south of France to build up some confidence after a very disappointing outing in Melbourne. The German admitted before the event that his early exit in Melbourn still bothers him but that tremendous pressure was at fault. He won't have the same pressure here in Montpellier and he showed it early by coming out strong.
McDonald was not able to handle Zverev early at all who played very good tennis and found himself in up early. He followed the early break with another one and ultimately finished off the first set with 6-2. He dropped only two points on his first serve and in indoor conditions that will always be the key for Zverev.
Zverev took an early in the 2nd set as McDonald still struggled to string together consecutive good rallies. After that the match rather settled in a nice rhytm as Zverev did not force the issue too much. He became passive as he tends to do when he is comfortably up and McDonald used that to finally find some rhytm, especially serving.
At 4-3, the passiveness hurt Zverev as McDonald played one of his best games of the day to break back and make it 4-4. The 2nd set ultimately finished in the tiebreak where Zverev barely avoided disaster. He was trailing 2-4 but rallied to win it 7-5 and avoid the 3rd set.