Read & Watch: McDonald Shows Poise To Reach 'Manic Monday'
Watch: McDonald Making His Mark
The 23-year-old American held his nerve in an all-baseline encounter to knock out Guido Pella of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6) in just over two hours for a place in the second week at the All England Club.
McDonald led 4/2 in the third set tie-break only to see Pella win three straight points. On his first match point, McDonald struck a forehand into the net but on his second opportunity Pella netted a backhand.
McDonald began the year at No. 176 in the ATP Rankings and is now at No. 103, on the back of picking up the South Open Challenger crown (d. Thompson) in May and reaching the Libema Open quarter-finals (l. to Chardy) — on the ATP World Tour — last month.
He'll need to re-assess his goals for 2018. Speaking in San Francisco in February, McDonald was focused on the ATP Challenger Tour and on playing at the ATP World Tour 250 level.
“I definitely want to keep competing to try to win Challenger titles. I definitely want to try to make a transition to play more ATP 250s and those types of events, just to get that exposure and experiences,” McDonald said. “And I'd like to get to the Top 100, whenever that comes though. I'll just keep working hard and go day-by-day.”
Pella, 28, had been bidding to reach the fourth round of a major championship for the first time, just one day after knocking out third seed and last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic in five sets.
McDonald joins compatriot John Isner in the fourth round. Both will be making their first Round of 16 appearance at SW19. McDonald will next meet 2016 finalist Milos Raonic or Dennis Novak of Austria. Their third-round match was suspended because of darkness with Raonic leading 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-5.