Davis Cup team reaches quarterfinals

The best German tennis player Alexander Zverev recovers on vacation. The Davis Cup team still has a chance of reaching the semifinals. It just didn’t go as planned against Austria in the beginning.

Double strength as the trump card: Kevin Krawietz (l) and Tim Pütz from Germany. Photo: Barbara Gindl / APA / dpa (Image: dpa)
(Photo: Barbara Gindl / APA / dpa)

Innsbruck – After reaching the Davis Cup quarter-finals, German tennis players haven’t had enough.

Even without world-class player Alexander Zverev, it should function again for the first time since 2007 with the jump to the top four of the prestigious competition of nations. “We have a chance to reach the semi-finals, that’s our goal,” team boss Michael Kohlmann said. “Very, very hot” is, of course, the task ahead, said Kevin Krawietz, guarantee of victory.

With somewhat surprising opening success against the Serbian team around star Novak Djokovic and 2-1 after falling behind against Austria on Sunday, Germany entered the knockout round as the winner of group F. Germany will play Great Britain on Sunday. Tuesday (4 pm) for the semifinals. Two years ago, Germany was eliminated by the British in the round of the top eight. “Now we have a chance for revenge,” Kohlmann said: “I’m sure. I have a good feeling.”

Double strength as a trump card

Perhaps it will also depend on the double strength in the quarterfinals, which turned out to be a trump card against both the Austrians and the Serbs: in the final match, Krawietz and Tim Pütz left no doubts and won with the sovereign 6: 3, 6: 4 against Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald against Serbia and the exceptional Djokovic the decisive point. He was “very happy” and “relieved,” Pütz said: “A lot of pressure has built up, especially after Domi (Koepfer) lost. We played a very good game. ”

Thanks to the unexpected group victory, the entourage can remain in Innsbruck for the time being and have not (yet) to travel to Spain. The German Tennis Association has set the goal for Madrid: the semifinals. With Zverev, the team would be one of the big favorites of the final round, but the winner of the ATP Finals, as a critic of the format, renounces his participation in favor of the holidays.

With Dominik Koepfer missing 1: 6, 5: 7 against Austrian outsider Jurij Rodionov in the first singles, the Germans had to shake. But disappointing performance against world number 139. In the end, it no longer mattered.

Struff and double under pressure

Struff managed to equalize with a 7: 5, 6: 4 against Dennis Novak. Krawietz and Pütz made sure the team didn’t have to rely on theoretical constellations and other results to move forward. Against Serbian duo Djokovic and Nikola Cacic, the two only got off to a successful start after falling behind in the third set in the tie-break. “It was not easy going out today. Yesterday we beat one of the best players in the history of tennis. That is in your head. Today we were the favorites, that makes it difficult, “said Kohlmann. Struff praised: “We have an incredible double with Kevin and Pütz.”

Against the world ranking of Austria-118. Novak Struff entered the game under pressure to win. The world number 51 did not show any nervousness in the Olympic Pavilion, where spectators were excluded by the Crown crisis. “There was a bit of anger since yesterday,” said the 31-year-old, who had no chance against Djokovic the day before: “I go in against Novak and I am the clear outsider. I will go against Dennis and I am the favorite of the ranking. It is difficult to handle. I did really, really well today. ”

It only got tight when Struff served to win the set in 5: 4, but had to accept that 5: 5. But the Warsteiner immediately took the lead again. “If I don’t break right away, you never know what will happen,” he admitted, explaining his key to success: “I played aggressively from the first point, with much more energy, as Novak Djokovic did yesterday. ”

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