First ATP Cup bankruptcy: Zverev powerless in a German false start

First bankruptcy in the ATP Cup
Zverev powerless in case of a German false start

Alexander Zverev wins his first game of this tennis season, but at the end of the day he is still angry. Because the German team ruined the debut at the ATP Cup. Zverev himself cannot avoid a bankruptcy against Great Britain in doubles. The target is already in danger.

Olympic champion Alexander Zverev threw his racket uncontrollably: the best player could not prevent the German men’s tennis team from having a bad start in the ATP Cup. Although the world-ranked third in Sydney started the new year in singles, Zverev lost his surprising double effort. Together with Kevin Krawietz, the 24-year-old lost in the decisive match to the British Jamie Murray and Daniel Evans 3: 6, 4: 6. The first group match of the Germans in this team event ended with a 1:2 against Great Britain.

Zverev’s 7: 6 (7: 2), 6: 1 victory against world number 12 Cameron Norrie was not enough. Because in addition to the doubles, Jan-Lennard Struff also lost with a clear 1: 6, 2: 6 against Evans. For German men’s tennis, Group C is now Tuesday (12:00 am) against the United States and on Thursday against Canada (7.30am/Sky, ServusTV and mem about making up for the loss at first.

To qualify for the semi-finals, team boss Michael Kohlmann’s selection must also wait for a British slip-up. Only the four winners of the four groups of four advance. With the ATP Cup, tennis professionals are gearing up for the Australian Open, which kicks off in Melbourne on January 17. Zverev has set himself the goal of winning his first title at one of the four major tennis tournaments there.

“It will never be the best game”

Six weeks after his last victory in 2021, with which he won the ATP Finals, Zverev initially had some trouble with Norrie. Unlike the season finale in Turin, the man from Hamburg has yet to reach his best level in singles. “It’s the first game of the season, it’s never going to be the best game. I did what I had to do,” he said. Without his victory, defeat at the start would have been certain after the singles matches.

23 unforced errors in the first set forced the German number one into the tie-break, which he won easily. Zverev had previously been in trouble at 4:5 and had to fend off a set point from Norrie. Zverev became more confident with the set lead, the second section clearly going his way after the first break to make it 3-1.

“I won against number twelve, it’s a good start to the season,” Zverev said. “I could have played better in the first set, in the second it was my tennis again. Unfortunately we lost the doubles so now it doesn’t matter.”

Surprisingly, Zverev replaced doubles specialist Tim Pütz on short notice and also competed in doubles. Unlike in the Davis Cup, when Pütz and Krawietz triumphed together, this time there was nothing for the Germans. Krawietz didn’t play as well as he did in the Davis Cup, and Zverev was also upset about the unnecessary mistakes. In early December, the German Davis Cup tennis players reached the semi-finals without the best player with a surprising quarter-final victory against the British.

Jamie Franklin

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