Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
It also runs without Zverev
Tennis men reach Davis Cup semifinals
Only for the second time after Boris Becker’s brilliant times do the German tennis men have a chance at the final in the Davis Cup. Thanks to a strong Jan-Lennard Struff and a terrific double with Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz, the German selection will make it back to the semi-finals on Tuesday evening in Innsbruck for the first time since 2007.
The entire German tennis team threw up their arms, everyone hopped around the court in a circle. For the first time since 2007 and only for the second time after the brilliant times with Boris Becker, the German tennis men are playing for a place in the final of the Davis Cup. With a 7: 6 (12:10), 7: 6 (7: 5), the German doubles Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz made the 2: 1 against the favored Great Britain and the semi-finals perfect on Tuesday evening in Innsbruck against Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski .
“After the match point, a lot of pressure was released. I am super happy and very proud,” said team boss Michael Kohlmann. When the winning duo had even made up a 5-0 deficit in the decisive tie-break (Krawietz: “crazy sometimes”), Jan-Lennard Struff immediately jumped at them jubilantly. The Sauerland had previously prevented the early quarter-finals with a strong performance and a 7: 6 (8: 6), 3: 6, 6: 2 against the world number 12 Cameron Norrie after Peter Gojowzyk had no chance.
“We all said we want to go to Madrid. We have achieved our goal, now it’s time to set new goals. We want to win the semi-finals,” said Struff confidently. “It’s all the better for us that we can always get the decisive point,” said co-match winner Pütz. The Germans are now traveling to Madrid and will meet the strong Russians or outsiders Swedes on Saturday. The opponent will be determined on Thursday.
Extremely exciting match
After the years with Becker and Stich came to an end, a German selection made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious country competition only 14 years ago. The jump into the top four in the changed mode is now also highly creditable because world-class player Alexander Zverev is missing. The 24-year-old has no desire for the new format and decided against participating.
In Innsbruck’s Olympic hall, which was largely empty due to the corona, the German as well as the British entourage jumped up again and again when the doubles had to make the decision. The tension of the match was hard to beat. In 2019, the Germans – in a different formation – were eliminated in the quarter-finals against the British. This time they were optimistic after the two 2-1 victories in the preliminary round against Serbia and Austria. Especially because of Krawietz and Pütz, who are undefeated in the Davis Cup.
The self-confidence helped against Salisbury and Skupski, who were also able to win the first round in view of four set balls. Instead, the German Olympic doubles used the fourth set ball. In the second round, too, the high-class and emotional game could have gone in both directions. Pütz and Krawietz constantly ran after the residue. When it looked like the equalizer in the tie-break, the Germans triumphed after all.
Gojowczyk had a restless night
It hadn’t started well with Gojowczyk’s 2: 6, 1: 6 against Daniel Evans. Unlike Gojowczyk, whom the pressure to play for Germany apparently paralyzed, the situation then seemed to inspire Struff. “It is definitely one of the most important victories that I have won. It means a lot to me,” said Struff. To play courageously, the tactical tips and encouragement from team boss Kohlmann and the encouragement from the box were the key. The Sauerland acted nervously and started furiously. When his 4-1 lead was gone, he took more risks again. In the tiebreak, Struff fended off two number 12 set balls in the world. The Brit had surprised with the title in Indian Wells in October and proved his strong form. In the end, he managed to be active with a lot of “energy”, according to Struff: “It’s so much fun to play in a team.”
Gojowczyk fared quite differently. For the first time at this final round, the Munich-based man had received the trust instead of Dominik Koepfer after he had not been used for seven years. Kohlmann’s conversion went wrong. The world rankings-86. seemed nervous and couldn’t find a rhythm. The double error in the match point of the world number 25 was emblematic. Evans. “You don’t feel good in your skin,” said Gojowczyk. Because he was so nervous, he slept badly the night before. “Maybe I thought too much. You want to do it incredibly well, you want to make the point for Germany,” said the 32-year-old.