Out in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup: DTB team fails with a crash, but happy

Out in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup
DTB team crashes, but happily

The trump card in doubles doesn’t stand a chance – the Davis Cup semi-finals are already decided after the two singles. The German tennis men are largely without a chance against the outstanding Russian team. Nevertheless, pride in what has been achieved prevails.

The German Davis Cup players already had their eyes on the mighty trophy on the edge of the Center Court, and yet it remained unattainable: The dream of reaching the finals for the first time in 28 years suddenly burst, the sensational journey of the selection of the German Tennis Association (DTB ) came to a bitter end in Madrid. In the semifinals, the Russian team around US Open Champion Daniil Medvedev was way too strong.

“We set out to beat the Russians, even if it was a really tough task. Of course we didn’t succeed, that’s a shame. That’s why we’re all very sad,” said Jan-Lennard Struff, who despite being good at Medvedev Performance 4: 6, 4: 6 had to be beaten. Nevertheless, he was also proud: “The fact that we have reached a semi-finals for the first time since 2007 is of course great.”

At the start, Dominik Koepfer had already lost 4: 6, 0: 6 against the outstanding fifth in the world rankings, Andrej Rublew. The German team could no longer play their trump card, the unbeaten double of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz, which was strong and unbeaten so far. The Russians, on the other hand, play for the title against Croatia on Sunday.

In the role of the outsider, the team of captain Michael Kohlmann, who competed without the vacationing world-class player Alexander Zverev, felt very comfortable in the victories against Serbia and Great Britain. That’s why she went into the matches against numbers two and five in the world with a broad chest. “The semi-finals are not what we are committed to,” said Kohlmann confidently: “We are so close now. We see no reason why we should be satisfied with it.”

Medvedev punishes Struff’s mistakes without mercy

But the ambitions got a bitter damper, because Rublew had a real creamy day against Koepfer. After the break to 2-1, he “played so freely and hammered on it with his forehand”, said Koepfer: “He was just too aggressive for me to get into the match.” The Russian played his tremendous power and served superbly, the match was decided after just 49 minutes – and the pressure on Struff was immense.

“Now of course we hope that Struffi can shoot around at the same speed as Andrej,” said Koepfer. Twice in this tournament, the Warsteiner had already remained nervous after being 0: 1 behind, and he had even won against Medvedev in Halle / Westphalia in the summer. And this time he acted aggressively and courageously against the big favorite.

He kept the pressure up with his serve and volley game. Since Medvedev was also sovereign in his service games, the game remained open for a long time. As soon as slight mistakes crept in at Struff, the world number two grabbed ice cold, although he was affected by a persistent nosebleed. With the break to 3-2 in the second set, Medvedev was finally on the road to victory.

The strong performance of the German team in the tournament in no way diminished the end, which also DTB President Dietloff von Arnim made clear. “The atmosphere in the team was fantastic. The team performed great, sticks together,” he said on the sidelines of the game: “That’s why it’s a great success for everyone that they made it to the semi-finals.”

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