EFirst the surprise against Novak Djokovic’s Serbs, then with strong nerves to the mandatory victory against Austria: Even without Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, the German tennis professionals are successful at the Davis Cup in Innsbruck and are in the quarter-finals.
Jan-Lennard Struff and Co. withstood the great pressure in the group final against the hosts despite a false start and celebrated their 150th victory in the international competition.
As in the coup against Serbia, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz were the guarantors of success against Underdog Austria. With a 6: 3, 6: 4 against Oliver Marach / Philipp Oswald, the top double in front of corona-related empty stands in the Innsbruck Olympic Hall made the 2: 1 and the group victory perfect. On Tuesday evening (4.00 p.m. on ServusTV) there is now a great chance for revenge against Great Britain – two years ago in Madrid the quarter-finals against the British were the last stop.
The fact that the selection of the German Tennis Association (DTB) had to tremble on Sunday evening was due to Dominik Koepfer, who made a blatant false start with his 1: 6, 5: 7 against Jurij Rodionov and massively increased the pressure on Struff. The Warsteiner stayed cool and forced the decision in doubles with a 7: 5, 6: 4 against Dennis Novak.
Zverev not there
In the absence of top player Zverev, who, as a critic of the new format, renounced the Davis Cup, the sixth victory in the sixth duel with Austria succeeded there. The two-time French Open winners Krawietz and Pütz left no doubt with great dominance, they showed an outstanding performance and did not have to fend off a single breakball.
The surprising 2-1 on Saturday evening against co-favorite Serbia for exceptional player and Grand Slam record champion Djokovic had given the Germans a big boost. “That was very important for the whole team. We’re going into the second game against Austria with a big chest, ”said Krawietz, and Boris Becker was also enthusiastic in distant London.
“It was an unbelievable achievement”, praised the tennis icon in a video message. And since Austria couldn’t offer a top 100 player without the former US Open champion Dominic Thiem, Germany was already “the little favorite” for Becker. But Koepfer in particular did not get along with this role at all.
The world number 54. Didn’t get into the match at all against Rodionov, who was 85 places worse, and couldn’t find a rhythm, Koepfer acted much too unsettled and incorrectly. “That wasn’t a good start to the encounter,” said the 27-year-old: “But I’m sure that Struffi and the double boys will fix it.”
And he was right. Unlike against world number one Djokovic the day before, Struff immediately took the initiative and managed the game against Novak with his strong serve. “The match was pretty tough, there was a bit of pressure on me,” said the German number one: “But I think I handled it very well.” Krawietz and Pütz then made everything clear no less confidently.