The German tennis professionals have reached the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for the first time in 14 years. The selection of the German Tennis Association (DTB) defeated Great Britain 2-1 in the quarter-finals in Innsbruck on Tuesday, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz scored the decisive point in doubles with a 7: 6 (12:10), 7: 6 (7: 7: 5) against Joe Salisbury / Neal Skupski. They caught up with a 5-0 deficit in the tie-break of the second set.
Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz danced in a circle with their teammates to wild roars, after a real tennis thriller against Great Britain they can dream of their fourth Davis Cup title. “There was a lot of pressure off, I’m extremely happy and very proud,” said captain Michael Kohlmann after making the first semi-finals in 14 years.
The fact that the selection of the German Tennis Federation (DTB) can fight for the “ugliest salad bowl in the world” in Madrid without Olympic champion Alexander Zverev was mainly thanks to the nervous Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz in the gripping duel against Great Britain. The double got the decisive point for 2: 1 and the successful revenge for the quarter-finals two years ago.
“That was an incredible team effort,” said Krawietz. “We said to each other, we would just take it point by point,” said Krawietz: “And then we turned it around. It’s crazy sometimes.”
No less impressive was the performance of Struff, who had forced the showdown with a 7: 6 (8: 6), 3: 6, 6: 2 against the world number 12 Cameron Norrie in the first place. “That was one of the most important victories that I have achieved,” said the Warsteiner, who withstood extreme pressure. Because Peter Gojowczyk, back in action in the Davis Cup for the first time in seven years, lost 2: 6, 1: 6 to Daniel Evans at the start.
DTB team in the semi-finals for the first time in 14 years
The semi-final opponent on Saturday (1 p.m.) is either the Russian team or Sweden, the final in the Spanish capital takes place on Sunday. Germany has won the most important team competition in men’s tennis three times (1988, 1989, 1993).
The German team had already received a lot of praise for their appearances in the preliminary round with victories against Serbia for Grand Slam record champion Novak Djokovic and Austria. The world number three, Zverev, who refused to participate as an opponent of the new Davis Cup format, congratulated him on his vacation, and Boris Becker was also impressed. “The team is the star. I’m proud of the boys,” said the tennis icon, but saw the team as a slight underdog against Great Britain.
Captain Michael Kohlmann therefore tried a trick with the line-up and put his trust in Gojowczyk instead of Dominik Koepfer. The 32-year-old, who surprisingly made his way to the second round as a qualifier at the US Open this year and reached two semi-finals on the ATP tour, acted much too tense and incorrectly.
Struff with impressive performance
“I didn’t sleep so well because I was a bit nervous,” he said: “Of course you want to do incredibly well when you play for Germany.”
Struff, wide awake, did it incredibly well. The 31-year-old gave Norrie, who was 39 better placed in the world rankings and who surprisingly won the Masters in Indian Wells last month, a match at eye level at full risk.
He also showed great nerve strength when he still won the tie-break of the first round after two set balls blocked. “Now of course we’re trying to make it to the semi-finals,” he said after his brilliant performance ServusTV – and like against Serbia and Austria, Krawietz and Pütz delivered again impressively.