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Tennis: For the first time since 2007 – men reach Davis Cup semi-finals

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For the first time since 2007 – tennis men reach Davis Cup semi-finals

Prevented the early retirement of the German tennis men: Jan-Lennard Struff in action

Prevented the early retirement of the German tennis men: Jan-Lennard Struff in action

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

The German tennis men have moved into the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2007. The team of national coach Michael Kohlmann defeated the favored British. In the semi-finals on Saturday, the German selection will meet Russia or Sweden in Madrid.

EFor the second time after Boris Becker’s brilliant times, 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 made it back to the semi-finals on Tuesday evening in Innsbruck for the first time since 2007.

The team of national coach Michael Kohlmann defeated the favored British with 2: 1. With a rousing 7: 6 (12:10), 7: 6 (7: 5) against Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski, Krawietz and Pütz caused great jubilation in the German box – in the largely empty Olympic Hall due to the corona. The winning duo even made up a 5-0 deficit in the decisive tie-break.

Struff had previously prevented the premature end with a 7: 6 (8: 6), 3: 6, 6: 2 against the world number 12 Cameron Norrie after Peter Gojowzyk had no chance. 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.

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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.

Again and again the German as well as the British entourage jumped up, the double was hard to beat in terms of tension. 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.

“That means a lot to me”

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. Even in the second round, the high-class and emotional game would have to go in both directions. Pütz and Krawietz kept running after the deficit, the tie-break went again and the Germans triumphed.

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 achieved. That means a lot to me, ”said Struff.

Kevin Krawietz (l.) And Tim Puetz (GER) in a doubles match against Joe Salisbury / Neal Skupski (GBR)

Kevin Krawietz (l.) And Tim Puetz (GER) in a doubles match against Joe Salisbury / Neal Skupski (GBR)

Source: dpa / Barbara Gindl

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 very differently.

For the first time at this final round, the Munich-based player had been given 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.

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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’ve been too worried. You want to do it incredibly well, you want to make the point for Germany, ”said the 32-year-old.

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