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Tennis: Severe setback for Zverev and the German Davis Cup team

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Severe setback for Zverev and the German Davis Cup team

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2022 Germany's Alexander Zverev reacts after sustaining an injury during his French Open semi-final. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

Serious injury: Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the French Open. The comeback of the best German player was actually planned for this week

What: REUTERS

He was looking forward to getting back on the tennis court and playing for the German team in the Davis Cup. But the injured foot stops Alexander Zverev. Instead of competing as a top star, he takes on a different role.

Alexander Zverev has been severely punished for being too ambitious and is again forced to take a longer break from tennis. Instead of making his comeback in the Davis Cup intermediate round in Hamburg this week as planned, the Olympic champion is doomed to watch because of a new injury. The 25-year-old said on Monday in Hamburg that he contracted bone edema in his foot during his intensive training. Healing is “not a matter of days, but weeks and months”.

There is a risk that the bones in the foot could break when used. “Then I would have a lot of problems for my career and for a very long time,” said Zverev. Because of the pain in his foot, he was recently unable to really walk or walk. “Of course I’m disappointed, but I can’t do anything.” He will now cheer on the team from the bench. His new role: “I’ll be a cheerleader in the best sense of the word.”

dpatopbilder - September 12, 2022, Hamburg: Tennis Davis Cup press conference with the German team before the first game against France (14th).  Alexander Zverev reacts.  Tennis star Alexander Zverev will be missing from the German team because of a new injury in the Davis Cup intermediate round in Hamburg - recrop Photo: Michael Schwartz/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Condemned to (sporting) inactivity: Alexander Zverev on Monday in Hamburg

Source: dpa

It was different: in the semi-finals of the French Open on June 3, he twisted his ankle during the match against Rafael Nadal and tore all three lateral ligaments in his right ankle. The doctors had told him it would take him four months to get back on the pitch. Healing was faster.

The US Open came too early for the comeback, the Davis Cup in his hometown of Hamburg was the new goal. His injury has healed, said Zverev. But: “I trained too intensively.” That led to the new injury.

“You don’t just shake it off”

“It was a shock for all of us,” said team boss Michael Kohlmann about the moment during practice on Sunday. “That took a while. You don’t shake it off that easily.” Nevertheless, he had to react and nominated Yannick Hanfmann. The 30-year-old actually wanted to play in a Challenger tournament in Szczecin this week.

September 12, 2022, Hamburg: Tennis Davis Cup press conference with the German team before the first game against France (14th).  Michael Kohlmann, team boss of the German Davis Cup team, speaks next to Alexander Zverev (r).  Photo: Michael Schwartz/dpa +++ dpa picture radio +++

Team boss Michael Kohlmann (left) has to replace Alexander Zverev (right).

Source: dpa

Despite the failure of their number one, the German team was confident before the games against France on Wednesday, against Belgium on Friday and against Australia on Sunday (both DAZN and ServusTV) – even if it sounded like optimism. “I believe in it and I’m convinced that we’re good enough to get through to the next round,” said Kohlmann. “We still want to be successful.”

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The next round is the finals in Malaga from November 22-27. The first and second place winners from the four groups travel there. The new number one in the team is now Jan-Lennard Struff. “My role hasn’t changed,” he said. “We will step on the gas right from the start. We have a good team.” At least the hosts have the most famous cheerleader.

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