Disappointed faces shortly after midnight in Malaga: the German tennis men missed the semi-finals in the Davis Cup. The team of national coach Michael Kohlmann, who started without top player Alexander Zverev, lost 2-1 to co-favorite Canada despite strong resistance. The super series broke in doubles.
“It was tight and of course it’s a bitter defeat for us,” said Kohlmann, who defeated Vasek 6-2, 3-6, 3-6 by Kevin Krawietz/Tim Pütz (Coburg/Frankfurt) in the decisive duel on the green hard court Pospisil/Denis Shapovalov had to watch. Germany had previously celebrated 15 double successes in a row in the Davis Cup over a period of five years.
The strong point from Jan-Lennard Struff (Warstein) with a 6: 3, 4: 6, 7: 6 (7: 2) against Shapovalov was not enough in the end, Oscar Otte (Cologne) had to face Felix Auger-Aliassime 6 :7 (1:7), 4:6 beaten.
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The last German triumph in the Davis Cup was in 1993, last year it was enough for the round of four, in which it was finally over against the eventual winner Russia, who is suspended this year. Kohlmann’s team missed a good chance.
Struff creates surprise
The possible quarter-final opponent Italy, who now meets Canada after a 2-1 win against the USA, does not have its two top players Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner with them.
Struff made the start for the optimistic German team on Thursday, once again showing his qualities as a team player. “It was very tough mentally, but I’m very happy to have scored the first point. It’s great, we have a good atmosphere in the team,” said the 32-year-old after his success on “ServusTV”.
The outsider brought his match home after 2:05 hours, but only cheered briefly: “Nothing’s done yet.”
Otte had the first chance to get the decisive second point, but had a very difficult task ahead of him in Auger-Aliassime, which he couldn’t solve.
Double misses the win
The Canadian won three tournaments in Florence, Antwerp and Basel in October and finally prevailed against the man from Cologne, who after four appearances is still waiting for his first victory in the Davis Cup.
“The whole team believes in Kevin and Pützi and I’m pretty sure that we’ll go straight to the hotel with a 2-1 lead,” said Otte and kept his fingers crossed from then on.
For the two-time French Open winner Krawietz and his new permanent partner Pütz, it was a difficult task against the former Wimbledon double winner Pospisil and the individual world number 18. Shapovalov, who improved noticeably from the second set and ultimately caused frustrated faces in the German team.
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