STARNBERG, October 16, 2020
Alexander Zverev leads the semi-finals line-up at the bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne. The top seed of the €325,610 ATP Tour tournament held inside the Lanxess Arena overcame South African qualifier Lloyd Harris 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 on Friday afternoon.
Zverev led by set and a break but dropped two of his next four service games to find himself in a deciding set.
“I have got to do a better job of keeping my focus until the end of a match. I relaxed a little bit and then he picked up his game,” Zverev told Markus Zoecke in his post-match interview.
“Playing on the ATP Tour, you only play great players. Once you lose your focus, it doesn’t matter what your ranking is, it doesn’t matter how many titles you won, you have still got to play until the end otherwise it can go the other way very quickly.”
In the final set, Harris struggled physically and the World No. 7 from Hamburg won 54 per cent of the total points played to advance after one hour and 45 minutes.
“[Harris] went through qualifying, so he had a lot of matches under his belt already,” said Zverev. “He is playing with a lot of confidence. He is playing well. He is somebody that I think will go up the Rankings quite easily if he continues playing the way he is playing.
”He improved his game a lot. The first time I saw him was against Mischa [Zverev] in Halle last year and I think he improved a lot since then. The end of this year and next year will be very important for him.”
Next up for Zverev will be Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The 21-year-old Spaniard fought past Dennis Novak from Austria 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Davidovich Fokina withstood five aces and broke his opponent’s serve eight times to prevail after one hour and 55 minutes.
“Today was a very hard match with a lot of ups and downs,” Davidovich Fokina said. “I was 0-2 down in the third set but I did some meditation and then I managed to turn it around.”
Asked about his upcoming opponent, the Malaga native responded: “I played against Zverev at the US Open. He beat me easily but let’s see how it goes tomorrow.” Davidovich Fokina will appear in his second semi-final on the ATP Tour after he reached the stage of the final four in Estoril, Portugal last year.
Later in the day, No. 3 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime eased past Radu Albot from Moldova 6-3, 6-0. The 20-year-old Canadian won 71 per cent of his first-service points and 64 per cent of the total points played to advance after one hour and 11 minutes. Auger-Aliassime will next face No. 2 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who beat sixth seed Hubert Hurkacz from Poland 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-0 in two hours and 29 minutes.