Zverev Captures Cologne Trophy

Alexander Zverev (photo: bett1HULKS Indoors/Paul Zimmer)

COLOGNE, October 18, 2020

Alexander Zverev is the champion of the inaugural bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne. The top seed of the ATP Tour 250 event has celebrated his third match win over Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime in as many meetings between the two. Zverev secured a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 victory on Sunday afternoon.

In front of his brother Mischa, his father Alexander senior as well as Cologne’s mayor Henriette Reker, Zverev was the dominant player right from the get-go. The 22-year-old broke his opponent’s serve four times to prevail after one hour and 19 minutes.

“It was a very positive week for me. I have been back to Germany after over one year. It was very nice and I am looking forward to next week. It is great to have back-to-back indoor events here,” Zverev said.

By lifting his 12th ATP Tour career trophy and winning at least one title for the fifth straight year, the World No. 7 pocketed €24,880 in prize money as well as 250 ATP Ranking points.

“Although that we didn’t have any fans inside the arena, I felt the support from home. I had the feeling playing on home soil and I hope that many fans watched the final on TV,” the Hamburg native said and added that winning at least one title per season means a lot to him. “It is different and more difficult this year, as we played less tournaments than usual. I hope that I can keep it up like this.”

Zverev also mentioned that he is not concerned about competing in the ATP Finals in London despite the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom. “We will stay in a hotel next to the stadium, which will be bolted. I think this will be the last place, where people are vulnerable to the coronavirus disease.” 

He was impressed by the Lanxess Arena in Cologne: “When I saw the arena for the first time I thought why the ATP Finals have been shifted to Turin. The stadium there is not as big as here, which would be the perfect venue. Second thought was, when will we bring the Laver Cup here,” Zverev said with a smile.

Auger-Aliassime was playing his third final of the season and sixth of his career. He was seeking his maiden trophy on the ATP Tour. “I just played bad from the start to the end,” Auger-Aliassime stated on his performance. “I was not able to play my game. It’s tough to accept. I am disappointed from my level today but I will try again.”

Mattresses and dogs

“We are mattress” is the tournament’s main sponsor’s slogan. That these are not just empty words can be seen in particular at the spot inside the Lanxess Arena, where you would normally assume the seats for special guests and VIPs. Here, the bett1HULKS organizers have placed oversized, comfortable mattresses with the best view of the matches. Media representatives also have the opportunity to convince themselves of the convenience in the press room.

Adam Szpyt, founder and managing director of bett1, can often be seen next to the Center Court together with his dog, which has been specially accredited for this tournament. “Barnie Geröllheimer” carries his a camera to produce special content for its own social media channel. This is consistent with the event, as tournament director Barbara Rittner is known to be a friend of dogs. Of course, “Rittner Rone” also has its own tournament badge.

Back-to-back tournaments

World-class tennis will also take place in Cologne during the upcoming week when the bett1HULKS Championship is kicking off at the Lanxess Arena. Zverev will again lead the field, joined by World No. 8 Diego Schwartzman from Argentina. Denis Shapovalov of Canada and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut round out the tournament’s Top 4 seeds.