Zverev Books Semi-Final Berth In Cologne

COLOGNE, October 23, 2020

Alexander Zverev, top seed of the bett1HULKS Championship, has booked his spot in the semi-finals of the ATP 250 tournament in Cologne. The World No. 7 from Germany fought past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 inside the Lanxess Arena on Friday evening.

Zverev, winner of last week’s bett1HULKS Indoors, struck 16 aces on the slow hard court and won 83 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 40 minutes.

“I am in the semi-finals in back-to-back weeks,” Zverev told Markus Zoecke in his on-court interview. “I won last week and I hope I can repeat it this week. It is nice to play in front of a little bit of a crowd, they got me through it as well.”

Zverev will next take on reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner. The 19-year-old Italian edged past French veteran Gilles Simon 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes.

“He didn’t give me any angles and played down the middle. He was very solid and I tried to play more on his forehand,” said Sinner. “Losing eight games [in a row] can happen, but next time I need to find a solution earlier. He played far better than me in the second set. I got a little emotional in the third set, but I wanted to show that I wanted to win.”

Schwartzman with comeback quality

Earlier in the day, Diego Schwartzman came back from 2-6, 2-5 down to overcome #NextGenATP Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The No. 2 seed from Argentina won 53 per cent of the total points played to seal a 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 victory in two hours and nine minutes.

“Tennis sometimes is crazy,” said Schwartzman in his post-match interview. “Maybe today I got lucky to be here answering questions. But that is why I am here as well with this ranking, because I am always trying to find a way to win the matches. Today was not the exception to the rule.

“I was trying really hard, but obviously he is a great player and the first two sets I was just on court trying to do something but there was no chance. He was playing perfect and the first two sets he deserved to win, for sure.”

Schwartzman will next play No. 5 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, who beat Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-3, 6-4 in the final match of the day. The encounter lasted one hour and 32 minutes.