ATP Cup: Germany, Spain Advance To Semi-Finals

Team Germany – photo: ATP Cup

STARNBERG, February 5, 2021

Germany and Spain have completed the semi-finals line-up of the 2021 ATP Cup in Melbourne. Germany defeated defending champions Serbia 2-1 in Group A on Friday. Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff sealed the win for their team in the deciding doubles rubber, beating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic 7-6(4), 5-7, 10-7 on Rod Laver Arena.

The Germans won six straight points from 2-4 down in the match tie-break to secure victory in one hour and 48 minutes.

“I think we played maybe a little bit more aggressive. In the end, we maybe took a few more shots, but it was so tight it could have gone both ways,” said Zverev. “At the end of the day, when you win the doubles decider 10-7 in the third set there’s not much between the two. We’re just super happy right now.”

Earlier in the tie, Struff rallied past Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and Djokovic also had to go the distance to overcome Zverev 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 33 minutes.

Germany will face Russia, the Group D winner, in Saturday’s semi-finals. “Obviously, Russia is a great team. Daniil Medvedev is in great shape. Rublev is in very good shape. But we too are also in good shape, so it is going to be a very interesting, intense tie and I hope we can beat them,” said Germany captain Mischa Zverev.

Spain advances despite 1-2 defeat to Greece

On John Cain Arena, Pablo Carreno Busta guaranteed Spain’s spot in the stage of the final four teams with a 6-3, 6-4 win after 70 minutes on against Greece’s Michail Pervolarakis.

“I knew that we needed this point. With this victory, we are into the semi-finals, so it was very important to us,” Carreno Busta said in his on-court interview. “I tried to be focussed on myself, to try to play my best game.”

Earlier in the tie, Roberto Bautista Agut lost 7-5, 7-5 to Stefanos Tsitsipas in one hour and 40 minutes.

In the final doubles rubber, Tsitsipas and Markos Kalovelonis took on Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers. After Greece won the first game, Spain retired. That gave Greece its first tie victory in the history of the ATP Cup.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who led Spain to last year’s title match against Serbia, has not yet competed in this edition of the ATP Cup due to a stiff lower back. The Iberians will next play Italy.