Germany Earns Davis Cup Finals Group C Top Spot

Team Germany (photo: e-motion/Paul Zimmer)

HAMBURG, September 18, 2022 (by Dietmar Kaspar)

Germany secured a 2-1 win over Australia on Sunday at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 in Hamburg to finish atop of Group C.

Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt replaced both singles players, nominating Max Purcell and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Germany started with the successful line-up from their victories against France and Belgium.

Struff beats Purcell

Following two doubles victories in the group stage alongside his partner Matthew Ebden, twenty-four-year-old Purcell made his singles debut for the Australian squad. In the match of the No. 2 players, the World No. 226 met Jan-Lennard Struff. The 32-year-old German gained the only two breaks in the opening set to take the lead. The Warstein native got the early break in the second set, but Purcell came back into the match to level at 5-5. With the deciding break in the 11th game, 132nd-ranked Struff served the out to succeed 6-1, 7-5 in 76 minutes.

“It was a great week for me. If you win matches, it can turn around a lot. It was a rough part season for me and I hope to build on this confidence for the next tournaments,” Struff said afterwards. “I was injured for two months and my ranking dropped down. My goal is to go near the top 100 as near as possible until the end of the year and I hope to be part of the German team in Malaga.”

Otte falls to Kokkinakis

Twenty-nine-year-old German Oscar Otte, ranked World No. 52, faced Kokkinakis in the match of the two top-ranked players. In an one hour and 12 minutes lasting opening set, World No. 81 Kokkinakis won the tiebreak by the score of 8-6. The 26-year-old moved on, converting the only two break points in the second set to claim a 7-6 (6), 6-1 win after one hour and 43 minutes.

“I am very happy with the result. It was a big first set where we both served well and a couple of points decided. It was very important to have the lead for playing a great second set. After my flu, the feeling today is best during the whole week,” Kokkinakis told the press. “Now I go home and will return to the tour in Tokyo. Then, I will play some events in Europe, hopefully crowned with the doubles at the ATP Finals in Turin and then going to Malaga.

Otte, who lost his three singles matches during the group stage summarized his week in Hamburg: “I had big goals this week, playing the first time in the Davis Cup especially in the home country. The team supported me unbelievably after my losses and I hoped to get the win today, but it was not meant to be. It is always a dream for me to score for Germany and I am sure that my next chance will come.”

Krawietz / Puetz still unbeaten

Following their two wins in the deciding matches against France and Belgium, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz battled past the reigning Wimbledon doubles champions Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell. The German duo, who haven’t lost a doubles rubber in the Davis Cup, converted two of their four break-point chances without losing a service game to prevail 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes.

“We were very happy a couple of days ago that we reached the main goal to qualify for Malaga, but we wanted to win today as much as the Australians. The win today is the cherry on the cake during a fantastic week for our team,” said Puetz.

Germany will oppose Canada in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 in Malaga from November 22 to 27.

“We’re ready,” German team captain Michal Kohlmann said. “This week showed that it doesn’t matter who is on the team, anybody can be on top of it, be part of the team and get the points we need.

“I am not counting anymore but I believe it is the seventh time that Kevin and Tim have got the job done with the tie at 1-1, which is pretty amazing. They deserve a lot of credit.

“I am already looking forward to the tie against Canada in the quarter-finals. Canada are a strong team but I believe whoever is on the German team has a good chance.”

Sunday’s results

Germany – Australia 2-1

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) – Max Purcell (AUS) 6-1, 7-5

Oscar Otte (GER) – Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-7 (6), 1-6

Kevin Krawietz/Tim Puetz (GER) – Matthew Ebden/Max Purcell (AUS) 6-4, 6-4