Status: 17/12/2021 13:03
The entire German tennis team struck out with their arms, and everyone jumped across the court in a circle. For the first time since 2007 and only for the second time after the glorious times with Boris Becker, the German tennis players are playing for a place in the final of the Davis Cup.
With 7: 6 (12:10), 7: 6 (7: 5), the German doubles Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz made it 2: 1 against the favorite team on Tuesday night (November 30, 2021) in Innsbruck against Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski Great Britain and the semi-finals perfect.
“There was a lot of pressure after the match point. I’m super happy and very proud,” said team manager Michael Kohlmann. When the winning duo had even caught up with a 0: 5 deficit in the decisive tie-break (Krawietz: “crazy sometimes”), Jan-Lennard Struff immediately jumped cheering towards them.
Sauerland had previously prevented the early quarter-final elimination with a strong performance and a 7: 6 (8: 6), 3: 6, 6: 2 against world number twelfth Cameron Norrie after Peter Gojowzyk had no chance.
“We have all said we want to go to Madrid. We have reached the goal, now is the time to set new goals. We want to win the semi-finals,” Struff said confidently. “It’s so much the better for us that we can always score the decisive point,” said match winner Pütz.
The Germans now travel to Madrid and meet the strong Russians or outsiders Sweden on Saturday (December 4, 2021). The opponent will be decided on Thursday.
Zverev without the desire for the new format
After the years with Becker and Stich were over, a German selection was only 14 years ago in the semifinals of the prestigious national competition. The jump to the top four in the changed state must now also be credited because world-class player Alexander Zverev is missing. The 24-year-old does not like the new format and did not decide to participate.
In the Olympic hall in Innsbruck, which was largely empty due to the corona situation, the Germans and the British convoy sprang up again and again as the doubles had to make the decision. The excitement of the match was hard to beat. In 2019, the Germans – in another formation – were eliminated in the quarterfinals against the British. This time they were optimistic after the two 2-1 victories in the preliminary round against Serbia and Austria.
Especially because of Krawietz and Pütz, who are unbeaten in the Davis Cup. Self-confidence helped against Salisbury and Skupski, who could also win the first round given four set points. Instead, the German Olympic double used the fourth set ball.
Also in the second round, the high-class and emotionally charged game could have gone both ways. Pütz and Krawietz were constantly chasing the deficit. When it looked like the equalizer in tie-break, the Germans triumphed anyway.
“One of the most important victories I have had”
Things did not start well with Gojowczyk’s 2: 6, 1: 6 against Daniel Evans. Unlike Gojowczyk, who was apparently paralyzed by the pressure to play for Germany, the situation seemed to inspire Struff. “It’s definitely one of the most important victories I’ve won. It means a lot to me,” Struff explained.
Playing bravely was the tactical tips and encouragement from team manager Kohlmann and encouragement from the box key. Sauerland traded in nerves of steel and started furiously. When his 4-1 lead was gone, he again began to take more risks. In the tie-break, Struff fended off two set balls from number 12 in the world. The Briton surprised with the title at Indian Wells in October and proved his strong form. Eventually, he managed to be active with a lot of “energy,” according to Struff: “It’s so much fun to play on a team.”