The German hopes for the second Davis Cup semi-final in a row are gone. Without Alexander Zverev, the tennis men are fighting a big fight against the strong Canadians. Particularly bitter: Ironically, in the quarter-finals, the super series of doubles breaks.
The German Davis Cup team missed the surprise coup against Canada and must continue to wait for their first title since 1993 in the prestigious nations competition. Team boss Michael Kohlmann's team lost 2-1 to the favored Canadians in Málaga that night. The pairing Kevin Krawietz/Tim Pütz, previously undefeated in the Davis Cup, lost in the decisive doubles. In the first match of the evening, Jan-Lennard Struff put the Germans in the lead, Oscar Otte then missed his first win for black-red-gold.
Without the injured Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, the sworn team fought a big fight in front of around 7500 spectators at times. With the impressive silver Davis Cup trophy in mind, the German hope for the fourth Davis Cup title after 1988, 1989 and 1993 remained a dream. Particularly bitter: For Germany's doubles, a terrific series broke at 6: 2, 3: 6, 3: 6 shortly after midnight after 15 wins in a row. "Like the German national soccer team: They play unbelievably up to the 60th minute, but lose in the end," Krawietz commented on the defeat.
The confidence of the German team was clearly noticeable despite the clear outsider role. Struff started the encounter with a 5:3 record in a direct comparison against Denis Shapovalov. Otte with the feeling that Felix Auger-Aliassime was on the verge of defeat in October. Struff should not disappoint against one of his favorite opponents.
As with the successes in September, the Warsteiner surpassed himself in the Davis Cup. The 32-year-old, whose season was marred by a two-month foot injury, defeated Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) in a tennis thriller. "Our team spirit makes it so special to play for Germany. That motivates me even more," said Struff after he had given away a match ball in the deciding set at 5: 3 and later at 5: 4. "It was very difficult to remain mentally calm, but also to exert pressure," said the German, describing the mix of emotions.
Otte also played one of the best matches since his knee operation in summer against Auger-Aliassime in summer temperatures. The Canadian high-flyer of the past few weeks caused significantly more problems than many had suspected at 6: 7 (1: 7), 4: 6. "I can't blame myself much today. If it had been someone else today, I might have won," said the man from Cologne.
In the end, it was a strong German performance without a happy ending. Next year, 30 years after the last success in the Davis Cup, the tennis men will start the next title hunt.