US Open – fight instead of class: but Zverev reaches the semi-finals

New York (AP) – Alexander Zverev smiled happily and freely. It seemed he couldn’t believe what he had achieved at the US Open.

As the first German tennis professional since Boris Becker a quarter of a century ago, Zverev has a chance of winning the final in New York. With more battle than class and after a desolate start, the 23-year-old fought against Croatian Borna Coric on Tuesday. 1: 6, 7: 6 (7: 5), 7: 6 (7: 1), 6: 3 was the result in a by no means first-class, but ultimately victorious Grand Slam quarter-final from the point of view of the German.

“It was very clear that I had to play better. There weren’t many positive things about it. I had to find a way to win the second set,” said the number seven in the world when asked how he was doing. one set backlog and one. 2: 4 came back in the second part. “I kept calm,” he said, “I know I’m relatively fit physically. I had to get through it somehow.”

In a bizarre match, Zverev sometimes seemed tense against number 27 on the seeding list. Too many mistakes, too passive, sometimes too little guts – the Hamburger showed a fairly weak performance, but remains after the coronavirus break after the disqualification of Serbian top favorite Novak Djokovic in the very open title race of the first Grand Slam tournament.

In the battle for the final, Zverev will be the favorite against Spaniard Pablo CarreƱo-Busta or Canadian Denis Shapovalov on Friday. He has a slightly positive track record against both. Laura Siegemund is already one step further. The first German tennis player since Claudia Kohde-Kilsch in 1985, the Fed Cup player advanced to the final in the women’s doubles. The Swabian won the semi-finals with her Russian double partner Vera Swonarewa against the Russian duo Anna Blinkowa and Veronika Kudermetowa 5: 7, 6: 3, 7: 5 and will play for the title on Friday.

Seven months after his first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open at the start of the year, Zverev has a second chance at his first final at one of the four main tournaments. In the end, he was the deserved winner against Coric, who was also increasingly mistaken. It hadn’t looked good for him for a long time.

After the loss of the first set, the first German quarter-finalist of the US Open under the men since Tommy Haas 2007 was also behind with a break in the second section. “If he has to, he’s cool. He can be on the field like a champion,” said his older brother, Mischa Zverev, shortly before at Eurosport. But early on, the 1.98-meter athlete staggered to serve. With three double faults in his second service game, he gave the Croat the rest to make it 1: 3.

Zverev had every reason to shake his head, in the clearly lost first section he was outclassed world number 32. Coric had already proven to be a big spoiler for Zverev. Three years ago, the North German finished in the second round of the US Open, when he was also traded high after the cancellations of numerous top players and was one of the favorites. This time, Zverev turned the game around, although he repeatedly got into arguments with the referee.

In the second sentence, Zverev also complained to the chief judge. A rally was repeated, although the exclamation came after the strike – and the challenge had shown the ball well. “How is that possible?” Asked Zverev. He then lost his service game to 2: 3 after his own balls. TV expert Becker also sometimes felt “speechless” given the German’s poor performance. But Zverev fought his way to the tie-break, managed to even out the sentences. Becker had predicted a difficult and long game – and it was.

It wasn’t until he clearly won the second tie-break of the match that Zverev seemed more confident. At 2: 2 and 0:40 he had to go through another difficult phase. 25 years after Becker, a German tennis professional gets the chance to make it to the final in New York. So far the last German finalist was Michael Stich in 1994, so far the last German champion Becker in 1989. Angelique Kerber had triumphed in the ladies in 2016, she was eliminated in this unusual edition of the US Open in the round of 16.

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