DEven without the injured Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, German men’s tennis is only one win away from the surprising semi-finals in the Davis Cup. Jan-Lennard Struff won a tennis thriller against the favored Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6: 3, 4: 6, 7: 6 (7: 2) at the start of the quarterfinals in Málaga and put Oscar Otte in an optimal starting position. However, he missed the early decision.
“It’s just an incredible feeling, I’m just happy right now,” said a visibly exhausted Struff after cheering exuberantly with the German fan block. “It means everything to me to play for Germany. It’s such a great honor.”
Struff started furiously as the current number 152 in the world and twice took the serve from Shapovalov in the first round. As a result, the left-hander’s aggressive baseline shots caused more and more problems for the German. In a nerve-wracking decisive game, the Warsteiner initially missed two match points, but finally secured the first point for Germany after more than two hours.
But teammate Oscar Otte was unable to convert the Struff submission to early progress. The 29-year-old lost to world number six Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (1-7), 4-6 in Málaga on Thursday evening. The North Americans managed to equalize.
So the decision is double. Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz, unbeaten in the Davis Cup, will represent Germany. The winners meet Italy, who had previously defeated the USA 2-1, in the semi-finals on Saturday. The last German triumph in the Davis Cup was in 1993.