Tennis: Davis Cup team fears without Zverev: 1:1 at the start in Hungary

The German Davis Cup team has to worry about making it to the group stage without Alexander Zverev after a balanced start.

Tennis: Davis Cup team fears without Zverev: 1:1 at the start in Hungary

The German Davis Cup team has to worry about making it to the group stage without Alexander Zverev after a balanced start. In the qualifying game in Hungary the score is 1-1 after the first day.

Dominik Koepfer convinced in Tatabánya with a 6:2, 7:6 (7:4) against the Hungarian number one Fabian Marozsan. Jan-Lennard Struff then had to admit defeat to Marton Fucsovics 3:6, 5:7 in front of around 6,500 spectators. So everything is open.

The German selection is still two wins away from moving into the next phase of the prestigious tennis competition; it has to win two of the three remaining games. The German selection had to do without the sick Australian Open semi-finalist Zverev at short notice. The sixth in the world rankings canceled his initially planned trip to Hungary on Wednesday due to a viral infection.

Koepfer relieved after the opening win

On Saturday (1 p.m./DAZN and TennisChannel) the doubles with Tim Pütz and Kevin Krawietz will begin. Struff will then face Marozsan before Koepfer faces Fucsovics. However, the team bosses can still change the lineups at short notice.

Struff, German number one in Zverev's absence, was unable to use Koepfer's assist to take the 2-0 lead he had hoped for. Unlike Marozsan, Fucsovics was able to get the audience more on his side. Struff's serves did not come as desired, and the 33-year-old Sauerlander was unable to convert eleven break chances into a break.

"You can break it down to these two things," said the world number 24: "Unfortunately it's not enough. I didn't do these two things well, that was enough to lose the match. I'm not going with one now Great feeling in bed, completely clear, but there's no point in saying it now, it wasn't good. It has to continue tomorrow."

Koepfer was initially happy about a “great start to the weekend” and spoke of a mixture of joy and relief. Although he started off a bit nervous, he was able to quickly overcome the tension until the match points at the end. With the first break to make it 3-2, the Black Forester gained more confidence, played better and more courageously and extended his lead.

Fair audience in Hungary

“I played well. It helped that I was ahead early,” summarized the 29-year-old. Playing in a team atmosphere and in front of such an audience is “of course more fun,” he said. The spectators were “totally fair”.

In the even second round, Koepfer fought his way into the tiebreak against the Hungarian number one, who impressed in 2023 with a win against the Spanish tennis star Carlos Alcaraz. Koepfer missed three match points with a 6-1 lead. Koepfer admitted that he became a little nervous again.

The winner of the duel will qualify for the group stage of the competition, which will take place in four different locations in September. In 2023, Germany with Zverev failed in the first round against Switzerland and missed out on making it to the group stage. In the relegation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, they managed to stay in the league without Zverev and Struff.

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