Germany avoids upset, squeaks by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Team Greece

Germany avoids upset, squeaks by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Team Greece

Tsitsipas has now beaten Alexander Zverev five times in a row, but Germany walked away the win after an epic deciding doubles match.

On Sunday, Team Germany squeaked by Team Greece despite a heroic singles and doubles effort from superstar Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup in Brisbane. 

Not long ago you could have argued that Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev would have the next great rivalry in men’s tennis. But after the Greek’s fifth consecutive victory over the German, it hardly seems like a fair fight.

Tsitsipas has won their last three matches in straight sets, and barely broke a sweat during his 6-1, 6-4 demolition that lasted a little longer than an hour. His flowing all-court game proved far too effective for Zverev’s somewhat defensive-minded approach. 

Tsitsipas sunk his teeth into seemingly every Zverev service game. Zverev ended the first set with three double faults—and 10 overall—and a shattered racquet, his second of the year. 

“My serving isn't back yet. Simple as that," said Zverev. "I'm doing double faults. I'm serving 120 kilometers an hour, that's not really going to cut it."

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Prior to this match, Jan-Lennard Struff defeated the overmatched Michail Pervolarakis, 6-4, 6-1. After a close first set, the heavy-hitting German raced to the finish line against the world No. 487. 

In the deciding doubles rubber, Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas fought admirably against 2019 French Open doubles champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, but fell just short, losing 3-6, 6-3, [17-15].

Not enough can be said of Tsitsipas' effort, who came just one point short of upsetting the formidable German squad.  

“I'm proud of my singles. Doubles went good as well. I'm very proud of myself the way I played and at the same time I feel disappointed," said Tsitsipas. "I came so close and, obviously, we're not the favorites, but we could have been the ones that made the surprise today and we didn't, which is such a shame.”