Time and time again in the global game: cuddly balls were flying over the net in New York until Sunday night, and since Tuesday they’ve been bobbing back and forth under the white ceiling at Rothenbaum Stadium in Hamburg. The middle round of the Davis Cup follows the US Open at Flushing Meadows almost seamlessly, with the game of the most powerful soloists replaced by team tennis: a competition whose traditions can be traced back to 1900 and whose shape is fundamentally reshaped in 2019.
The match will take place this week in four cities at the same time: in Hamburg, where German Davis Cup captain Michael Coleman has gathered, among others, his men, in Glasgow, Bologna and Valencia. Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old world number one in tennis, landed there on Tuesday on an intercontinental flight, which was duel at Flushing Meadows until Sunday’s final. And who now has to, without taking a deep breath, support his Spanish team in trying to reach the final round.
Sixteen countries play in four groups; The top eight teams will meet again in Malaga in November to determine the Grand Crystal Bowl winner. Carlos Alcaraz and the Spaniards (without Rafael Nadal) start against Serbia (without Novak Djokovic) on Wednesday, the other contenders being Canada on Friday and Korea on Sunday. The German national team plays against France, Belgium and Australia in the same rhythm – only that, unlike the Spaniards, they cannot count on the active participation of their best. Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, 25, who was planning to return to the field after a serious injury and several tears in his ankle ligaments, now suffers from edema of the bones in his operated foot and can only promise his teammates moral support from the bench.
The right to first serve was initially due to the national tennis teams of Belgium and Australia on Tuesday at Rothenbaum in Hamburg. In the first singles, 28-time Davis Cup winners Australia advanced 1-0 as newcomer Jason Coogler beat Zizou Bergs (6-4, 1-6, 6-3). Meanwhile, DTB’s pick around Jan-Lennard Struff and Oscar Otte kept themselves happy with the versatility of felt ball game. After Zverev’s renewed injury, his team “will get closer to each other”, coach Coleman believes before the duel against the French, and doubles specialist Kevin Krawetz also expressed his confidence: “We have already shown that we can win against every team.” On Wednesdays (Live on Dazn / Servus TV) from 2 pm. The ball’s journey begins for them.
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