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Family as factor of well-being: Zverev plays for final in Cologne | Free press

Cologne (dpa) – A rare tennis trip with the whole family can serve Alexander Zverev in Cologne as a feel-good factor. In his first appearance in Germany in over 14 months, the US Open finalist has to go without the audience.

At least he has a whole group around his parents and brother to accompany him and support him on the hoped-for path to the title. “I felt like there were 20 people here,” said the US Open finalist after pulling off the semi-finals perfectly. On his last tour with the whole family, he couldn’t remember exactly.

In the front rows of spectators in the almost deserted hall on Friday, his father Alexander Zverev senior and his brother Mischa saw how he won 6: 4, 3: 6, 6: 0 despite struggling with qualifier Lloyd Harris, who eventually suffered.

Even without his Spanish coach David Ferrer, who is not part of the travel group, the world number seven has reached the semi-finals for the third time this year. On Saturday (2 p.m. / WDR), the 23-year-old from Hamburg will face Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, against whom he has clearly won the only duel at the US Open so far. In the second semi-final, the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut and the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and therefore the numbers two and three of the standings face each other.

“It’s really so relaxed with me and David Ferrer,” Zverev said. “We love it so much that we talk to each other every day and decide everything together. He doesn’t come to Cologne, but as soon as I finish in Cologne, he will come to the training week and then do Paris and London with me. “Ahead of the season finale, Zverev still has plans and has two chances to win his twelfth title in Cologne: The second new tournament starts on Monday, Zverev is also number one on the ranking list there.

However, against the South African Harris, Zverev did not convince as he did in the round of 16 of the tournament on hard hard with 325,610 euros against the veteran Spanish Fernando Verdasco. Zverev dominated in the first sentence. But then the Davis Cup player couldn’t take an early break to bring the score to 1-0 in the second round, didn’t play as aggressively again and was forced to advance to the third set. .

“Yesterday was better,” he admitted. “At first it was okay. Then I completely lost my focus in the second sentence, which is not allowed. Fortunately, in the deciding lap it ended quite quickly. Harris, world number 92, had to be dealt with mid-sentence and couldn’t offer the same resistance as before.

A curious aspect of Zverev’s second Cologne appearance was that the show’s schedule was not lacking despite the exclusion of viewers. In the beginning, a group of seven members offered musical entertainment during breaks when changing sides. “I found the group to be excellent,” Zverev commented with a smile.

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