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United Cup: defeat for Zverev

United Cup
Defeat for Zverev – 0:2 against the Czech Republic

Lost early in United Cup: Alexander Zverev. photo

© Mark Baker/AP/dpa

In the first official match of the tennis tournament after his foot injury, Alexander Zverev is not in top form again. For the German team there are two defeats in the Italian Cup.

The German tennis pros around Alexander Zverev have made a disappointing start to the new United Cup and are facing their first defeat.

In the opening duel with the Czech Republic, the 25-year-old Olympic champion from Sydney lost his first competitive match on the tour since foot surgery 4: 6, 2: 6 against the world number 81. Jiri Lehecka. Jule Niemeier then lost to Marie Bouzkova 2:6, 5:7, so the German Tennis Association needs three wins on Sunday to turn the tables.

Prior to the Australian Open preparatory tournament (January 16-29) and the start of the new season, Zverev had only trained during appearances after sustaining a serious ankle injury at the French Open in June. In Dubai before Christmas he prevailed against former world number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia.

The pause is felt

After a mandatory seven-month hiatus, it’s now apparent he’s still not back on top. Zverev gave up four times against 21-year-old Lehecka and had to admit defeat after 94 minutes. “I knew before the match that he hadn’t played for a while, but that doesn’t mean anything against a player like him,” said the Czech outsider after his success.

If Laura Siegemund fails to surprise Petra Kvitova on Sunday, defeat in the national confrontation will be fixed. Oscar Otte also meets Dalibor Svrcina, Julia Lohoff and Fabian Fallert are nominated for the final mix.

The American selection around US Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe, who won 4-1 against the Czech Republic at the start, is the second opponent of the German team on 2 and 3 January. A total of 18 nations are battling for progress across six groups in the new competition for women and men. The winner will be determined in the final on 8 January. In addition to Sydney, where the finals will also take place, Brisbane and Perth will be played. The United Cup also counts for world ranking points and a total of US$15 million (€14.05 million) in prize money and bonuses.


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