Zverev Surges Into Cologne Final

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edited October 17 in Sport

Alexander Zverev is now just one win from claiming his third ATP Tour title on home soil.

The top seed defeated 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5, 7-6(3) to reach the final of the bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne. Zverev has now won nine of his past 10 matches on hard courts and he will play third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday for the crown.

"I want to go one step further. It's nice to be playing in Germany as well," Zverev said. "It's going to be a difficult final no matter who I play. I'm looking forward to it."

The World No. 7 is into his second final since the ATP Tour restarted in August. Zverev, who is 23, made his first Grand Slam championship match at the US Open, where he became the youngest major finalist since Novak Djokovic at the 2010 US Open.

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In the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, the German only lost five games against Davidovich Fokina. His three-set victory took just one hour and 34 minutes. But Zverev had to work much harder in their second ATP Head2Head encounter, breaking serve twice and hitting 10 aces in a one-hour, 57-minute triumph.

"He played much better tennis and I think he's somebody who is going to go up the [FedEx ATP] Rankings very quickly," Zverev said. "For me he's a great guy as well. He's very talented, extremely good with the hands. I think he's somebody who's going to find his way up and it's going to be interesting to see what the future weeks [hold for him] this year and next year as well." 

On the slower indoor Cologne court, Zverev remained steady throughout most of the match, as did his 21-year-old Spanish opponent. Davidovich Fokina was not able to hit through Zverev, but he tracked down many balls and mixed in his drop shot well. One slip in the final game of the first set was enough to give the top seed the advantage.

Zverev appeared in complete control at 7-5, 4-1, but Davidovich Fokina continued battling hard from the baseline. The German missed an aggressive cross-court forehand wide to relinquish his break advantage, allowing the Spaniard back in the match. But after giving up an opening mini-break in the tie-break, Zverev raised his level to close out the match.

This will be Zverev’s fifth final in Germany, where he is 2-2 in championship matches. The Hamburg-native is a two-time Munich titlist and a two-time Halle finalist.

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