Three-time Davis Cup champions Germany is on the verge of Davis Cup finals berth, winning the opening two singles rubbers against Hungary in Frankfurt for a 2-0. Playing in his 12th Davis Cup season, Philipp Kohlschreiber had to work hard to defeat the 19-year-old Zsombor Piros 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 39 minutes.
The youngster stayed in touch with the more experienced rival, creating ten break points and converting three, giving his best until his second serve let him down, suffering five breaks and finishing on the losing side. Piros led 5-3 in the opener, wasting two set points in games nine and ten before prevailing 8-6 in the tie break.
Facing elimination at 1-3 in the second set, Philipp managed to break back and settle into a nice rhythm before earning another break at 5-5 to seal the set with a hold at love for a 7-5 and to force a decider. Trailing 4-3 in the third set, the German won 12 of the last 16 points, breaking Zsombor in game nine before crossing the finish line with a hold at love, delivering the opening point for his country.
The world no. 3 Alexander Zverev claimed the fifth Davis Cup singles wins in nine matches, toppling Peter Nagy 6-2, 6-2 in 69 minutes to send Germany further in front. Serving at 74%, Sascha fired 11 aces and he never faced a break point, losing ten points in his games to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.
Nagy was nowhere near those numbers, playing against 13 break points and giving serve away four times in the biggest match he ever played. Zverev secured a break at the start of the encounter after a double fault from Nagy, opening a 4-1 advantage with another break in game five when he forced an error from the Hungarian.
Peter saved two set points on serve at 1-5 before Sascha grabbed it with an ace in the following game, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the clash. Spraying a forehand error in game three of the second set, Nagy found himself further behind and he hit a double fault at 1-3 to push Zverev further ahead.
Serving at 5-2, Sascha fired a service winner to seal the deal and complete the win, the first since the fourth-round loss at the Australian Open. Daniil Medvedev had to work hard against Henri Laaksonen, scoring a 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 triumph in two hours and 29 minutes, saving a set point in the opening set tie break and wasting a match point at 6-5 in the second set tie break to keep Laaksonen in contention.
Nonetheless, the Russian shifted into a higher gear to score two breaks in set number three and secure the triumph. Karen Khachanov sent Russia 2-0 up with a 6-3, 7-5 victory against Marc-Andrea Huesler in 76 minutes, losing just nine points behind the initial shot and stealing rival's serve three times to keep the pressure on Huesler all the time and push his country closer to the finish line.
Representing Canada for the fourth consecutive year in Davis Cup, Denis Shapovalov took down Filip Horansky 6-4, 7-5 but his younger compatriot and a great friend Felix Auger-Aliassime couldn't deliver the second point for Canada, as Martin Klizan beat him 7-5, 6-3 to level the overall score and keep Slovakia in contention. Friday's results:
Germany vs Hungary (Frankfurt, Indoor Hard) 2-0
Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Zsombor Piros 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4
Alexander Zverev (GER) vs Peter Nagy 6-2 6-2
Switzerland vs Russia (Biel, Indoor Hard) 0-2
Henri Laaksonen vs Daniil Medvedev 6-7(8) 7-6(6) 2-6
Marc-Andrea Huesler vs Karen Khachanov 3-6 5-7
Czech Republic vs Netherlands (Ostrava, Indoor Hard) 1-1
Jiri Vesely vs Tallon Griekspoor 5-7 6-4 6-4
Lukas Rosol vs Robin Haase 2-6 4-6
Austria vs Chile (Salzburg, Indoor Clay) 1-1
Jurij Rodionov vs Nicolas Jarry 5-7 5-7
Dennis Novak vs Christian Garin 6-4 6-4
Slovakia vs Canada (Bratislava, Indoor Clay) 1-1
Filip Horansky vs Denis Shapovalov 4-6 5-7
Martin Klizan vs Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5 6-3