Former top-100 player Michael Kohlmann became the German Davis Cup captain in 2015, replacing Carsten Arriens and leading former champions towards a 5-4 score so far. With some ups and downs, the Germans stayed in the World Group and had the opportunity to play the first edition of the Davis Cup Qualifiers in February, beating Hungary 5-0 at home to secure the spot at the inaugural Davis Cup Finals between November 18-24 at Caja Magica in Madrid.
The leading player from the last couple of seasons, Alexander Zverev was in Frankfurt to earn two singles wins in front of the home fans but will not defend the colors of Germany against Argentina and Chile in Group C, never being a fan of the new Davis Cup.
Instead of competing in Madrid, Alexander will travel to the south and play three exhibition matches against Roger Federer in Santiago de Chile (19. 11), Bogota (21. 11) and Mexico City (22. 11), offering a chance for the tennis fans in Chile, Colombia and Mexico to watch players from the top-6.
The German Davis Cup captain Michael Kohlmann wasn't particularly happy about Zverev's decision to skip the Davis Cup Finals but admitted they knew about that all the time, never counting on him in the battle for the title.
Nonetheless, he was surprised when Alexander announced those three matches against Roger in a different part of the world, understanding it has been a part of the new deal between Zverev and Federer's Team 8 agency but not supporting the decision as he would have been the strongest link in the German chain in Madrid.
"Alexander Zverev never played a role in our plans for Madrid because he ruled out from the beginning to compete there," Kohlmann said. "I was a bit surprised when I saw Alexander's schedule around the David Cup Finals, all as a result of that new deal with Tony Godsick and Roger Federer in "Team8"
Roger's American Tour goes directly against the new Davis Cup Finals and the ITF. I'm still thinking about the players who will forge our team and will make the decision during the week of Antwerp, Moscow and Stockholm in October."