Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber are already an alchemical doubles

will there be a 'sequel' in Melbourne too, for them?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber are already an alchemical doubles
© Jason McCawley / Stringer Getty Images Sport

On the first day of the United Cup in Sydney, Jasmine Paolini's opening victory against Angelique Kerber was not enough for Italy to win against Germany. The Germans won after the decisive mixed doubles and now, in the next match against France, they can already finish in first place in group D.

Paolini made Angelique Kerber's return to the court bitter after her maternity leave. The rather balanced match showcased the Italian's great ability to react in the face of difficulties. In the first set, down 3-1, Paolini was able to recover the deficit and even go up 5-3, before closing the set in her favor (6-4).

In the second, something unimaginable happened. At 3-2, during a very tough sixth game, the 27-year-old Italian suffered cramps, so bad that she chose to lose two consecutive games in order to immediately resort to a medical timeout.

Even down 4-3, the Italian didn't give up, she recovered the break and won the set 7-5, demonstrating a lot of courage and desire to never give up. However, Lorenzo Sonego did not face the start of the match with great determination, playing openly against Alexander Zverev, an opponent who had not even conceded a set to him in the previous matches.

The 28-year-old canceled out the only break point of the set, taking the match to a tie-break. At 5-5 it was the Italian who was most brilliant in the crucial moment of the match, putting himself ahead in the score. Zverev also maintained a constant performance in the next two sets, especially on serve, while Sonego started to feel a bit tired.

Sonego's free errors increased and the German took advantage of them to get the set (6-3) thanks to just one break in the fourth game. The flow of the match did not change in the decisive third, managed quite well by Zverev until the 6-4 which allowed Germany to equalize the score.

The decisive mixed doubles

Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev didn't have many problems then imposing themselves in the mixed doubles against Lorenzo Sonego and Angelica Moratelli. The Italians started better, winning some important games following the killer point: at 3-1, with a break advantage, the German pair began to dominate and left the Italian duo no chance.

A run of 11 games to zero delivered the victory (6-3, 6-0) and concluded the program in Brisbane. Problems aside, the two Germans seem close and the question is: will there be other occasions (like the Australian Open or the Paris Olympics, the latter likely) to see them together again?

Alexander Zverev Angelique Kerber