Germany, especially considering the absence of Alexander Zverev, is certainly one of the biggest surprises of the 2021 Davis Cup. The German team reached the semifinals of the historic team event overtaking Novak Djokovic's Serbia - who then passed the round as one of the best runners-up - in Group F and defeated in comeback the England of Cameron Norrie and Daniel Evans in the quarter-finals.
It was Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz who made the difference, winning the decisive point for their country three times out of three. The two victories against Djokovic/Nikola Cacic and Joe Salisbury/Neal Skupski made the two German tennis players particularly proud.
"We believed in it until the end, point by point," Krawietz said at the press conference. "We went to serve trying to win two points, then in response we told ourselves to win at least one, and we won another two, and in a moment the game was over.
This sport can sometimes be crazy. It's true, we've hardly ever played as a couple, but we've known each other for many years and we're good friends. This helped us in the delicate moments. In difficulties we have remained united, like a great couple.
The chemistry between us worked well" Puetz instead focused on the double victory against Djokovic. "The Davis Cup is always special, because results like that can happen. Having faced and beaten one of the best players of all time is worth a lot, because challenging someone like him was complicated only from a mental point of view.
But we were able to manage the commitment in the right way, and we are happy with how it has gone so far."
Nole has a whopping 86 ATP singles titles to his name
Novak Djokovic's good showing at the Davis Cup continued as he led Serbia to their fifth semi-final in the tournament and set up a last-four clash with arch-rivals Croatia.
In his post-match conference, the World No. 1 spoke about the upcoming showdown with his neighboring country. "There is a big rivalry obviously being the neighboring countries, and there is always an extra pressure, an extra motivation, extra expectations I think for both nations to really win against each other."
But Djokovic says the rivalry is limited to the courts only, as they're friends with the Croatian team and respect them immensely. Both teams are going to give their best as this match-up has extra meaning for them. "But I think regardless of what happens on the court, you know, what is really nice in the sense of really positive message out there is the respect and the friendship with these guys that we have on and off the court.
I'm sure that we are both going to, both teams are going to give their very best to win it. It's not just semifinals, but it's playing against Croatia or Croatia against Serbia, which has extra meaning for us."