Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff delivered a clutch performance in the deciding rubber at the ATP Cup to help Germany beat Serbia and book a semifinal spot. Zverev and Struff had to overcome world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic in the deciding rubber of the final group stage tie against Serbia.
Zverev and Struff weren't afraid of the moment as they beat Djokovic and Cacic 7-6 (4) 5-7 10-7. “I think we played maybe a little bit more aggressive [in the doubles]. In the end, we maybe took a few more shots, but it was so tight it could have gone both ways,” said Alexander Zverev, per the ATP website.
“At the end of the day, when you win the doubles decider 10-7 in the third set there's not much between the two. We're just super happy right now”.
Zverev and Struff delivered in the match tie-break
The two teams were all tied at four points apiece in the first-set tie-break, before Zverev and Cacic won three points in a row to win a tight opener.
In the second set, Djokovic and Cacic claimed the first break of the match in the 11th game, before serving out for the decider a game later. In the deciding set, Zverev and Struff trailed 4-2 before winning eighth of the next 11 points to seal the win.
Struff, who was the doubles hero, also beat Nikola Lajovic in the opening rubber of the tie. Struff was down by a set against Lajovic but he claimed a 3-6 6-3 6-4 comeback win over the Serb. “[I feel] very, very relieved,” Struff said.
“It was a tough match. I didn't start very well. Dusan was playing pretty good. He had break points [at the] beginning of the second set. I managed to stay in the match. I managed to gain some more self-confidence there in my strokes… In the third set I had the feeling I had very good energy from the beginning on.
Yeah, very, very happy about this [victory]”. The ATP Cup is set to get a new winner as Serbia won the inaugural ATP Cup.