ATP Cologne: Alexander Zverev downs Jannik Sinner for back-to-back finals



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ATP Cologne: Alexander Zverev downs Jannik Sinner for back-to-back finals

The 23-year-old Alexander Zverev is through to his 21st ATP final at home in Cologne, repeating the feat from a week ago. The German took down the young Italian Jannik Sinner 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 48 minutes, trailing 4-1 in the opener and overcoming that deficit to seal the deal in straight sets.

Sinner defeated Zverev in the fourth round at Roland Garros but couldn't repeat that despite a promising start, suffering four breaks and stealing Zverev's serve thrice, not enough at least for a set. Jannik held at 15 in the first game when Alexander sprayed a forehand mistake, followed by a service winner from the German who got his name on the scoreboard.

A teenager held at 15 with a service winner in game three and converted the fourth break chance in the next one to open a 3-1 gap. Sinner produced another fine hold with a drop shot winner in game five, moving further in front and controlling the scoreboard against the top seed.

The German held after deuce to reduce the deficit to 4-2 and pulled the break back a few minutes later when the Italian sprayed a backhand error. Zverev fired a booming ace to level the score at 4-4 and earned three break chances on the return, converting the third after a double fault from Sinner to serve for the set.

Alexander lost focus in those moments, getting broken at 15 to keep the youngster in the set.

Alexander Zverev is through to his 21st ATP final in Cologne.

Sinner netted a backhand to lose serve for the third straight time and push Zverev 6-5 up, offering the German a second chance to seal the set.

Alexander couldn't wrap up the set from there, suffering another break to set up a tie break. Alexander won it 7-3 following Jannik's forehand mistake, bringing the set home despite a shaky performance and gathering boost ahead of set number two.

Zverev kicked off the second set with a service winner and scored a break in game two after a weak volley from Sinner at the net. The German closed the third game with a backhand down the line winner before the Italian held at love to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

Alexander landed a 225 km/h ace to close the fifth game and remain in front, wasted a break point in the next one and faced troubles on serve at 4-2. Sinner wasted two break chances and Zverev sealed the game with an ace after five deuces, forcing the rival to serve for staying in the match.

Jannik held at love in game eight and that was his last push, as Alexander held at love at 5-3 to seal the deal and move into the second final in as many weeks in Cologne.