Zverev sets up Djokovic clash with victory at ATP Cup
Following Team Canada's painful loss to Serbia on Tuesday, the Canadian side required a win over Germany in order to stave off elimination from the group stage. With Milos Raonic falling to Jan-Lennard Struff in the first singles match, the fate of the Canadian team rested on the shoulders of Denis Shapovalov as he faced off against Germany's top-ranked player. Conversely, Zverev was seeking his first ATP Cup victory, after going 0-3 at last year's inaugural edition.
There was little to separate either man, as the first set saw no breaks of serve. Zverev relied on his big serve and powerful groundstrokes, whereas Shapovalov used his speed and variety to nullify the German's attacks. A tiebreak ensued, with Shapovalov taking the first set.
The second set saw the Canadian lose some momentum, as errors began to creep into his game. An errant service game saw Zverev obtain the crucial break, and the 23-year old held on to grab the second set.
Facing elimination, Shapovalov displayed the consistency that is sometimes missing from his game. Serving at 5-5 in the final set, the Canadian was able to erase a couple of break points to put the pressure on his German opponent. Zverev held with ease, leading to another tiebreak. After acquiring a 3-1 lead, Shapovalov committed some costly forehand errors that saw his opponent take a 4-3 lead. With the match on his racket, the German relied on his booming serve to secure a 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(4) win for Team Germany, eliminating Canada in the process.
Awaiting the Germans in their final group match is Team Serbia, led by World No.1 Novak Djokovic. The two teams face off in a "win-and-you're-in" battle for Group A on Thursday.
ATP Tour on Twitter: "His first @ATPCup victory 👏 @AlexZverev scores a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4) win against Shapovalov & 🇩🇪 #TeamGermany clinches the tie over 🇨🇦#TeamCanada. #ATPCup | #CANGER https://t.co/8yjxAZxevB" / Twitter