Zverev, Bautista Agut labor to reach Cologne semis

Tanya Simon
October 19, 2020

Top seed Alexander Zverev edged out South African qualifier Lloyd Harris 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 to reach the Cologne ATP semi-finals on Friday.

It is Zverev's 12th career title.

"I think playing him will be a good match, a good battle, and I'll try to get my revenge after a heartbreaking loss at last year's Davis Cup", Auger-Aliassime said. This is his first appearance in Germany since playing in Hamburg a year ago. "I know it doesn't mean much right now, but I'm sure you're not only going to win one title, you're going to win multiple titles in your career, bigger titles than this".

Zverev will also be top seed for next week's Cologne Championships tournament where he is joined in the draw by French Open semi-finalist Diego Schwartzman and Auger-Aliassime who will be fifth seed.

Only world number one Djokovic can boast a similar haul from the truncated season.

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Zverev overcame Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5 7-6 (7-3) but was full of praise for the NextGen ATP Finals contender.

Russia's Andrey Rublev edged closer to a maiden appearance in the ATP Finals on Saturday when he defeated fellow London season-finale hopeful Denis Shapovalov to reach the Saint Petersburg final.

With just two places left in the eight-man field for the London season finale, Rublev is 249 points ahead of Diego Schwartzman, who now occupies the final qualification position. Serving at 4-2, Alexander fended off two break chances, having a chance to seal the deal in game nine.

Djere lost some of his rhythm and made a few errors himself but kept his nerve before eventually breaking Cecchinato in the final game. The German held at 30 to bring the victory home and start the title celebration, the first in many months.

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