Alexander Zverev makes a strong start at the new ATP tournament in Cologne. The German beats Fernando Verdasco in the round of sixteen in two sets.
Alexander Zverev has won his opening match at the ATP tournament in Cologne. In his first individual appearance in Germany in almost 15 months, the world number seven beat Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-4, 6-1.
On Friday, the 23-year-old will play the qualifier Lloyd Harris (South Africa) in the Lanxess Arena to advance to the semi-finals.
In July 2019, Zverev played in his home city of Hamburg for the last time in Germany to date. This summer, he cancelled his planned start at a show tournament in Berlin at short notice after being criticized for his careless behavior in the Corona pandemic – among others by national coach Barbara Rittner, who is the tournament director in Cologne.
Zverev set to number one in Cologne
After reaching the final of the US Open and the round of sixteen in Roland Garros, Zverev wants to gain momentum for the final spurt of the tennis tour, which has been severely disrupted by the corona crisis, with the ATP double pack in the cathedral city.
On Monday the second tournament in the arena in Cologne-Deutz already starts, again with Zverev as number one on the seeded list.
The organizers around Rittner hope then also again for spectators. Due to the increase in the incidence number in Cologne, the responsible authorities had limited the number of visitors to 250 from Wednesday, and the organizers had thereupon refunded all tickets already sold for this week.