HAMBURG (DPA) – After the Davis Cup sovereign group stage, team boss Michael Kohlmann sees a major challenge ahead of quarter-final rivals Canada.
“They have two world-class players in Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassim,” said the 48-year-old. “It’s definitely a tough task when they’re at their best. But we don’t have to hide. We’ve shown that we can win against the big teams.” Furthermore, he does not believe that Canada will compete with the best team. Germany will face the North Americans in the Final 8 to be held in Malaga on 24 November.
German tennis men had also mastered the group stage in Hamburg unbeaten without their star Alexander Zverev, who suffered a leg injury. They would probably have to do without the 25-year-old in Spain as well. “Sasha has made a few visits to the doctor, but the exact medical instructions probably aren’t there yet. She has to rest now,” Kohlman said. Zverev himself spoke of several weeks of downtime, which makes the Davis Cup final tournament likely to come too soon.
Kohlman also advocated changing the rules for the draw. This year it was clear even before the group stage which opponents you would meet if you were successful. “You definitely have to stop it. Many nations have already said that and I think that has come to the ITF,” Kohlman said. A draw for the quarterfinals should be made only after all the teams have been determined.
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