Berlin – Maybe Alexander Zverev was already thinking about Nikolos Bassilaschwili, maybe even in the final. 5: 2 in the third set against Taylor Fritz – a clear thing. With two match points, Zverev was only missing a single point to win, and yet after almost two and a half hours it was time to return home instead of the semifinals at the Masters in Indian Wells. Zverev (24) had missed a huge chance and was frustrated.
After the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, supposedly the biggest opponent, had surprisingly failed to Bassilashvili shortly before, the way for the Olympic tennis champion seemed to be free. The end against the world number 39 was all the more painful, Zverev made no secret of it.
“I just want to go home, to be honest. The defeat hurts because I knew that after Stefanos’ defeat I was the favorite to win the tournament, “said Zverev:” I was so close to winning, but I didn’t keep the level constant. “
Alexander Zverev annoyed by viewers
On top of that, he was annoyed by the behavior of some spectators: “On the one hand, there were a few who always talked between the first and second serve and didn’t say such nice things,” said Zverev: “Then at some point I said, okay, third sentence , Tiebreak, at least be respectful. “
In the decisive set, Zverev set the course for victory early on, but missed the last point both at 5: 2 and 40:30 as well as at 5: 3 and his own serve. In the tie-break, Fritz (23) pulled away to 4-0 and finally brought his third match point to the goal. Boris Becker (1987 and 1988) remains the only German winner at the elite tournament in the Californian desert.
With convincing performances, Zverev had made it into the quarter-finals of the hard court tournament for the first time. Among other things, he beat the three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray and thus completed his collection of victories against the “Big Four”. The major record champions Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had already beaten Zverev.
Since his triumph in Tokyo he had won 20 of 21 matches, only in the semifinals of the US Open the world number one Djokovic managed to take revenge for his Olympic defeat. Almost 4,500 kilometers from New York, Zverev’s triumphant advance came to an abrupt end.
Despite the defeat, Zverev is qualified for the ATP Finals
At least one consolation remains: Zverev had already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin (November 14th to 21st) through his third round entry. It is his fifth participation in a row in the final tournament, which he won in 2018.
Former world number one Viktoria Asarenka and Paula Badosa from Spain contest the women’s final in Indian Wells. Asarenka (Belarus) beat Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) 3: 6, 6: 3, 7: 5 in her semifinals. Badosa, who had beaten Angelique Kerber (Kiel) in the quarter-finals, won against Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) 6: 3, 6: 3.