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Alexander Zverev has won three ATP Tour events on German soil.

Zverev Continues Quest For Cologne Double

German to play Sinner in semi-finals

Alexander Zverev overcame Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 at the bett1HULKS Championship on Friday to move one step closer to his second Cologne title in as many weeks.

Last week’s bett1HULKS Indoors champion served for the match at 5-3 in the second set but was pushed to a decider for the second straight match in Cologne. Zverev landed 16 aces and saved five of seven break points to extend his winning streak to six matches and improve his record this season to 21-8.

“I am in the semi-finals in back-to-back weeks,” said Zverev in an on-court interview. “I won last week and I hope I can repeat it this week. It is nice to play in front of a little bit of a crowd. They got me through it as well.”

The US Open finalist took his forehand up the line and proved more consistent in baseline rallies to snatch a late break in the first set, but was forced to a decider after Mannarino fired aggressive returns and mixed play with drop shots to recover from 3-5 down. Zverev held his nerve to claim the only break of the third set at 3-3 and moved to the net to book his place in the semi-finals.

“I didn’t think I played a bad game at 5-3 [in the second set],” said Zverev. “I double-faulted once but he actually returned unbelievably. On break point, I hit a 222km/h [serve] down the T, not too far from the line and he approached to the net. It is tough to play against that sometimes.

“He is a very talented player, he has unbelievable hands and for him to come back from that he deserved to win the match as much as I did.”

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The 12-time ATP Tour titlist extends his unbeaten ATP Head2Head record against Mannarino to four matches. It is Zverev’s second win against the Frenchman since the ATP Tour resumption, following a four-set victory at last month’s US Open

Standing between Zverev and a second final in Cologne is Jannik Sinner. The #NextGenATP Italian recovered after losing eight straight games to work his way past former World No. 6 Gilles Simon 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.

“He didn’t give me any angles and played down the middle. He was very solid and I tried to play more on his forehand,” said Sinner, in an on-court interview. “Losing eight games [in a row] can happen, but next time I need to find a solution earlier. He played far better than me in the second set. I got a little emotional in the third set, but I wanted to show that I wanted to win.”

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Sinner regained the momentum by pushing Simon deep behind the baseline in the third game of the third set and decisively broke at 3-3. The 19-year-old saved three break points when serving for his 13th match win of 2020 and closed out with a crosscourt backhand volley.

Sinner enters his semi-final clash against Zverev with a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record. The wild card overcame Zverev in four sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros earlier this month.

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