Zverev Learns Lessons From Harris Victory
German seeking first trophy of 2020
Zverev led by a set and a break at 6-4, 1-0, but dropped two of his next four service games to find himself in a deciding set. The World No. 7 charged towards victory in the third set as Harris began to struggle with an injury to his upper left leg and closed the match by outmanoeuvring his opponent at the net.
“I have got to do a better job of keeping my focus until the end of a match. I relaxed a little bit and then he picked up his game,” said Zverev in an on-court interview.
“Playing on the ATP Tour, you only play great players. Once you lose your focus, it doesn’t matter what your ranking is, it doesn’t matter how many titles you won, you have still got to play until the end otherwise it can go the other way very quickly.”
Zverev is through to his third semi-final of the year. The German has achieved his best results at Grand Slam events this season, finishing as a runner-up at the US Open and reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.
Harris was contesting his fifth match in Cologne after battling through qualifying with consecutive three-set wins. The South African was attempting to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the year after advancing to his maiden ATP Tour final at the Adelaide International in January (l. to Rublev).
“[Harris] went through qualifying, so he had a lot of matches under his belt already,” said Zverev. “He is playing with a lot of confidence. He is playing well. He is somebody that I think will go up the Rankings quite easily if he continues playing the way he is playing.
”He improved his game a lot. The first time I saw him was against Mischa [Zverev] in Halle last year and I think he improved a lot since then. The end of this year and next year will be very important for him.”
Chasing his third trophy on home soil, the two-time Munich champion will meet Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for a spot in the championship match. The #NextGenATP Spaniard battled past Dennis Novak 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to reach his second ATP Tour semi-final. In the pair's only previous ATP Head2Head encounter, Zverev claimed a straight-sets victory at last month's US Open.