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Tournament Dog Barnie congratulates Alexander Zverev after his second-round win at the bett1HULKS Championship.

The Special Surprise Zverev Got After His Cologne Win

World No. 7 will next face eighth seed Adrian Mannarino

It might be a new week for Alexander Zverev in Cologne, but the home favorite continued winning on Wednesday. And after the top seed defeated Australian John Millman 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the bett1HULKS Championship, Zverev got a special surprise.

Tournament Dog Barnie strolled onto the court to congratulate Zverev during the German's on-court interview. Barnie has kept a close eye on the action since last week’s event began.

“Now my dogs will be jealous!” Zverev said, cracking a laugh.

The match itself was far more tense, as Zverev hit 10 double faults. But he held his nerve under pressure to win his fifth consecutive match in Cologne after triumphing at last week's bett1HULKS Indoors. The recent US Open finalist has now won 11 of his past 12 matches on hard courts.

“In the first set I thought I played flawlessly, but then I wasn’t focussed at the beginning of the second [set] and the match could turn around,” Zverev said. “John is someone who has beaten top players before… you’ve got to play until the end and I thought I did a poor job serving today. But I got the win somehow.”

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The German knew he faced a tough foe in the unrelenting Millman, who pushed him to five sets at Roland Garros last year. Zverev had to dig deep again, overcoming second-serve difficulties in the third set to triumph after one hour and 55 minutes.

The 23-year-old earned the decisive break at 2-1 in the third set, crushing an inside out forehand and yelling ‘Come on!’ as a Millman backhand sailed long. As always, the Aussie battled until the last ball, putting pressure on the German. Zverev faced three break points at 4-2, but escaped the situation to prevail. Last week, Alexander’s older brother, Mischa Zverev, beat Millman 6-1, 6-4.

“I think my brother is much better than me, so that’s why he won more easily,” Zverev said, cracking a laugh. “I think John is someone who needs rhythm himself and against a baseliner, against a hard hitter, for me the harder you hit the ball against him the better it is for him. For me, it’s not easy to play slowly, so I think my game suits him quite well.”

Zverev will next face eighth seed Adrian Mannarino, who ousted Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 18 minutes. The top seed has won all three of their previous ATP Head2Head clashes, including a four-set victory at this year’s US Open.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor, beat American Steve Johnson 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the last eight.

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