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Alexander Zverev is through to his 21st ATP Tour championship match (12-8).

Zverev Closes In On Cologne Double

German improves to 22-8 this year

Alexander Zverev extended his winning streak in Cologne to seven matches on Saturday with a 7-6(3), 6-3 semi-final victory against Jannik Sinner at the bett1HULKS Championship.

The World No. 7 closed the match in fine form on serve, as he won 82 per cent of first-serve points in the second set (18/22) to prevail in one hour and 48 minutes. Zverev is attempting to clinch two titles in as many weeks in Cologne after lifting the bett1HULKS Indoors trophy at this venue last week.

With his 22nd win of 2020, Zverev gains revenge for his most recent loss. Earlier this month, the US Open runner-up lost his first ATP Head2Head contest against Sinner in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros.

"I was playing a player I just lost to at Roland Garros. That was still in the back of my head. I was not going to lose today," said Zverev in an on-court interview.

The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion, who will compete at The O2 for the fourth consecutive year from 15-22 November, will face Diego Schwartzman in his sixth championship match on German soil (3-2). Schwartzman outlasted Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes to reach his third final of 2020 (0-2). Zverev trails Schwartzman 1-2 in their ATP Head2Head series.

Sinner was attempting to reach his first final on the ATP Tour. The World No. 46 earned victories against James Duckworth, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Gilles Simon to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final since the 2019 European Open in Antwerp.

“He is an up and coming superstar. I think he is going to be Top 10 very shortly. I think he is going to be competing for the biggest tournaments in the world,” said Zverev.

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The Next Gen ATP Finals titlist returned with depth and played with great variety to open a 4-1 lead in the first set, but Zverev took advantage of errors and played with aggression on his backhand to get back into the set. With both players struggling to hold serve, Zverev moved to net and struck powerful forehands in the tie-break to claim a one-set advantage.

Zverev increased his lead early in the second set with passing shot winners as Sinner attempted to shorten points by moving to the net. The Hamburg-born star closed the match strongly, holding to love in the final game with powerful serving.

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