Alexander Zverev, the reigning Olympic champion, survived two match chances in a spectacular comeback to win his singles tie in an epic three-setter and then helped Germany win the United Cup tennis 2024 final in the deciding mixed doubles match Sunday. In a three-hour epic at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, the sixth-ranked Zverev showed enough of stamina in rebounding from an early morning finish to rally from a set down and two match points to defeat the No. 9-ranked Hubert Hurkacz 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 6-4.
The winning shot came off Zverev’s racket, as his backhand volley clinched Germany’s first United Cup victory after nail-biting triumphs in the semifinal and final on Sunday. Also read: Germany Advances to United Cup Semifinals Against Australia
Zverev won the mixed doubles 6-4, 5-7, 10-4 in a super tiebreaker against Iga Swiatek and Hurkacz, his sixth match in three days, including a 2:20 a.m. local time finish Sunday in Germany’s marathon semifinal victory over Australia.
Hurkacz appeared to be well on his way to Poland’s first team win, leading Zverev by a set and 6-4 in the second-set tiebreaker. Zverev mustered the energy and hit a brilliant rushing cross-court forehand that brushed the line to keep Germany in the tie. He subsequently served out the second set to tie the match, and with a break in the third game, clinched the deciding set. “I mean, also I saved a match for hitting a passing shot this much on the line,” Zverev said. “So this is how tennis goes sometimes. You win and lose by millimeters sometimes.”
Kerber, who saved two match points against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the semifinals on her way to her first singles triumph after giving birth to her first child, put Swiatek to the test in the first set. Also read: France Defeats Norway To Advance To The United Cup Semi-Finals
In the fourth and sixth games, the former world number one had break-point opportunities on Swiatek’s serve but was unable to convert as the Polish player scrambled through to hold.
“I’m really proud of myself that I could win all my singles,” Swiatek said. “[Kerber] was really picking the right spot to play, and she surprised me sometimes at the beginning of the set with her decision making and choices. I knew that she could play like that, but I didn’t have much time to get into the rhythm because she was really aiming for, sometimes, these balls inside-out, and it was pretty hard.” Also read: Iga Swiatek Net Worth 2024, Salary, Endorsements, Cars, Houses, Properties, Charities, Etc.
Swiatek, 22, capitalised on her opportunity in the seventh game and won the set in 48 minutes. Swiatek accelerated in the second, breaking the three-time major winner three times to secure her sixth successive victory this week.