The former world number two could do nothing against Czech Jiri Liska (6-4, 6-2) on Saturday as Germany entered the Fed Cup.
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We had left him in tears when he was evacuated in a wheelchair from the court of Philippe Chatrier. 211 days after tearing ligaments in his right ankle at Roland Garros during his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev played again on Saturday, December 31, but lost to world champion Jiri Liska 81 (6-4, 6-2). With this setback conceded in Sydney (Australia) as part of the United Cup, a new event between mixed teams and the premier competition of the 2023 tennis season, the Czech Republic is 1-0 ahead of Germany.
As for his return to competition, the former world number two, who has since slipped to 12th in the ATP rankings, looked in difficulty. He held out a break at 2-3 in the first set, but one of his eight double faults in the match, committed at 4-5, gave a set point to the Czech, who converted it from Loeb. In the second set, the German had two more chances to steal his opponent’s serve in the first game, but wasted his opportunity with misplaced shots. Despite the strong comeback, he could not keep up the pressure, allowing Jiri Lechka to win.
Nadal was also beaten
“I knew before the game that he hadn’t played for a while, but with a player like him, it doesn’t mean anything.”said the 21-year-old, after one of his biggest wins. However, we knew the Olympic champion had waned. Already in September, Alexander Zverev had to postpone his planned return to the Davis Cup after he felt “extreme pain”.
In the other matches, Rafael Nadal also lost to Cameron Norrie (3-6, 6-3, 6-4), giving the UK an advantage against Spain. The Briton, 14th in the world, has yet to steal a set from the Spaniard in four meetings. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek cited Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-3.
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