Fixture: (1) Alexander Zverev vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Date: 17 October 2020
Tournament: Bett1Hulks Indoors 2020
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Alexander Zverev vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina preview
Top seed Alexander Zverev faces rising star Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Saturday for a place in the final of the Bett1Hulks Indoors 2020.
Fresh from reaching the US Open final and the fourth round of the French Open, Zverev will be keen to win his first title of the season at home. The German's health played a part in his defeat to Jannik Sinner in Paris, but he seems to have recovered completely now.
A rejuvenated Zverev made practically no mistakes in a sizzling 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Fernando Verdasco in the second round at Cologne. However, things got slightly messy in his quarterfinal clash with South African qualifier Lloyd Harris.
After leading by a set and a break, Zverev was broken back to love by Harris. The World No. 7 then dropped yet another service game in a surprising turn of events, to surrender the set.
But Zverev managed to regain control of the proceedings in the decider, where he blanked his opponent to complete a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 win.
World No. 71 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, meawhile, has been quietly making his way up the rankings ladder after playing his first main draw match on the ATP tour last year. He produced his best showing at a Grand Slam this year when he defeated the likes of Dennis Novak, Hubert Hurkacz and Cameron Norrie to reach the fourth round of the US Open - where he lost to none other than Zverev.
At Cologne, the 21-year-old has been putting up strong performances in every round. After dispatching qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori, the Spaniard produced a brilliant effort to knock out eighth seed Marin Cilic 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-2.
Against Dennis Novak, Davidovich Fokina's resilience shone through as he came back from an early break in the third set to seal a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win.
Alexander Zverev vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina head-to-head
Alexander Zverev leads Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 1-0 in their head-to-head rivalry. Their sole previous meeting took place at the US Open 2020 in the fourth round, where the German cruised to a commanding 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win.
Alexander Zverev vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina prediction
Alexander Zverev would be the clear favorite going into this face-off, given that he already has the experience of beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on hardcourts. Besides, the US Open runner-up will also have the extra motivation of performing well at home.
If Zverev finds his range, cuts down on his unforced errors and doesn't let any complacency creep in, he shouldn't have too many problems in this match. However, the fast-improving Spaniard could test the lanky Zverev's movement with his trademark drop shots; the German would need to be ready to tackle them.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets.Published 17 Oct 2020, 01:49 IST