Zverev return 'more realistic' for Davis Cup in September

ATP 500 - Mexican Open
Tennis - ATP 500 - Mexican Open - The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico - March 20, 2021 Germany's Alexander Zverev reacts during his final match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Carlos Perez-Gallardo/File Photo

July 28 (Reuters) - Alexander Zverev has not given up hope of playing next month's U.S. Open but the German world number two is more likely to return to action from his ankle injury during the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals in mid-September.

Zverev was forced to retire after suffering an injury during his French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal and had surgery on torn ligaments in his right ankle last month.

The 25-year-old has yet to be ruled out of the year's final Grand Slam, which starts on Aug. 29 on the hardcourts of Flushing Meadows in New York.

"Sascha is recovering well and is still hoping that he can be ready for the U.S. Open," a spokesperson for Zverev told Reuters. "However, it is still too early to tell if he will be able to compete there or not."

This month, Zverev, who finished runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Open, posted a video on social media in which he was seen walking without crutches. This week, he confirmed his participation in the Oct. 3-10 Japan Open in Tokyo.

But Olympic singles champion Zverev is targeting an earlier return to competitive action, aiming to lead Germany's campaign in the group stage of the Davis Cup, on Sept. 13-18.

Germany will play their matches at home in Hamburg with France, Belgium and Australia the other teams in Group C. Two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarter-finals of this year's men's team event.

"Davis Cup in Hamburg in September seems more realistic but we keep our fingers crossed that he will be ready earlier," the spokesperson said on email. "Therefore, he should be able to play a few events before Tokyo."

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai, editing by Robert Birsel

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