Despite some “question marks”, the German men’s tennis team is relying on the recently injured Alexander Zverev and Oscar Otte for the Davis Cup intermediate round in Hamburg.

In addition to the two top players, team manager Michael Kohlmann also nominated Jan-Lennard Struff and doubles specialists Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz. “I am convinced that it is a powerful team that can qualify for the finals in Malaga,” Kohlmann said at the presentation on Monday. There are “a few question marks” due to the recent injuries to Zverev and Otte, but he is “in good spirits”.

Residual risk remains: “A few unknown factors”.

The “question marks” Kohlmann is talking about arise from the long match break of his two stars. “When you haven’t played for a while like the two of them, there are always a few unknown factors. But the quality that Sascha and Oscar bring to the team justifies the small risk. I am convinced that both will be fit in time for the Davis Cup in Hamburg,” said the team manager.

Olympic champion Zverev confirmed last week that he would play. The world number two had undergone surgery at the beginning of June after tearing three ligaments in his right ankle. He was “very confident” that Zverev would be fit in time for the Davis Cup, Kohlmann said of the 25-year-old, who is also hoping to start at the US Open. “Whether he will make it, I would put a few question marks behind that,” the Davis Cup captain said.

Otte confident: knee feels “mega-stable

Like Zverev, Oscar Otte is already back on the tennis court after an operation on the medial meniscus four weeks ago. The knee feels “mega-stable”, said the 29-year-old. “We are on a good way, it looks very good for the Davis Cup.” He also said that participation in the last Grand Slam tournament of the year in New York from 29 August was “very realistic”.

The German team had won the qualifying round in Brazil with this line-up. In the intermediate round at Rothenbaum, they will play France (14 September), Belgium (16 September) and Australia (18 September). The top two teams in each group will reach the quarter-finals, which will take place in Malaga from 21 to 27 November, as will the entire knockout phase. In the round of the best eight teams, the selection of the German Tennis Federation as group winner could face Spain or Serbia.