Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz probably won’t remember this defeat very fondly. Last November, the German tennis duo lost a joint doubles match against Canada in the quarterfinals; until November 25th in Malaga, the two had been undefeated in the national competition.

Both have a strong Davis Cup record. But that’s not the only reason why there’s a lot to be said for a quick end to the duel after the first day of the German tennis men’s relegation game in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Team boss Michael Kohlmann’s selection only needs one point – and would have avoided the threat of relegation from the world group even without top ten player Alexander Zverev. The Pütz/Krawietz double starts at 10.30 a.m. (ServusTV) in Mostar. Anything other than a win would be a big surprise. “We are far from saying that this thing is over, but now we have three chances and everything is in our own hands,” said Kohlmann.

Pütz/Krawietz are clearly the favourites

Pütz has 13 victories in the Davis Cup statistics so far, he only lost once against Canada. Krawietz has eleven wins compared to one defeat from last season. Krawietz/Pütz won eight Davis Cup games together.

In terms of their ranking positions, Krawietz as number 14 and Pütz as number 23 are heavily favored – no matter who the hosts end up with. So far, Nerman Fatic (537th in the doubles world rankings) and Mirza Basic (696th) have been nominated. Changes to the lineup are still permitted at short notice.

Two victories in the first two singles by Daniel Altmaier and Yannick Hanfmann ensured the optimal starting position on Saturday. Hanfmann in particular impressed with a 6:2, 6:1 against former top 30 player Damir Dzumhur. “It was a perfect performance,” praised Kohlmann, highlighting the performance as “very confident, very refreshing.”