By Ros Satar, at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

  • Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [3]
  • H2H: Tied at 1-1
LONDON, UK – Novak Djokovic will look to be as imposing over Alexander Zverev as he was in Shanghai, but knows the German is capable of better.

 

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Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [3] | H2H: Tied at 1-1

Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin at the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London

Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin at the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London | (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

After dealing down a masterclass against John Isner in his opening round robin match, Novak Djokovic is feeling no pressure at all, which is making him a very dangerous prospect in the group.

Next up for the five-time champion is Alexander Zverev, who might have won in straight sets against Marin Cilic, but it was not a classic performance by any stretch of the imagination. Cilic looked set to wrap up the first set, and perhaps finally overturn his voodoo at this tournament before letting up and letting Zverev back into the match.

READ MORE | Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Alexander Zverev starts with a win, reiterates that Davis Cup will lack star power next year

Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Alexander Zverev starts with a win, reiterates that Davis Cup will lack star power next year

Zverev did not give much away in his press conference, as if it had been very much in plan to come from behind, but it is not clear whether the shoulder injury that had been plaguing him for a while was still an issue. John Isner’s firepower made very little headway against a Djokovic schooling.

READ MORE | Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Novak Djokovic gives a masterclass as John Isner admits he was handed a beat-down

Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Novak Djokovic gives a masterclass as John Isner admits he was handed a beat-down

Zverev will not get away with a slow start against Djokovic who is moving and hitting as good as he ever has been. His returning against Isner was textbook perfect and allowed him to completely dictate the passage of play on his opponent’s serve.

We can expect more of the same against Zverev, who will need to hope that he can somehow sneak a few cheap points with his own serve. Zverev is persistent, but he is playing against one of the best and most versatile grinders out there.

While both of them emphasise aggressive baseline play, Djokovic surely has to have the best court coverage of the pair. Zverev has improved his fitness and movement a lot and reporters had fun quipping with Djokovic that he was not quite up to the giant status of some of his fellow competitors, but this where he can make that count.

His court movement surpasses the young German – for now, and while it might not be as straightforward a win as he had over Zverev in Shanghai, it is hard not to see past the Serbian for a straight sets win and a place at the top of the Group Kuerten table.

Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets.

Djokovic & Zverev are scheduled not before 2pm.

 

 

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