By Ros Satar, at the Nitto ATP Finals

  • Alexander Zverev [3] v John Isner [8]
  • H2H: Zverev leads 5-1
LONDON, UK – Last year Alexander Zverev admitted he choked away his chance to make the semi-finals – can he make it this time?


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Alexander Zverev [3] v John Isner [8] | H2H: Zverev leads 5-1

Alexander Zverev need only win a set in his final round-robin match against John Isner (and hope that Novak Djokovic wins) to guarantee his spot in the semi-finals. He will remember all to well from being in a winning position last year, he let the occasion get the better of him, and missed his chance.

John Isner in the first round robin match of the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London

John Isner in the first round robin match of the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London | (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

With Isner 0-2 and perhaps struggling with the weight of some sad news from home where friend and former strengthening coach Kyle Morgan died suddenly. Despite having clinched the first set against Marin Cilic, the Croatian got the bit behind his teeth to level things up before striking for home, and his first live round-robin win.

Now Isner has to go once more despite being highly emotional after his second loss. He can, however, hold on to the fact that he has beaten Zverev this year, to claim his maiden Masters title in Miami.

In fact, there is a lot for Isner to be proud of this year – a first Masters, the Wimbledon semi-final, and now at the season-ending finale, as well as becoming a father for the first time to Hunter Grace.

It is slim pickings though. While Isner of course favours his first strike combo of serve and forehand. He will have to contend with the aggressive baselining of Zverev, who will make him grind it out for every point.

Despite his young age, Zverev has already amassed enough experience on the larger stage to certainly make this a show, but his tennis has not been especially outstanding at times, and he could be vulnerable here.

It is debatable whether Isner can get himself together to go out on a high. Has he won the second round-robin, you could argue he had the motivation to get a couple of wins and give himself a chance. As it stands, Zverev has to be the favourite to go into the semi-finals.

Prediction: Zverev in straight sets.



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