- Novak Djokovic  def. Alexander Zverev  6-3, 7-6(4)
LONDON, UK – Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev in straight sets to seal his place in the final four at the Nitto ATP Finals.
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Novak Djokovic  def. Alexander Zverev  6-3, 7-6(4)
Novak Djokovic put aside slow starts and lacklustre performances to get a decisive win over Alexander Zverev in a battle of the former champions, as he clinched the last semi-final spot for the Nitto ATP Finals.
For both players a decisive start was key. Djokovic was looking to be very aggressive off the sometimes wobbly Zverev serve, and things not start well when the German gifted Djokovic a break with a double fault.
However, this time Zverev managed to largely keep the serving yips well inder control, and at least kept the deficit to a single break. Zverev had a couple of chances to break Djokovic but could not convert.
Djokovic weathered that storm to close out the first set comfortably in a little under a half an hour.
Zverev could not afford to put in a slow start in the second set and certainly the first few games were a lot cagier, with break point chances coming for both men, Zverev releasing a huge roar when deflecting two break points against him to keep things on serve.
With the German elevating his level, game on game Djokovic had to tighten up his game, with no more chances to break as they headed to a tie-break.
An early mini-break for Zverev was quelled quickly and as Djokovic surged ahead with another min-break and that was all that was needed, converting on his first and only match-point to set up a semi-final with Dominic Thiem.
Looking back on his year, Zverev took the positives: “You want to put yourself in those positions every time. The US Open match obviously still hurts, but all the other ones, it’s great that I’m playing at this level again. If it would be normal ranking, normal year, I would be I think much higher up the rankings than I am now. Still, it was a good year and there is a lot to build on for next year.”
Djokovic is under no illusions that he cannot come into the semi-final on Saturday and allow Thiem to take an upper hand.
He told reporters: “If I manage to play as well as I did today and show up with a high quality of tennis, I think I have a good chance to win. I mean, I’m just hoping I can start off the match as well as I did today.”
The singles and doubles semi-finals take place on Saturday with play beginning at 12pm (GMT).
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