Third seed Alexander Zverev beat World No. 1, Novak Djokovic, advancing into his second career championship match at the Nitto ATP Finals. He will meet defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.
The Tokyo Olympics gold medalist raised to the occasion displaying high-quality tennis, imposing an aggressive game while serving emphatically.
In his on-court interview, Zverev commented: “Every time we play, it takes hours. I have not spent more time on court with anybody other than him this year.
“I am happy with the win and happy to be in the final here and to give myself the best chance for tomorrow.”
The World No. 3 took a tight first set 7-6(4) against Djokovic in 60 minutes. He played a magnificent tiebreak to lead the Serbian, who followed to drop a set for the first time in Turin.
The parity between the players was constant across the opener, decided in the German’s favor by small margins.
A highlight to the first set was a high-quality point they played, a 45 shots rally which Djokovic won to hold 5-4.
Zverev took risks, putting the 34-year-old under pressure, leading his rival into a tiebreak, which he won in exceptional form.
In the second set, the Hamburg native held his advantage until his opponent broke at 4-4 for the first time. With no room for error, the 20-time Grand Slam champion served out the second set 6-4, hitting his eleventh ace to level the semifinal, forcing a decider.
The Pala Alpitour Stadium would witness a decisive third set in which the world number one did not find his best tennis to produce a comeback. He seemed anxious between points while erratic during the first games.
For his part, Zverev committed his first double fault early on the first game but managed to confirm his serve, earning the advantage.
Furthermore, the 18-time ATP titlist won crucial rallies, continuing to serve strong, recording the first break on Djokovic’s serve to lead 3-1, backing it up to extend his advantage 4-1, sealing a 6-3 victory.
The Belgrade native attempt to make his eighth appearance in the final of the season-ending tournament was halted by the 24-year-old, who narrowed his Head 2 Head series score to 4-7 against the former.
Sunday’s final in Turin will see reigning champion Daniil Medvedev facing the 2018 ATP Finals winner for the title.
Speaking about the championship match, Zverev said: “I am just looking forward to the match, as I think it will be a great one.”
Adding: “There is only the best here, so it takes a lot to win this tournament.”
Medvedev booked his spot in the Finals earlier in the day, having displayed a dominant performance, earning his ninth consecutive victory at the event as he defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2.