ATP Finals: Zverev stuns Djokovic, to face Medvedev in final | Tennis News
Turin: Alexander Zverev overcame his late nerves to secure a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 victory over world No.1 Novak Djokovic on Saturday to set up a final showdown with Daniil Medvedev in the final of ATP.
After splitting the first two sets, unforced errors began to creep into Djokovic’s play in the third and he sent a long backhand to give Zverev his first serve break of the game for a 3-1 lead. .
Two games later, the 24-year-old German appeared to stick together, picking up speed on his early serves and pushing his groundstrokes, which opened the door for the resilient Djokovic to retreat.
But Zverev hammered a second serve that Djokovic couldn’t handle to take a 5-2 lead before sealing the game with his 14th ace.
“Once Novak picks up the pace on the comeback it’s very difficult, so I tried different things,” Zverev said.
“I would have been happy to double fault sometimes, but I didn’t want to let him get into the rhythm. I’m happy I won, but the game could have gone one way or the other.”
The victory prevented Djokovic from having a chance to win a sixth title in the season-ending tournament, which would have tied him to Roger Federer’s record. Zverev won the title in 2018.
Earlier today, defending champion Medvedev advanced to the final after crushing Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2.
Medvedev started strong against Ruud, breaking early to take a 2-1 lead in the first set and dictating play from the back of the field as Ruud struggled to deal with his opponent’s deep groundstrokes.
The second set followed a similar pattern to the first, with Medvedev taking a 4-2 lead before closing the game in 80 minutes, dismissing 17 winners and committing just 14 unilateral errors in the one-sided victory.
The 25-year-old US Open champion said one of the keys to success is to never give up no matter what the scoreboard says.
“As soon as you are on a set and go your separate ways, you feel like you are in control, but that’s when the danger is present,” Medvedev said.
“You have to stay focused and fight for every point. In the last game, I had 0-30 on my serve and until the last point it’s never over. So I’m glad I was able to. to end.”
Medvedev went undefeated in the round robin phase of the season-ending tournament with wins over Hubert Hurkacz, Zverev and Jannik Sinner before sending Ruud off.
“I think all the games were of a great level. Different opponents and different styles,” he said.
The result marked the ninth consecutive victory for world number 2 Medvedev in the ATP Finals and he improved his head-to-head record against Ruud to 3-0.
The Russian holds a 6-5 lead in head-to-head matches against world number 3 Zverev, including a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) round robin victory earlier this week.
“There are some things I could change, but it was 8-6 in the third set,” Zverev said when asked how he was going to prepare for Sunday’s final.
“We are two of the three best players in the world tomorrow on the pitch. It will be a tough game no matter what.”
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