London’s farewell version of the ATP Finals may nonetheless have its dream climax after world primary Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6(4) to seal a last-four spot on Friday.
Defeat by Daniil Medvedev had left the five-time champion needing to beat Germany’s Zverev to keep away from a bunch stage exit and he obliged with a comparatively snug win.
Djokovic will end second within the Tokyo Group, named after the primary version of the season-ending match 50 years in the past, and with Spanish world quantity two Rafa Nadal ending second within the London Group, they’ve prevented a semi-final conflict.
The 33-year-old Serb will face U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem in Saturday’s semi-final, when Nadal performs Medvedev.
Sunday’s ultimate will finish the match’s 12-year keep in London earlier than it re-locates to Turin.
Djokovic was soundly crushed by Zverev within the 2018 ultimate, a match performed out in an electrifying ambiance in entrance of 18,000 followers. This time the sector was empty due to the COVID-19 lockdown, a surreal backdrop for a match with a lot driving on it for each males.
Regardless of the flat really feel, Djokovic was shortly into game-mode and when world quantity seven Zverev double-faulted to drop serve in his first service sport he seized management.
Zverev dug in his heels within the second set however missed an opportunity for an early break earlier than recovering from a few double faults to fend off a break level within the following sport.
Djokovic regarded pissed off at instances and twice needed to maintain serve to remain within the set.
The 17-time Grad Slam champion raised the depth degree within the tiebreak, edging 5-3 forward with a fizzing backhand cross. He introduced up two match factors with a hefty first serve earlier than pressurising Zverev into an error to finish victory.
Djokovic is bidding to equal Roger Federer’s report of six ATP Finals titles, whereas Nadal seeks a primary.