For the second time this year, Alexander Zverev has denied Novak Djokovic the chance to play for a big trophy.
Following his win over the top-ranked player in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics, Zverev beat Djokovic 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 at the same stage of the ATP Finals on Saturday.
Every time we play against each other, it’s very high level. This year we played each other five times. Every time we played for multiple hours and it was very physical.”
“Every time we play against each other, it’s very high level,” Zverev said.
“This year we played each other five times. ... Every time we played for multiple hours and it was very physical.”
The result means Djokovic can't match Roger Federer's record of six titles at the season-ending event for the top eight players. At least not this year.
The result means Djokovic can't match Roger Federer's record of six titles at the season-ending event for the top eight players, at least not this year | Photo: Twitter
Instead, Zverev will play second-ranked Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's final.
“He's the greatest player of all time and I think people forget that sometimes,” Zverev said of Djokovic, who shares the record of 20 Grand Slam titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Medvedev, the U.S. Open champion, beat first-time qualifier Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2 earlier as he seeks to defend his title in the first edition of the tournament in Turin after 12 years in London.
Medvedev has won his last five meetings with Zverev, including a round-robin match earlier this week that was decided in a third-set tiebreaker.
Zverev won this event in 2018.
Djokovic committed a series of uncharacteristic baseline errors to hand Zverev the decisive break midway through the third set.
Zverev then held his nerve, saving a break point, before serving a slicing ace down the T on his first match point.
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