Novak Djokovic out-battled Alexander Zverev to qualify for the final 4 on the ATP Finals on Friday, staying on monitor to match Roger Federer’s report of six titles on the end-of-season occasion. The Serbian high seed, who was overwhelmed comprehensively by Daniil Medvedev in his second round-robin match, was once more under his greatest at London’s O2 Area however did sufficient to win 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). The five-time winner finishes second in Group Tokyo 2020 behind Medvedev and can play third-seed Dominic Thiem within the semi-finals on Saturday. Second-seed Rafael Nadal, in search of his first win on the elite eight-man occasion, will face Medvedev within the different semi-final after ending second in Group London 2020.
Djokovic broke Germany’s Zverev on the first time of asking within the empty stadium and raced right into a 3-0 lead, threatening to run away with the match — a repeat of the 2018 ultimate, which Zverev gained in straight units.
The 33-year-old seemed centered after his uncharacteristic mauling by Medvedev, serving himself out of hassle when he discovered himself trailing 15-40 within the seventh sport.
That proved to be the final probability for Zverev within the set and 17-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic hammered a backhand winner down the road to take it 6-3.
Djokovic handed Zverev a break level within the fourth sport of the second set after double-faulting however the German couldn’t capitalise.
The 23-year-old fifth seed saved two break factors on his serve within the following sport, letting out a roar as he saved his nostril in entrance.
The set went to a tie-break. Zverev earned an early mini-break however Djokovic levelled and the stress was again on the German, who faltered handy the Serbian victory.
The highest seed stated he had managed to seek out the precise pictures on the proper time, in distinction to his efficiency in opposition to Medvedev, saying it was “anyone’s sport for many of the match”.
He stated Thiem, who gained his first Grand Slam on the US Open in September, could be a tricky opponent.
“Clearly earlier in his profession he performed his greatest on clay however after all being one of many hardest staff on the tour, essentially the most devoted gamers, Dominic discovered his ‘A’ sport on all different surfaces,” added Djokovic.
“His first Slam got here on onerous courts earlier this yr in New York. I performed him final yr right here — I misplaced 7-6 within the third set. It was actually an exhilarating match. Hopefully we are able to have one other nice match however this time with a distinct end result.”
Djokovic, who not too long ago equalled Pete Sampras’s report of six year-end world primary finishes, has the prospect to finish the coronavirus-truncated 2020 season on a excessive by becoming a member of the absent Federer on six titles.
Medvedev will tackle eighth-seed Diego Schwartzman, within the night match, which is a lifeless rubber.
The O2 Area is internet hosting the occasion for the twelfth and ultimate season earlier than the championships transfer to Turin.
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