Alexander Zverev’s victory on Thursday equals his best ever performance at the ATP Finals
Alexander Zverev produced a superb all-round display to beat Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-1 and ensure the top two seeds will meet in Sunday’s final at the ATP Finals.
The top seed held the key to the match in the first set and raced to a 5-0 lead, breaking the defending champion three times.
He dominated the second set from start to finish and will now play Russia’s Daniil Medvedev for the title.
Medvedev beat Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.
After the victory Zverev said he was ready to “beat the bad boy of tennis” Djokovic.
Asked about his mentality, the German said: “Like every opponent. I’m going to go out there and play my best tennis.”
Asked about playing Djokovic again on Sunday, he said: “I need to just go for it, I’m in no doubt.
“I will give my best. That’s what you have to do. You have to be in the right frame of mind to not make any excuses.”
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Zverev did not face a break point in either set and served impressively, compiling seven break points, and saving all six.
The 21-year-old German, world number five, rarely gave a glimpse of the weaknesses in the 14-time Grand Slam champion’s game and displayed an impressive mix of confidence and desire to overwhelm Djokovic in straight sets.
Djokovic said he did not have much of a chance to dictate and had struggled to return the decider.
“I didn’t have any chance,” he said. “I had nothing to do with his playing.
“I tried to play some specific things but I didn’t have any particular tactics going in. I didn’t play well.”
Zverev said he was ready to “move on” from the match and focus on Sunday’s final.
“I believe I can play that well again. That’s just the way it is,” he said.
“I’m going to take confidence from this win, but at the same time it will be two matches.
“I’m going to be ready for that.”
Djokovic had not lost a set in the group stages of the tournament, but was broken just once in reaching the final
Djokovic’s participation at the WTA Finals last week – while Sweden’s Johanna Larsson has withdrawn – gives him the right to switch his participation at the season-ending competition in Singapore to the ATP Finals in London.
A combination of not being guaranteed a place in London had not given the world number one an incentive to make a last-minute decision, but the player has now stated this week that he plans to compete at next week’s event in Singapore, before head back to London for the ATP Finals.
Both competitions end on the same night, and Zverev said he was not overly motivated by Djokovic’s decision.
“It doesn’t matter who I play or what happens in Singapore,” he said.
“I’m just going to go out there and play my best tennis. I have no doubt about that.”