Alexander Zverev beat Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 on Saturday at the Nitto ATP Finals to set up a final showdown with Daniil Medvedev in Turin.
The German, who beat Djokovic in the 2018 season finale championship match, played bravely and hit with great depth in the crucial moments against the Serbian. Zverev saved a set point in the first set and closed the net effectively throughout to advance after two hours and 29 minutes in an entertaining match.
The 24-year-old engaged with the fans inside the Pala Alpitour and hit 35 winners to reduce his ATP Head2Head series deficit to 4-7 against the World No. 1.
“Every time we play it takes hours,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “I have not spent more time on court with anybody other than him this year. I am happy with the win and happy to be in the final here and to give myself the best chance for tomorrow.”
With his victory, Zverev avenged his US Open semi-final defeat to Djokovic. It is the second time the 18-time tour-level titlist has beaten the top seed this year, after upsetting him en route to clinching the Tokyo Olympic singles gold medal.
Zverev, who went 2-1 in Red Group action to qualify for the last four, will face Medvedev in the final on Sunday after the Russian cruised past Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2. Medvedev leads Zverev 6-5 in their ATP Head2Head series, having defeated the 24-year-old in a third-set tie-break in the round-robin stage earlier this week.
Zverev will now try to do what he did in 2018 when he won the title by reversing a round-robin loss to the player he’s meeting in the championship match.
“I lost 8/6 in the third in the group stage, so I am just looking forward to the match as I think it will be a great one,” Zverev said. “There is only the best here, so it takes a lot to win this tournament.
“I am looking forward to having another chance and we are in the final and I am happy to be in the final. He is one of the best players in the world right now, so It is going to be a difficult match no matter what.”
The World No. 3 has now earned 58 tour-level wins this season. The German triumphed at ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Cincinnati, while he also lifted trophies in Acapulco and Vienna. (ATP Tour)