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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday November 20, 2021

 
Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev edged Novak Djokovic in three sets to reach the final round at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Photo Source: Getty

Alexander Zverev has put an end to Novak Djokovic’s 2021 season with a tense three-set triumph over the World No.1 to send him to the ATP Finals title match for the second time.

What did it take for him to take down Djokovic on Saturday?

"A lot of physical strength, I would say," Zverev said. "Every time we play it takes hours."

Tennis Express

Zverev, the 2018 ATP Finals title winner, notched a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 victory to set a clash with defending champion Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.

Medvedev, who defeated Casper Ruud to reach the final earlier on Saturday, has won the last five times he has faced Zverev, including a triumph over the German in round robin play this week at Turin.

"I mean look, I lost 8-6 in the third in the group stages," Zverev said on court after his win. "I'm just looking forward to that match because I think it's going to be a great one."

It was yet another reminder of the prowess of the German on Saturday as the man who ended Novak Djokovic’s bid for the golden Slam in the Olympic semifinals notched his fourth career win over Djokovic and his second in 2021. Zverev held the edge in many of the pair’s baseline rallies and eventually his stellar play enabled him to create space for himself in the third set when he broke for a 3-1 lead.


Djokovic had a break point with Zverev serving at 4-2, 30-40, but he let his forehand go awry. The German took the next two points to hold for 5-2.

The German served out the match to love to complete his victory in two hours and 28 minutes.

Zverev is into his sixth final of 2021 – he has won the previous five.

Zverev hit 35 winners to 27 for Djokovic, and the 24-year-old won made just 24 unforced errors, while Djokovic committed 29. Crucially, Zverev won 20 of the 30 points that went over nine strokes.

Djokovic’s quest for a sixth ATP finals title ends, as does his 2021 season. He won three major titles, claimed five titles and finishes with a 51-7 record overall.

Additionally, Djokovic finishes his season as the ATP’s year-end No.1 for a record-breaking seventh time.

 

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