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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday November 18, 2023

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic started fast and finished fast as he toppled Carlos Alcaraz to reach his ninth title match at the ATP Finals.

Photo Source: TTV

He started fast. He finished fast. And in between he weathered all the storms while not missing a beat.

Tennis Express

Novak Djokovic played his best match of this year’s ATP Finals and took his place in the final with a blistering 6-3, 6-2 victory over World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz, setting a rematch with Jannik Sinner, the man who edged Djokovic in a heated three-set battle during round robin play earlier this week in Turin.

“Best match of the tournament, without a doubt,” 36-year-old Djokovic said after the contest. “It came at the right time.”

Djokovic saved two break points in his opening service game, then broke open the contest by taking the final three games of the opening set on the trot. With Alcaraz serving at 3-4, 15-0, a crisp and deliberate Djokovic won four of the the final five points of the game to break for 5-3.

He then breezed through his final service game, holding at love and sealing the 40-minute opener with an ace out wide.

The trend continued in set two as six-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Djokovic converted his second break point in the third game, winning a three-deuce game when Alcaraz shanked a forehand into the seats.

There was a push from Alcaraz in the sixth game of the second set as the Spaniard played a pair of incredible points in succession to earn two break points, but Djokovic was equal to the task. The 36-year-old raised his level and claimed the next four points to hold for 4-2.

Momentum firmly in hand again, Djokokovic broke for 5-2 and served out the much without any fuss to improve to 3-2 lifetime against Alcaraz and 54-6 on the season.

The 24-time major champ seeks a record seventh Nitto ATP Finals title (currently tied with Federer, who also has six titles) and a 98th title overall, on Sunday.

Alcaraz drops to 65-12 with the loss. He famously defeated Djokovic in a five-set final at Wimbledon in July, but has lost two straight to the Belgrade native since. The Spaniard was making his ATP Finals debut and became the youngest semifinalist since Rafael Nadal in 2006.

“Tonight from the very beginning I felt the ball well,” Djokovic said. “I was approaching the match with the right attitude and mentality – I knew that from the very first point it would be high intensity.”

Djokovic will have to turn the page quickly as he gets ready to face the man who handed him a 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) loss in group play. Djokovic had won his three previous encounters with Sinner prior to their first hard-court meeting this week, and he hopes to gain the upper hand again against the 22-year-old phenom.

Sinner has been nothing short of ascendant of late, racking up eight consecutive Top-10 wins, including his 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1 takedown of World No.3 Daniil Medvedev on Saturday.

The World No.4 is the first Italian man to ever play the title match at the ATP Finals.

“He’s been playing fantastic tennis, arguably the best tennis of his life, on this stage, against Top-10 players,” Djokovic said. “We played 7-6 in the third, a very close match the other night, and the atmosphere was unbelievable – electric – and I don’t expect anything less, probably even more, and louder than what we had in the group stage.

“I’ve been in this situation before many times, and I’m really happy with the way I’m feeling and playing, so hoping I can deliver my A game tomorrow.”


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