Novak Djokovic 6-3 *0-1 Alexander Zverev
Unlike in the first set, Zverev holds firm at the beginning of the set with a quick hold to 15. He slammed down two aces and two unreturned serves. Clearly, he is into a very good serving rhythm since double faulting on break point. For how long can he keep it up?
Novak Djokovic takes the first set 6-3 against Alexander Zverev
A businesslike set of tennis from Djokovic, who broke Zverev in his opening return game and then never let his advantage go. He served extremely well throughout and the one time he faced some adversity, he saved double break point by serving even better. Still, Zverev has settled into match now so we’ll see what he can do.
Novak Djokovic *5-3 Alexander Zverev
Djokovic will serve for the first set after a quick hold from Zverev. At 15-15, Zverev moved forward to the net and dispatched a very nice backhand volley, which he followed up with two unreturned serves.
Djokovic – 92%
Zverev – 58%
Novak Djokovic 5-2* Alexander Zverev
Djokovic keeps himself ahead with a really good hold under pressure. After a poor service game from Djokovic to fall down 15-40, he found four first serves in a row.
Djokovic came up with consecutive unreturned serves to save both break points. From deuce, he then twice swept into the net after big forehands, dispatching two overhead winners in succession.
Novak Djokovic *4-2 Alexander Zverev
After an indifferent start, Zverev looks like he is into the match. He blazed through a quick hold to 15 with an exquisite sequence: backhand winner, ace, forehand winner.
Zverev is taking the ball on and hitting freely in his service games but the question is how much he can do so on Djokovic’s serve.
Novak Djokovic 4-1* Alexander Zverev
Another quick hold for the No 1. Zverev played one astonishing point in the game at 15-0, producing a tremendous defensive backhand before ending the point with an overhead winner. Otherwise, Djokovic had no problems whatsoever. At 30-15, Zverev overhit a backhand after a long point and then Djokovic finished with a big serve down the T.
Novak Djokovic *3-1 Alexander Zverev
A good service game from Zverev to get himself on the board. He finished with a forehand inside out winner on 30-0 and then an imperious backhand down-the-line winner to hold to love. He will need to take control like that if he wants to win today.
Novak Djokovic 3-0* Alexander Zverev
Djokovic consolidates the break with a quick hold to 15. At 15-15, he landed an unreturned serve and then he followed it with a quick serve-forehand 1-2 punch. He closed out the game with the shot that has cost him many points so far this week: a drop shot winner. Perfect start.
Novak Djokovic *2-0 Alexander Zverev
Djokovic immediately breaks serve with ease. After a couple of sloppy errors from Zverev to fall down 0-30, Djokovic nailed a brilliant backhand crosscourt passing shot that kissed the line. On the second break point, Zverev double faulted.
A reminder: Djokovic generated one (1) break point against Medvedev in the whole match.
Novak Djokovic 1-0* Alexander Zverev
Without a care in the world, Djokovic strolls to a hold in the opening game of the match. He opened with an incredible point, pulling off a great drop volley winner after a long rally. After some great serving, he closed it off with an unreturned serve.
As a reminder, here is my piece from last week on the domestic abuse allegations from Alexander Zverev’s ex-girlfriend, Olya Sharypova.
at 9.16am EST
Novak Djokovic will kick things off on his serve now. A big match. Let’s see how this goes.
The players are on-court. The great Mohammed Lahyani will be the umpire today and this is how he addressed the players:
“We have a lot of help on this court. Like usual, we have hawk-eye live… we have the serve clock on each corner, we have TV changeovers, we have everything! Anything else you want?”
at 9.10am EST
Some highlights of their 2018 encounter.
Novak Djokovic leads Alexander Zverev 3-2 in the head-to-head. On indoor hard, they are 1-1 with both results memorably coming a the 2018 ATP Finals. Djokovic easily won 6-4 6-1 in the round robin group, then Zverev turned the tables with perhaps the best match of his career so far, winning 6-4 6-3.
Hello! Welcome to our coverage on day 6 of the ATP Finals in London as we look to see who will take the final spot in Saturday’s semi-final lineup. Once again, there are no complex calculations here. As Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev face each other this afternoon, the winner will seal the final spot against Dominic Thiem and the loser will go home.
This will be a very interesting match for Djokovic. On Wednesday, he was dismantled by a near-flawless Daniil Medvedev who served and returned supremely well while making so few errors throughout the match. Djokovic started well, but then he simply could not hang with Medvedev after losing his serve at 3-3 in the first set. He struggled to pierce the Russian’s defence and he did not have the patience to ride out some of the longer rallies, often bailing out of points with drop shots or overhit groundstrokes.
What did that match say about Djokovic? Firstly, between recent encounters with Medvedev, Pablo Carreno Busta and Rafael Nadal, there is certainly increasing evidence that he does not quite have the patience of old against players who can make things extremely physical.
One also wonders whether his killer instinct is slightly lacking in an event that doesn’t really add much to his legacy. What is he playing for here? He has already won the ATP Finals many times, he is assured #1 until at least the end of the Australian Open and it will probably be enough to usurp Roger Federer’s all-time #1 record that he is chasing. Although he was clearly giving 100%, it seems reasonable that an ATP Finals round robin match in front of nobody at this point in his career is not going elicit the same passion as matches on the bigger stages. We saw those same dynamics in action a few weeks ago when he lost to Lorenzo Sonego in Vienna and admitted that he wasn’t particularly invested in it. Now, with his fate in the tournament on the line, we’ll see what he looks like today.