Novak Djokovic faces Alexander Zverev in ATP Finals showpiece
Watch live coverage of the final at the O2 Arena on Sky Sports Arena from 6pm.
Last Updated: 18/11/18 5:54pm
Novak Djokovic will target a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title when he takes on Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s showpiece, live on Sky Sports.
The world No 1 has progressed to the final without dropping a set or even losing his serve and is seen as a strong favourite to cap his brilliant second half to the season with a fifth title.
Djokovic has suffered only two defeats, against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov, since the start of Wimbledon but in world No 5 Zverev he faces a difficult examination.
The 21-year-old produced a stunning performance full of composure to defeat Roger Federer in the semi-finals to become the first German since Boris Becker in 1996 to reach the championship match.
Having started the season with six wins from his opening 12 matches it has been some return to form for Djokovic, while Zverev continues to impress at the upper echelons of the game despite his relative inexperience compared with his leading peers.
Here we look ahead to Sunday's meeting…
Novak's season in a nutshell
Djokovic returned to the tour in January at the Australian Open for his first tournament in six months since Wimbledon the previous year and reached the fourth round.
Shortly afterwards Djokovic revealed he had undergone right elbow surgery but on his return he suffered back-to-back early exits at Indian Wells and the Miami Open, leaving him searching for answers.
Djokovic then decided to end his association with Andre Agassi before reuniting with former long-time coach Marian Vajda and despite some initial further disappointing defeats, his confidence began to pick up.
After a run to the French Open quarter-finals, he reached the Queen's final before winning his 13th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, having initially contemplated missing the grass court campaign.
The Serb then won the Cincinnati Masters for the first time to become the first singles player to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles and he maintained his form with a determined display at Flushing Meadows to secure back-to-back major titles.
Despite suffering defeat in the Paris Masters final he had already assured his return to world No 1 for the first time in two years and will now aim to celebrate another success in London.
Zverev's seasonal review
As with Djokovic, it was an indifferent start to the campaign for the German, including a first-round defeat at Indian Wells but he responded with a run to the final at Miami.
Zverev underlined his ability on clay, making a successful defence of his Munich title on home soil before becoming only the fifth player to hold three or more Masters 1000 titles.
After pushing Rafael Nadal in the Rome Masters final he reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time at Roland Garros.
A disappointing grass court season followed but he returned to form with another successful defence in Washington. He joined forces with Ivan Lendl in the lead-up to the US Open but suffered a third-round exit.
Zverev secured his second successive appearance at the ATP Finals by reaching the Shanghai semi-finals before reaching the same stage in Basel as he reached the mark of 50 wins in the season.
Victory against Djokovic at the O2 Arena would surely go down as his biggest triumph.
Head to head
The pair met for only the third time earlier this week when Djokovic saved a break point in a tight first set on the way to a straight-sets victory.
Zverev had won their first meeting in the Rome Masters final last year while Djokovic defeated the German in emphatic fashion on his way to winning a record fourth Shanghai title last month.
Djokovic said: "I'm expecting quite a different match-up for us [on Sunday] than what it was in the group stage, even though the win in the group stage against him a few days ago can definitely serve as kind of maybe a mental advantage a little bit coming into tomorrow's match, of course. The experience of playing so many matches at this level...
"But Sascha, even though he's a leader of the new generation, still kind of considered a young player, he's an established player. He's shown some great skill on the court the last couple of years. He's shown why he deserves to be in the mix of the top players in the world."
3rd time in 4 years players who met in round robin will square off in championship of #NittoATPFinals:— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) November 17, 2018
2018 - #Djokovic d. #Zverev 64 61 in RR
2017 - Dimitrov d. Goffin 60 62 in RR, won 75 46 63 in F
2015 - Djokovic l. to Federer 75 62 in RR, won 63 64 in F
"Novak right now is the best player in the world. It's very tough to beat him. He's barely lost a match in the last six months," Zverev said.
"He's playing amazing tennis. You have to play your best game to even have a chance. I hope I'll be able to do that [on Sunday]."
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