Novak Djokovic fends off Alexander Zverev at ATP Finals in London
Since the start of Wimbledon Djokovic has now won 33 out of 35 matches after fine win against Alexander Zverev
By Raz Mirza at London's O2 Arena
Last Updated: 07/12/18 11:12am
Novak Djokovic remains a red-hot favourite to draw level with Roger Federer on six titles at the ATP Finals after coming through in straight sets against Alexander Zverev on Wednesday.
The world No 1 has been looking ominous form at London's O2 Arena as he looks to finish his season with a flourish, and despite being pushed by the third-seeded German, he managed to secure a 6-4 6-1 victory in a disciplined display.
Djokovic, who replaced the injured Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings, has stormed up the charts this year following elbow surgery and a period of indifferent form, winning Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai along the way.
Zverev, who kept his nerve at the key moments to beat Marin Cilic in his opening match, kept pace with the Serb by demonstrating his prowess and subtlety around the court as well as his thunderous serve in a high-quality first set.
Djokovic was forced to repel a couple of break point chances for his opponent in the ninth game, while Zverev saved two set point opportunities in the next, but then crucially double-faulted when attempting to save a third.
The pair split their previous two meetings with Zverev winning in the final of the Rome Masters last year before Djokovic avenged that loss with victory in the Shanghai semi-finals earlier this year.
It was Djokovic took total control when a series of costly errors handed him a 3-1 lead in the second set. It was a lead he extended, while Zverev faded away, before the 31-year-old sealed the win in 76 minutes.
Djokovic will advance to the knockout stages for the eighth time in the year-end championships if John Isner beats Marin Cilic, or if Cilic beats Isner in three sets.
Shots of the match
Great riposte from the young German, who met Djokovic's angled return with a stunning forehand down the line and he was at it again early in the second set.
Novak happy with win
"I don't think it was breathtaking tennis to be honest from both of us but a win is a win," said Djokovic. "I thought I played well midway through the second set when I started to swing through the ball. I didn't serve that great and he obviously made a lot of unforced errors that allowed me to win probably easier than expected and especially in the second set, he wasn't close to his best.
"I didn't want to be 5-4 and a break down playing against Zverev's serve, it was really hard to read his serve, more difficult than Isner. But in the second set it was more easy to read him."
There's a lot of positives Zverev can take away from the first set but Djokovic looks unstoppable. I still think he can play better than he did today and that is really scary for everyone else who is involved in this event.
Greg Rusedski on Novak Djokovic
World No 1 Djokovic faces Marin Cilic in his final round-robin match, while Zverev will take on John Isner on Friday.
Djokovic vs A. Zverev: Match Stats
|Djokovic||Match Stats||A. Zverev|
|75%||1st serve win percentage||74%|
|70%||2nd serve win percentage||35%|
|3/5||Break points won||0/2|
|6/10||Net points won||6/14|
|61||Total points won||41|
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