Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev meet in the ATP World Tour Finals after respective wins over John Isner and Marin Cilic on Monday, with both men looking to take control of their group. Djokovic is the best player in the world again but Zverev is ...
Read the match report:
Another damp squib at the 02 - and not just because of our WiFi problems. Alexander Zverev started well and had chances to take the first set but he was all over the place in the end. Ultimately it was an easy win for Novak Djokovic, who has all but qualified for Saturday’s semi-finals. Whether he progresses today depends on the score in tonight’s match between John Isner and Marin Cilic. He will be through if Isner wins or if Cilic wins in three sets. But those are just permutations. Djokovic plays Cilic on Friday and looks unbeatable on this form. As for Zverev, he needs to develop some consistency in order to trouble the best players on a regular basis. He’s still got a chance of going through, though, and will start as a slight favourite when he meets Isner on Friday. Thanks for reading and emailing - and sorry about the internet issues that disrupted this live blog. Bye.
Novak Djokovic speaks! “I don’t think it was breathtaking tennis from both of us but a win is a win. I thought I played well from midway through the second set and started to swing through the ball. He made a lot of unforced errors that allowed me to win easier than I expected. But I hope you guys enjoyed the match.”
Novak Djokovic beats Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1!
Serving with new balls, Djokovic serves for the match. He slaps a forehand past a flatfooted Zverev to make it 30-0. Another accurate winner on to the line brings up three match points. He wastes the first, but Zverev whacks a forehand return long on the second. That’s that.
Second set: Djokovic 6-4, 5-1 Zverev* (*denotes server): Zverev double-faults to make it 0-30. Oh dear. He looks like he’s run out of steam, mentally rather than physically. Another botched effort makes it 0-40. Djokovic doesn’t let him off the hook, skipping on to a lame volley to scoop a forehand down the line and break to love.
Second set: Djokovic* 6-4, 4-1 Zverev (*denotes server): Zverev looks forlorn now. He pulls a backhand wide to make it 40-0. Djokovic polishes off a love hold with a laser-guided forehand. He jogs back to his chair with the air of a man who knows he’s sealed his spot in the semis.
Second set: Djokovic 6-4, 3-1 Zverev* (*denotes server): Zverev drops a forehand wide, his 26th unforced error so far. Ouch. Another miss makes it 0-30, and there’s a sense the life is draining out of this one. It’s a problem with this tournament: the second sets are so often non-events. Soon Djokovic has two break points. He takes the first after another hurried Zverev error. He missed that shot by miles. That should be the match as far as Djokovic is concerned.
Second set: Djokovic* 6-4, 2-1 Zverev (*denotes server): Zverev makes a few too many errors at times. He’s capable of marvellous tennis but he’s still a bit inconsistent. Djokovic holds to 15 easily enough.
Second set: Djokovic* 6-4, 1-1 Zverev (* denotes server): Zverev gets himself out of trouble at 0-30 down with a couple of big first serves, but gets himself back into trouble by swiping long to take the score to deuce. A wonderful forehand down the line gives him the advantage and has the crowd cheering too but he’s second best in the long rally for the game and forehands into the net again. “Deuce,” calls the umpire in a voice very reminiscent of Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies. A smash takes him back to advantage and this time he can see it out.
Second set: Djokovic* 6-4, 1-0 Zverev (* denotes server): Djokovic yells out in anger after whipping a simple forehand out of court, giving Zverev a foothold back into the game at 30-30. He recovers with his first ace of the day, then a solid serve down the middle is too much for his opponent.
Djokovic wins the first set 6-4
Perhaps rattled by failing to get it over the line in the last game, Zverev goes 0-30 down in the next, but an ace helps him back to 30-30. Djokovic earns himself a set point though, which Zverev is lucky to survive after a long smash just clips the line. He’s not so lucky a moment later, hitting long again to give Djokovic another set point - which he fails to take, dumping the ball into the tramlines. A third set point pops up after a Zverev error - and the set ends incredibly disappointingly with the German dumping the ball into the net twice for a double fault.
First set: Djokovic* 5-4 Zverev (*denotes server): Apologies for delay in service - an internet issue caused problems. You join us in the ninth game of the first set with the scores level at 4-4. Zverev earns himself a break point but Djokovic fires a sharp serve down the middle to fend it back off, taking them to deuce. But the German earns another break point and is a whisker away from sealing the deal after a lengthy rally ends with a misdirected lob. It lets Djokovic back into the game and he sees it out to win the game.
First set: Djokovic* 2-1 Zverev (*denotes server): Pulled to the net, Zverev produces a volley that would be good enough to beat most players. But not Djokovic, who wins the first point of the game with a crisp forehand down the line. Soon it’s 40-0, with Djokovic dominant in the baseline rallies. He holds to 15 as Zverev continues to struggle with his backhand.
First set: Djokovic 1-1 Zverev* (*denotes server): Zverev loses the first point, which feels a little worrying, but he serves well to hold to 15.
First set: Djokovic* 1-0 Zverev (*denotes server): Having won the toss, Djokovic opens the serving. He wins the first couple of points but Zverev punches back effectively, breaking through Djokovic’s defence to make it 30-all. But Djokovic holds to 30 after a couple of wayward efforts from Zverev.
The players are out. We’ll have tennis soon!
These two have met twice. Zverev beat Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters in 2017, but it was a one-sided win in the Serb’s favour when they met in China earlier this year.
Hello. What a humdinger this could be. Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev meet in the ATP World Tour Finals after respective wins over John Isner and Marin Cilic on Monday, with both men looking to take control of their group. Djokovic is the best player in the world again but Zverev is the rising star and has given the world No1 some trouble in the past. It should be entertaining.
Play begins at: 2pm GMT.
Tennis,ATP World Tour Finals,Novak Djokovic,Alexander Zverev,Sport