LONDON, November 16, 2018
The second semi-final spot in Group Guga Kuerten was filled on Friday by Alexander Zverev. The 21-year-old German defeated US-American John Isner 7-6(5), 6-3 to become the youngest Nitto ATP Final semi-finalist in nine years.
Sensational Sascha 💥
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) 16. November 2018
Zverev struck 18 aces, winning 85 per cent of his first service points to prevail after one hour and 21 minutes. “It’s obviously great getting to the semi-finals. But the tournament isn’t over,” said Zverev. “I am in the semi-finals. There’s only good opponents left. There’s only the best in the world. I’m playing Roger tomorrow, which is going to be a very difficult but hopefully very nice match. We’ll see how far I can go.”
Roger Federer is leading the pair’s head-to-head record 4-3. The Swiss also won their last meeting at the Hopman in January this year.
“Obviously it’s going to be a very difficult match. I mean, him on this surface, indoor court, he’s an unbelievable player. Played him a few times in all different conditions, all different surfaces. As I said, I’ll prepare myself for a very tough match.”
Isner said: “I feel like I ended this season on a pretty positive note. I played a positive match. I went for my shots. In that tie-break in the first set, I missed a few forehands, but I was going for my shots. He came up with a remarkable shot at 5/5… Credit to him.”
Doubles semi-finals set
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo recorded their first Group Knowles/Nestor win by beating this year’s top pair, Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, 7-6(4), 6-4 in one hour and 40 minutes.
Later in the afternoon, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated Mike Bryan and Jack Sock 6-2, 6-2 to top their group and join the US-Americans in the semi-finals. The Frenchmen finished the encounter in 52 minutes, facing Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah next. Bryan and Sock will meet Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
- Alexander Zverev becomes the first German to reach the last four at the Nitto ATP Finals since Rainer Schüttler in 2003 (l. to Agassi).
- Zverev on puctuality: “I come late to things sometimes. To non-important things, not to training, not to kind of physical training or anything like that. I come late to dinner or I come five minutes late to the car when it leaves.”
- Kevin Anderson will take on Novak Djokovic, who beat Marin Cilic 7-6(7), 6-2, in the second singles semi-final. The 31-year-old Serbian leads thier head-to-head series 7-1.