Djokovic Qualifies For Semi-Finals In London

Novak Djokovic

LONDON, November 14, 2018

Novak Djokovic improved to 2-0 in Group Guga Kuerten on Wednesday, overcoming Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1 at the Nitto ATP Finals. The No. 1 seed from Serbia saved both break points he faced, converting three of his own five chances to secure victory in one hour and 16 minutes.

“I thought I played well from mid-way through the second set,” said Djokovic. “I started to swing through the ball. I haven’t served that great. He obviously made a lot of unforced errors that allowed me to win easier than expected.”

Later in the evening, Marin Cilic rallied past John Isner 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4. With the US-American winning the first set 7-6(2) against the Croat, Djokovic has become the first player to advance to the last four at this year’s season finale.

Zverev, who won his opening match against Cilic, still has his chance to reach the semi-finals at The O2. “Novak, when he’s in the rallies, he’s obviously very hard to beat. He’s playing with a lot of confidence, hasn’t lost a lot of matches. He’s No. 1 in the world,” the 21-year-old German said.

“Obviously I had chances in the first set. If I break him at 4-All, we’ll see where the match goes. I think the match was much closer than the score says. For sure I feel that way. You know, it happens. I got one more group match to play here. We’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I still give myself the best chance to be in the semi-finals.”

Bryan/Sock beat top seeds

Mike Bryan and Jack Sock edged closer to the stage of the last four doubles teams at the Nitto ATP Finals, beating top seeds Oliver Marach from Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6(4). The US-American duo moved to 2-0 in Group Knowles/Nestor after 83 minutes, winning 80 per cent of service points en route to victory.

“In this format you want to start off strong,” said Bryan. “It is going to take the pressure off in the next match… In a tournament you usually have to win all of your matches, so that is what we are hoping to do.”

Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated Lukasz Kubot from Poland and Brazilian Marcelo Melo 6-2, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 10 minutes.

ATP Finals Notes:

  • Novak Djokovic commented on the retirement of Agnieszka Radwanska from professional tennis: “I remember her, and I think many of us in tennis, as one of the smartest women’s tennis players that I have seen. Great variety. Doesn’t have any big weapons in the game, strong shots maybe like Serena with serve and forehand. She just anticipated so well the play of her opponents. She absorbed the speed of the ball so well. She had slice and dropshots in her game, which you don’t see that very often. That’s why she was so successful.”
  • Alexander Zverev was asked in his post-match press conference about Ivan Lendl’s rules during practice. “If you’re going to be strict with me with rules and stuff, the relationship is not going to last very long,” the German youngster answered with a smile.