Friday 20 September 2019

Audacious Zverev downs Djokovic to claim ATP crown

Zverev broke serve once in the opening set and three times in the second to pull off a shock victory. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire
Zverev broke serve once in the opening set and three times in the second to pull off a shock victory. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Charlie Eccleshare

An inspired Alexander Zverev beat world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to win the ATP Finals in London yesterday - the biggest triumph of the German's fledgling career.

The 21-year-old Zverev broke serve once in the opening set and three times in the second to pull off a shock victory in a packed 02 Arena, denying Djokovic a record-equalling sixth title at the ATP's blue-riband event.

Djokovic was a firm favourite having looked unbeatable all week, not dropping a set or even a service game, but 24 hours after being booed following a semi-final win over Roger Federer, Zverev had the crowd drooling over an audacious display.

Zverev is the first German to win the title since Boris Becker in Frankfurt in 1995 and the youngest since Djokovic won at the same age in Shanghai in 2008.

Djokovic, who had beaten Zverev comfortably in the round-robin phase last Wednesday, looked edgy from the start.

At 4-4 in the opening set he played a couple of poor forehands to give Zverev (left) the chance to serve for the set and the German sealed it thanks to three consecutive aces.

An increasingly ragged Djokovic then dropped his opening two service games of the second set, either side of breaking Zverev for the first time.

With victory looming, Zverev showed no sign of nerves and clinched the title when he sent a backhand winner past a stunned Djokovic, who was quick to congratulate the victor.

"Right now I really can't describe it - it's unbelievable," said Zverev.

"Firstly I want to congratulate Novak - we may never have seen the tennis he has played in the last few months before. He barely lost a match, but thankfully he did to me.

Djokovic said: "I'm quite disappointed with my game, but I'm happy he won the big title because we have a really good and friendly relationship."

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