Novak Djokovic went down 6-7(4), 6-4, 3-6 to Alexander Zverev in the semifinal of the ATP Finals in Turin on Saturday to set up a final showdown with Daniil Medvedev.
The German, who beat Djokovic in the 2018 final, played bravely and hit with great depth in the crucial moments against the Serbian.
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Zverev saved a set point in the first set and closed the net effectively throughout to advance after two hours and 29 minutes in an entertaining match.
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“Every time we play it takes hours,” Zverev said in his on-court interview.
“I have not spent more time on court with anybody other than him this year. I am happy with the win and happy to be in the final here and to give myself the best chance for tomorrow.”
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The 24-year-old engaged with the fans inside the Pala Alpitour and hit 35 winners.
With his victory, Zverev avenged his US Open semi-final defeat to Djokovic. It is the second time the 18-time tour-level titlist has beaten the top seed this year, after upsetting him en route to clinching the Tokyo Olympic singles gold medal.
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The World No. 3 has now earned 58 tour-level wins this season. The German triumphed at ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Cincinnati, while he also lifted trophies in Acapulco and Vienna.
Djokovic was aiming to draw level with Roger Federer and capture his record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title in Turin.
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The 34-year-old, who last triumphed at the season finale in 2015, arrived in Turin in form after lifting his 37th Masters 1000 trophy in Paris earlier this month.