Novak Djokovic sweeps aside Alexander Zverev at ATP Finals

Carrie Guzman
November 14, 2018

Facing each other in their opening match for a second straight year, Zverev produced the slightly steadier tennis in an error-strewn contest to extend his record against Cilic to 2-0 at the O2 Arena and 6-1 overall.

The atmosphere's unbelievable. It's pretty special to play out there.' Speaking about the format of the event, the 33-year-old added: 'This is a format I have never been a part of in any way, shape or form.

Djokovic, who replaced the injured Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings last week, has stormed up the charts this year following elbow surgery and a period of indifferent form, winning Wimbledon and the US Open along the way.

While the O2 Arena has been a happy hunting ground for Djokovic with four of his five ATP Finals titles arriving there, the same can not be said of four-time qualifier Cilic.

My model has the Croat at [1.62], with Isner back at [2.61], which is pretty much in line with market pricing in what I anticipate to be quite a serve-orientated encounter, with both players having projected hold percentages around the 90% mark, with Cilic up at around 95%, bearing in mind Isner's obvious issues on return. That allowed me to step in.

"I started to play better in the second set and he was making a lot of unforced errors, which helped me win".

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The one break Djokovic converted in the first set, at 2-2, was a cross-court forehand return victor which stranded Isner.

Zverev was able to keep Djokovic at bay with his thunderous serve at the start of the first set. With all these factors considered, Djokovic looks a worthy strong favourite to get his second win of the tournament.

Zverev saved a pair of set points with an overhead smash and a bullet serve, but Djokovic wouldn't back down and a double-fault from the German finally surrendered the set.

It was a crucial escape for the 14-time Grand Slam champion, who stepped up the pressure on Zverev to steal a hard-fought first set.

The high-quality encounter reached a crescendo when Djokovic pummelled Zverev into submission in the fourth game of the second set.

That was the signal for Djokovic to sprint to victory and he broke again in the sixth game before completing an impressive statement of intent.

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