Alexander Zverev secures a place in SF in Turin | ATP circuit


With the pressure on, Alexander Zverev delivered on Thursday, overtaking Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Final as he dropped to 2-1 in the Red Group.

Zverev, who had to beat Hurkacz to qualify after his straight-set loss to Red Group winner Daniil Medvedev, played aggressively and consistently, hitting 22 winners and committing just eight unforced errors to secure victory after 62 minutes.

“Today was a mentally tough game because I needed to win so I was 100% focused,” Zverev said. “It was very high and low, and I’m happy to have finished and to win in straight sets. You can always improve yourself. The margins are always very low between the best players, but to win, you have to work out the details. I hope I can do it on Saturday.

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The German will face world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals on Saturday after the Serbian took first place in the Greens group with wins over Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev.

“I have faced Novak in all the big hard court tournaments this year,” Zverev added. “We are getting used to playing in the last rounds of big tournaments. It’s going to be entertaining, I think.

This is the third time that Zverev has placed in the bottom four in the season finale. The 24-year-old won the Brad Drewett Trophy in 2018 in London, before falling to Dominic Thiem in the semifinals in 2019.

The world No.3 makes his fifth appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals and arrived in Turin in great shape. Zverev won gold at the Tokyo Olympics and claimed his second ATP Masters 1000 crown of the season in Cincinnati in August. Zverev then triumphed in Vienna in October and has now won 30 of his last 34 matches.

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In a quick start, Zverev won 16 of the first 18 points against Hurkacz as he struck with great depth and precision to take the 4-0 advantage. The German entered the baseline to dictate his forehand as he maneuvered Hurkacz around the pitch, sealing the first set in 26 minutes.

Hurkacz provided greater resistance early in the second set, realizing 100% of his first serves in his first two service matches. However, the resistance of the world number 9 ended in Game 9 of the set when Hurkacz fired a wide forehand to give Zverev the break. The German went on to claim victory and now leads Hurkacz 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series.

Hurkacz aimed to become the second player to advance to the semi-finals after losing their first two matches. To advance, the Pole had to defeat Zverev and then rely on Medvedev to defeat Italy’s Jannik Sinner on Thursday night.

Earlier this season, the 24-year-old won his first Masters 1000 title in Miami and won trophies in Delray Beach and Metz.

Did you know?

There are three former Nitto ATP Finals champions in the semi-finals, with five-time winner Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev (2018) and Daniil Medvedev (2020). The last time this happened was in 1994 with Andre Agassi, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras.

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