Alexander Zverev Upsets No.1 Djokovic To Win Biggest Title Of Career At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev Upsets No.1 Djokovic To Win Biggest Title Of Career At ATP Finals

The 21-year-old has become the third German player in history to have won the season-ending event.

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Alexander Zverev has become the youngest player in a decade to win the ATP Finals after blasting his way past world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, in the final.

An empathic 80-minute performance saw the world No.5 dispose of a player regarded as one of the most in-form currently on the tour. Djokovic appeared weary as the match progressed as he hemorrhaged 23 unforced errors. Something that proved too costly against Zverev, who won 79% of his first service points. A somewhat unexpected outcome considering the Next Gen star had 6/1 odds to win at the start of the day.

 

“Right now I can’t really describe it. I’m unbelievably happy, It’s the biggest title that I have ever won.” Zverev said during the presentation ceremony.

For the 18th time in the history of the tournament, two players were squaring off in the final after meeting in the round-robin stages. Unlike their encounter on Wednesday, which Djokovic won in straight sets, the latest clash saw an elevation in quality from the lower ranked player. Drawing cheers from the crowd at a full capacity O2 Arena.

Heading into the match Djokovic had been impeccable on his serve. Winning all 36 of his service games throughout the tournament. He looked on course to continue this trend against Zverev early on, but the resilient 21-year-old managed to secure the breakthrough that nobody else in the tournament had managed to do. Locked at 4-4 in the opening set, back-to-back forehand errors from the top seed gifted the German a break for 5-4.

Unlike yesterday’s incident with the crowd where he was surrounded by a hostile environment, a dose of Zverev mania burst out as he served for the opening set. Being spurred on by the cheers, the world No.5 raced to 40-0 before converting his second set point with the help of a Djokovic forehand going beyond the baseline.

Edging closer to being only the third player to defeat the Serbian since the Wimbledon championships, Zverev continued to produce some inspired play. A gut-busting 26-shot rally concluded with a thunderous forehand as he broke at the start of set number two. However, the momentum was short-lived as Djokovic broke back in the next game to revive his chances.

Despite the Blip, Zverev continued to be the more consistent and stronger of the two against his weary opponent. At times Djokovic appeared to be fatigued after some grueling points. Reminiscent of his straight-sets loss to Karen Khachanov at the Paris Masters earlier this month.

“You definitely played much better than you did during the group stages and you deserved to win,” Djokovic said to Zverev afterward. “Obviously well done. You’re still quite young, but you have already had an amazing career. I wish you all the best for the future.”

Continuing to weather the storm, Zverev overcame some shaky moments to claim one of the most prestigious wins of his young career. After seeing his first championship point come and go, he triumphed on his second in spectacular fashion. Hitting a stunning backhand down the line past Djokovic. Prompting him to collapse onto the ground in delight.

We played twice this week and everybody knows how good of a player you are, but I want to mention how good of a person you are too. We’ve had so many talks. No only about tennis, but about other stuff. All different kind of subjects.” He said in tribute to Djokovic.

Zverev’s triumph occurs less than four months after he starting working alongside Ivan Lendl. A five-time winner of the event, who has also guided Andy Murray to the title.

Ivan, thanks for joining the team. I think it’s working out for now and I hope that is going to continue like that.” He said to the former world No.1. 

Zverev has become only the fourth player in history to defeat both Roger Federer and Djokovic in the semi-final and final of the same tournament. He exits the tournament with $2,509,000 in prize money and 1300 ranking points

The 2018 ATP Finals concludes with 14 out of 15 matches ending in straight sets.

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Fabio Fognini beats Guido Pella in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Melbourne

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Fabio Fognini beat Guido Pella 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Italian star converted five of his six break points to close out the match after 2 hours and nine minutes.

 

Fognini saved two break points in the first set with a forehand and a backhand and held his serve. The Italian star did not convert a break point in a long seventh game. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break. Fognini did not drop a single point to cruise through to a 7-0 win.

In the second set Fognini earned a crucial break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. He held his serve on the second deuce after saving a break point. The 2019 Monte-Carlo champion sealed the second set with another break with a forehand return winner.

Fognini earned a break lead in the fourth game of the decisive set. Pella broke straight back in the fifth game. Both traded breaks again in the sixth and seventh games. Fognini broke for the third time and converted his second match point with a serve up the T.

He is also the 12th player to come back from two sets down at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

With his five-set victories over Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson in the first two matches Fognini made history on Wednesday when the “Come-back king” became the first player to win back-to-back Australian Open matches in final set tie-breaks.

“I am so happy to be in the fourth round again in Australia. Now it’s time to recover. I played a really solid game against a really tough opponent. I am happy with the performance”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a fourth round match against 2018 Australian Open quarter finalist Tennys Sandgren, who beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Sandgren fended off nine break points and converted just 2 of his 14 break point chances. Two years ago Sandgen beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem en route to reaching his first quarter final at a Grand Slam event.

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Marin Cilic prevails over Roberto Bautista Agut in five-set thriller in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic overcame Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 after 4 hours and 10 minutes to score his first top 10 win since the 2018 US Open, when he beat David Goffin.

 

Cilic fought back from losing the first set at the tie-break, but he bounced back in the second set by breaking serve in the ninth game, when Bautista Agut made a forehand error. Cilic held on his serve to win the second set 6-4 to draw level to 1-1.

Cilic cruised through to a bagel win in the third set. The Croatian player got an early break in the fourth set to open up a 3-1 lead. Bautista Agut broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Cilic did not convert a break point chance at 5-5. Bautista Agut earned the break at 6-5 to force the match to the fifth set.

Cilic broke serve in the opening game of the fifth set with a forehand winner, but he did not convert a break point at 4-2. He broke for the seventh time in the match in Bautista Agut’s next service game to clinch a thrilling win, as Bautista Agut fired a backhand into the net.

Cilic took a re-match against the Spanish player, who won their previous head-to-head clash at the 2019 Australian Open in five sets.

“I had an incredible patch. It was a surreal level. Every ball I was hitting was going in. It was coming off my raquet incredibly well. I knew Roberto would always fight and he pushed me all the way in the fourth set”, said Cilic.

 

 

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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