Alexander Zverev stuns Novak Djokovic to win ATP Finals in London

Ruben Holloway
November 21, 2018

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was out of the blocks in sensational style this season, defending his Australian Open title and at the age of 36 becoming the oldest world number one in the 45-year history of the ATP rankings. The Serb had already dealt with some illness at the Paris Masters where he lost to Karen Khachanov in the final. 'Health-wise I haven't been really flawless in the last three, four weeks', Djokovic admitted.

The Federer-loving crowd were in uproar and to make matters worse Zverev composed himself and slammed down a 137mph ace to level the breaker at 4-4.

"You deserve to win".

At Wimbledon, there was also the highlight of beating Federer 13-11 in the final set of an epic quarter-final, as well as the historic semi-final win over America's John Isner.

"But I'm happy he won the big title because we have a really good and friendly relationship".

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"We [Djokovic and Zverev] had so many talks, not only about tennis but all different types of subjects - I won't mention what - but you are a sharing person and you have shared some titles with me".

However, the 21-year-old was booed post-match, having stopped playing mid-point during the second-set tie-break, when a ballboy behind Federer dropped a ball which rolled towards the court.

Federer was not about to be ushered off without a fight and a rapier-like backhand pass gave him the early break in the second set, only for Zverev to hit back immediately.

Djokovic, 31, was the heavy favourite to win a sixth finals title but was outclassed 6-4 6-3 by the German.

The problem for Federer is that Novak Djokovic is back as world number one after elbow surgery and a spell of indifferent form and is dominating the men's game again.

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"There's a lot of similarities in terms of trajectory of professional tennis in our careers", added Djokovic.

"For years we have been saying tennis needs new faces and strong new players - and he's proved he is the best of the next generation", Becker, the last German to win the ATP Finals in 1995, told the BBC. "Hopefully he (Zverev) can surpass me".

An increasingly-ragged Djokovic then dropped his opening two service games of the second set, either side of breaking Zverev for the first time as the German played a rare loose game.

"When you get out of this feeling of a little bit disappointment that you lost, [you can enjoy] all the positive things that I have to reflect on and also take from this season, especially the last six months, ' he added".

"I'm incredibly happy and incredibly proud right now". But, you know, at the end of the day I said sorry to Roger at the net. But Zverev had other ideas.

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Djokovic had stumbled to a 4-6, 3-6 defeat against Zeverev in the summit showdown of the ATP Finals tournament. "As a team, we'll look for ways to improve because I still think there's room for improvement, and there are a lot of objectives I've set myself for next year".

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