Zverev On Djokovic Semi-final: 'I'm Expecting Another Tough One'

  • Posted: Nov 18, 2021

Alexander Zverev has set his sights on raising his game for a semi-final blockbuster against Novak Djokovic on Saturday at the Nitto ATP Finals.

The German star, who beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-4 to complete Green Group action with a 2-1 record on Friday, has already played World No. 1 Djokovic four times this season.

“We have played each other in basically every single big hard-court event this year, at the ATP Cup, Australian Open, Olympics and US Open,” said Zverev, who beat Djokovic en route to the Tokyo Olympics gold medal in August. “So it’s only right that we play each other here as well.”

Djokovic won their ATP Cup clash 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 in February and 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(6) in the Australian Open quarter-finals. Zverev won their Tokyo semi-final 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, before Djokovic beat the 24-year-old once again, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, in the US Open semi-finals.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Zverev, ahead of their 11th ATP Head2Head meeting. “It’s always interesting and close when we play each other, so I’m expecting another tough one… There will be a lot of long rallies, we will run a lot more and suffer, in a way, a lot more as well.

“I think every single match we have played has been close. We’ve needed to be at our best and one or two points decided the matches. I expect no different here as well.”

The World No. 3 knows that Djokovic has a strong following in Italy, but Zverev has also enjoyed his time in Turin. “I love Italy a lot and I think the fans can relate to me as well,” said Zverev, who won the 2017 Internazionali BNL d’Italia crown in Rome. “The food is great… I feel that the Italian fans are louder, they are electric and into the sport.”

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