Alexander Zverev announced his arrival at the top of the men’s game in style by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to win his first ATP Finals title on Sunday.
The 21-year-old German, making his second appearance at the end-of-season showpiece, edged six-time champion Roger Federer in the semifinals and repeated the feat against the world No 1.
The 31-year-old Serb came into the match seeking to equal Federer’s record of six ATP Finals wins but was immediately aware he had a fight on his hands at London’s O2 Arena.
With both players going toe-to-toe from the back of the court, the first set went with serve until the ninth game, when Djokovic dumped a forehand into the net to concede the break.
Roared on by the crowd, the 6ft 6in German – comprehensively beaten 6-4, 6-1 by Djokovic in their round-robin match on Wednesday – hit three aces on his way to sealing the first set.
Still on a high after the first set win, the third seed broke an out-of-sorts Djokovic immediately at the start of the second set to leave the top seed with a mountain to climb.
Showing nerves for the first time, Zverev double-faulted twice in his next service game as Djokovic got back on level terms, but the German broke again to lead 2-1 as the Serb’s error-count climbed.
He broke Djokovic for the third time in the second set in the ninth game, producing a stunning backhand down the line at full stretch to win the championship.