Alexander Zverev is targeting an elusive grand slam title after the Olympic Games gold medallist capped a fine year with ATP Finals glory.

Zverev outmatched defending champion and second seed Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4 to claim his second ATP Finals crown in Turin on Sunday.

Champion at the Tokyo Games, Zverev became the first player to beat the world number one and two in the semis and final since Andre Agassi in 1990, having upstaged Novak Djokovic in the final four.

After celebrating his 59 tour-level victories – the best on tour – Zverev turned his attention to grand slams.

Despite his success at the Olympics and Masters 1000 level, Zverev is yet to break through at slams having lost last year's US Open final, while reaching three semi-finals previously.

Asked if he was closer than ever to winning a slam, Zverev replied: "I think so, yeah. I mean, why not, right?

"I've kind of succeeded at every single level. There's one thing missing. I hope I can do that next year."

Zverev, who claimed a tour-leading sixth title this season, added: "They [things] couldn't be much better, to be honest.

"I'm obviously happy with how the season went, I'm happy with the finish of the season because obviously it was a great year.

"To capture the title here has been incredible."

US Open winner Medvedev also backed Zverev to conquer a grand slam tournament, saying: "Sascha is a great player who is capable of beating anybody, so he definitely can win a Grand Slam, because It’s just obvious.

"But he's not the only one and that's where it gets tough. He was in the semi-finals of the US Open and lost in five sets [to Djokovic]. Who knows maybe if he was in the final he might have beaten me.

"It's just a matter of every tournament is a different scenario and surface, you have to win seven matches to be a grand slam champion. Is he capable? Yes. Is he going to do it? We never know."

Alexander Zverev outmatched defending champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to claim his second ATP Finals title on Sunday.

World number three Zverev was defeated by Medvedev in the group stage, but the German prevailed 6-4 6-4 in the final for his tour-best sixth trophy of the year.

The 24-year-old fired eight aces on his way to a deserved win over Medvedev, secured in just an hour and 15 minutes.

"It was great," Zverev said in his on-court interview. "I won the Finals, with a win in the final against someone I had lost [against] five times in a row, so I had to play one of my best matches. 

"I am happy about that and happy to go on holiday with this win."

 

Building on his semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic, Zverev made a strong start in Turin and broke his opponent in the third game.

Medvedev was unable to hit back as Zverev dominated behind his first serve to see out the first set.

The Russian's hopes of becoming the first repeat champion since Djokovic's four in a row between 2012 and 2015 were further dented when losing serve in the opening game of the second set.

Putting his powerful game to good use, Zverev only improved as the contest went on at the Pala Alpitour venue as he saw the job through with his first match point to cap the year in style.

Your moment, @AlexZverev#NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/HOSxnFdSfh

— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 21, 2021 Data Slam: Alexander the great?

Zverev had lost his previous five meetings with Medvedev, as he pointed out, but he bettered his opponent in every department on his way to becoming just the fourth player in ATP Finals history to earn semi-final and final wins over the world's top-two players.

His 59 tour-level wins in 2021 is the most of any player, fittingly overtaking Medvedev on that list with this statement victory.

TOTAL POINTS WON

Zverev – 61
Medvedev – 51

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 8/1
Medvedev – 3/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 2/4
Medvedev – 0/0

World number one Novak Djokovic revelled in his "phenomenal" year, despite his ATP Finals exit to Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic's season came to an end on Saturday, the 20-time grand slam champion beaten 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3 by Zverev in the Turin semi-finals.

A five-time winner of the season-ending tournament, Djokovic missed out on the chance to claim a record-tying sixth Finals title after falling to Olympic Games gold medallist Zverev.

While his year did not end the way he wanted, Djokovic reflected on another successful campaign, which saw the 34-year-old equal the record for most major trophies thanks to wins at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Djokovic also missed out on becoming just the third man to complete the Grand Slam – a feat last achieved by Rod Laver in 1969 – after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.

"It was a great season, no doubt. I did not play many tournaments, but still managed to end the year at number one for the seventh time, broke records for the year-end number one, historic number one, won three out of [the] four Slams," said Djokovic, who surpassed Pete Sampras for most year-ending number ones.

"The year was phenomenal. Maybe could have done better in some other ATP events. But all in all really good ending of the season as well with a title in Paris and semi-finals here."

On the match against Zverev, Djokovic said: "Of course we want to win against each other, but there is that respect and appreciation for each other that is more important than winning or losing.

"That's something that I always had with Sascha. I really appreciate that. I wish him all the best. He's a great guy, fantastic tennis player, I'm sure soon to be a Grand Slam champion."

It will be the first Finals decider without a player aged over 25 since 2005, when David Nalbandian beat Roger Federer.

Zverev – the third seed – is bidding to become the first player to beat the world number one and two in the semis and final since Andre Agassi in 1990.

Russian number two Medvedev stands in his way and Zverev added: "Every time we play it takes hours. I have not spent more time on court with anybody other than him [Djokovic] this year.

"I am happy with the win and happy to be in the final here and to give myself the best chance for tomorrow [Sunday]."

Novak Djokovic fell at the semi-final stage of the ATP Finals for a second year in succession as he was defeated by Alexander Zverev on Saturday.

World number one Djokovic was hoping to reach the final of the season-ending tournament for the eighth time but came up against Zverev in exceptional form, the third seed winning 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3.

Neither player managed to get a break point until the 10th game, such was the quality of serving, and it was Zverev who was put under pressure. He responded well, though, with an exceptional serve before saving himself and denying Djokovic a one-set lead.

Zverev then wasted two break points of his own in the next game, the set ultimately going to a tie-break, and the match's first double fault from Djokovic handed the advantage to his opponent, who came out on top in a lengthy rally and then saw a blistering serve give him the set.

Djokovic initially looked rattled and frustrated at the start of the second set, yet a bad miss from Zverev let him off the hook as the five-time champion avoided suffering an early break.

Zverev took just 58 seconds to win the fifth game and go 3-2 up and his next service game was also won to love, but Djokovic finally got the elusive first break to make it 5-4 before converting his fifth set point.

Djokovic could not take that momentum into the decider and, although it went with serve for the first three games, a sloppy showing in game four allowed Zverev to pounce for his first break of the match.

He survived a brief wobble and a break point before eventually closing out a wonderful victory, serving to love again as he set up a final clash with the defending champion Daniil Medvedev.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 27/29
Zverev – 35/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Djokovic – 15/1
Zverev – 14/1

BREAK POINTS WON 

Djokovic – 1/4
Zverev – 1/4

Alexander Zverev will face Novak Djokovic in the last four of the ATP Finals after beating Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets on Thursday.

Zverev knew a victory over Hurkacz would see him through to the semi-finals from the Red Group along with Daniil Medvedev and the third seed duly prevailed 6-2 6-4.

The 2018 champion did not face a break point as Hurkacz bowed out after losing all three matches on his debut at the season-ending tournament in Turin.

Zverev's commanding win also ended alternate Jannik Sinner's hopes of qualifying on home soil at the Pala Alpitour.

The German will do battle with world number one Djokovic for a place in the final after losing only 11 points behind his serve in his final round-robin match.

Zverev got off to a storming start and never looked back, surging into a 4-0 lead in the opening set and breaking once in the second to put himself two wins away from claiming the title for a second time.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Zverev  – 22/8
Hurkacz – 20/20

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Zverev  – 11/0
Hurkacz – 11/0

BREAK POINTS WON 

Zverev – 3/7
Hurkacz – 0/0

Jannik Sinner will replace Matteo Berrettini in the ATP Finals, meaning Daniil Medvedev has to prepare for a different opponent than planned.

Medvedev made it two wins from two in Turin as he fought to a 6-3 6-7 (3-6) 7-6 (8-6) victory over Alexander Zverev on Tuesday.

That win sealed the defending champion's place in the semi-finals, and he will now aim to maintain his momentum when he returns to the court for his final group game.

However, he will not face Berrettini as initially scheduled, after the Italian world number seven was forced to withdraw with an injury he sustained against Zverev on Sunday.

Berrettini had to retire from that match, and compatriot Sinner will replace him.

Sinner's first match will be against Hubert Hurkacz in a repeat of the Miami Open final – the Pole claiming his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title on that occasion.

Hurkacz lost his first match of his debut Finals, going down to Medvedev, who was made to work harder against Zverev.

"Definitely one of the matches to remember," Medvedev said after his win over the German. "When you win 8-6 in the tie-break in the third...

"It was 4-2 for him, so I was like okay, he serves a few aces, it's done. I made it 6-4, and I was like okay, that's my moment now. 

"Just an amazing feeling. Not actually much to say about the match, just amazing.

"Sometimes that's how tennis is. You just try to do your best. Sometimes luck is on your side, sometimes not. Sometimes it's more than just luck. I just try to do my best, and I'm really happy the past seven matches went in my favour."

Daniil Medvedev eventually overcame Alexander Zverev in a high-quality contest to record his second win of this year's ATP Finals.

The Russian sealed a 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) victory in a tight encounter in which there was only one break of serve, which came in the first game of the match for Medvedev in Turin.

Exactly a year to the day since the two faced each other in the same tournament in London, it looked like history might repeat itself to an even greater extent as Medvedev won the first set 6-3, as he had done in 2020 in a straight-sets win.

The defending champion was dominating from the baseline, but the second set saw a drastic improvement from Zverev, who hit 13 aces having managed just one in the first set.

The German could still not get close to breaking the Medvedev serve, but was able to win the tie-break to level things up.

The third set followed a similar pattern, almost inevitably ending with another tie-break. Despite saving two match points, Zverev could do nothing about the third as Medvedev secured the win and he will qualify if Hubert Hurkacz beats Matteo Berrettini in Red Group later on Tuesday.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Medvedev – 36/27
Zverev – 48/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Medvedev – 14/1
Zverev – 18/2

BREAK POINTS WON 

Medvedev – 1/4
Zverev – 0/4

There was agony for Matteo Berrettini as he was forced to retire in his first match of the ATP Finals against Alexander Zverev on home soil.

Italian Berrettini appeared to suffer an abdominal injury when trailing 1-0 in the second set after Zverev won the first 7-6 (9-7) in their opening Red Group match in Turin on Sunday.

Sixth seed Berrettini dropped his racket and put his head in his hands as he grimaced after crashing a forehand into the net and underwent lengthy treatment to his left side.

The world number seven attempted to continue, but was clearly in pain as he served and duly brought the contest to an end at the Pala Alpitour.

Berrettini cut an emotional figure and was embraced by Zverev before being given a great ovation as he trudged off the court, with his opponent standing to applaud.

Zverev had saved two set points in the opening set and came from 5-3 down in the breaker to edge in front before the match came to a premature end.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Zverev – 21/9
Berrettini– 16/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Zverev – 10/1
Berrettini – 5/0

BREAK POINTS WON 

Zverev – 0/5
Berrettini – 0/2

Defending champion Daniil Medvedev set up a showdown with Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters final after dismissing Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

The Russian, who downed Djokovic in the final of this year's US Open, was at his imperious best to see off Zverev 6-2 6-2 in the French capital.

He will now attempt to deny Djokovic a sixth title at the ATP 1000 event on Sunday, while seeking to etch his own name onto the trophy for a second year running.

World number two Medvedev, who overcame Zverev in the final of this event in 2020, ended the German's run of eight consecutive victories in style.

It took just 80 minutes for Medvedev to get the job done, his flat groundstrokes posing questions that Zverev had no answers to.

While Zverev did apply some pressure by forcing his rival to face three break points, Medvedev was cool under pressure as he held serve throughout the contest.

This triumph drew Medvedev level at 5-5 in the pair's head-to-head record.

He will likely face a sterner test against Djokovic, whose come-from-behind win over Hubert Hurkacz ensured he will claim the year-end number one ranking for a record seventh time.

On Sunday, he will bid to set another record by moving ahead of Rafael Nadal to reach 37 titles in Masters 1000 tournaments.

Novak Djokovic says he has room to improve despite easing past Taylor Fritz in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the Paris Masters.

The world number one is competing in his first tournament since his dream of winning a calendar Grand Slam was ended by Daniil Medvedev in September's US Open final.

After beating Marton Fucsovics in three sets and then benefiting from a walkover against Gael Monfils in the last 16, Djokovic made light work of Fritz in Friday's quarter-final.

He sent down eight aces and was successful with 72 per cent of his first serves that landed on his way to a 6-4 6-3 victory.

However, Djokovic lost his serve on three occasions and, while happy with his overall display, the Serbian feels like there is more to come from his game in the French capital.

"I was absent from the tour for two months coming into this tournament," he said. "The last competitive match I played was in the US Open final, compared to the other guys playing one or two events prior to Paris.

"I knew that I needed to start well, with good intensity and put in a lot of hours on the practice court. But it's different when you play points in a competitive match.

"I am pleased with the way I played against Fucsovics and again today, though I did have ups and downs. I am not entirely pleased with the way I closed out the sets.

"I backed myself up with good returns and read Taylor's serve very well to get into rallies. I closed out the last couple of service games well and that's a positive."

Djokovic is aiming to win the Paris Masters for a record-extending sixth time in his bid to end the year as world number one for a record seventh occasion.

The Serbian will contest his 71st career Masters 1000 semi-final – four short of Rafael Nadal's record – against Hubert Hurkacz, who saw off James Duckworth 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-5.

With that victory, the world number 10 clinched the final singles spot at the ATP Finals in Turin later this month.

Hurkacz is the second Polish player to qualify for the event after Wojtek Fibak in 1976. It also means only European players will feature in the ATP and WTA Finals for the first time ever.

Saturday's other semi-final in Paris will be contested between Djokovic's US Open conqueror Medvedev and Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev.

Home favourite Hugo Gaston eliminated Pablo Carreno Busta earlier in the tournament but was always likely to face a tougher task against Medvedev.

So it proved, with the qualifier going down 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in a match that saw Medvedev hit 13 aces to his opponent's one.

"When the atmosphere is against you, you need to face it," Medvedev said. "You need to try to win, no matter what.

"Even when it is against me, I think, 'I will try to beat my opponent and the crowd' because there is no other choice."

Zverev kept his momentum going with a 7-5 6-4 win over Casper Ruud in Friday's final contest, as he made it eight wins on the bounce.

The German held serve throughout, while breaking his opponent twice, to remain on course for a sixth final of 2021.

Alexander Zverev was given a thorough examination of his Paris Masters credentials by Grigor Dimitrov, but the fourth seed progressed nonetheless to reach the last eight.

Zverev, who last in last year's final, saw match points slip from his grasp in the second set as Dimitrov levelled the match, however, he eventually prevailed on Thursday.

World number one Novak Djokovic benefited from a walkover, while Daniil Medvedev also moved through to the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Zverev outlasts Dimitrov

Olympic Games gold medallist Zverev had to dig deep for his 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 win over former world number three Dimitrov.

It was Zverev's seventh win on the bounce, but he was well aware of just how deep he had to dig to see off a resilient Dimitrov.

"Incredible match," Zverev, who won a fifth tour title of the year last week at the Vienna Open, said afterwards. "Grigor is playing very high-level tennis and I had to leave everything out there.

"I think it was a very high-level match and it could have gone both ways, especially the third set. I am happy with how things went in the end."

Djokovic moves through without playing

There was no such ordeal for top seed Djokovic, however.

Djokovic – a 20-time grand slam champion – received a walkover after Gael Monfils was advised not to continue with the tournament due to an adductor issue sustained in his previous win over Adrian Mannarino.

Taylor Fritz awaits five-time Paris champion Djokovic after the American saw off 10th seed Norrie 6-3 7-6 (7-3), while Casper Ruud will tussle with Zverev.

Ruud's emphatic 6-2 6-1 demolition of Marcos Giron clinched a historic achievement for the 22-year-old – who became the first Norwegian to qualify for the ATP Finals at the end of a breakthrough year in which no player can better his five tour-level titles.

Hubert Hurkacz did his chances of joining Ruud in Turin no harm as the Polish seventh seed – who holds the last automatic qualifying berth – fought back to defeat Dominik Koepfer 4-6 7-5 6-2 and set up a meeting with James Duckworth, who beat Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Second seed and US Open champion Medvedev was another who had to come from behind before ultimately seeing off Sebastian Korda 4-6 6-1 6-3.

He will go up against Hugo Gaston, who became the first French qualifier to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals since 1990 with his win over Carlos Alcaraz.

Teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz put in an impressive display to upstage eighth seed Jannik Sinner in straights sets in the third round of the ATP Paris Masters on Wednesday.

Alcaraz was on top for most of his 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 victory, winning 80 per cent of his first-serve points and 75 per cent of net points against Sinner.

Sinner showed determination to stay in both sets, with the Italian saving nine of the 11 break points he faced, but it was ultimately in vain.

The European Open winner will be among those sweating as the race to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin heats up.

After the win, 18-year-old Alcaraz said: "I'm so happy for this win as Jannik was fighting for a spot at the ATP Finals. It's my third Top 10 win of the year.

"I think Jannik and I will have a great rivalry in the future... I think that I played really, really aggressive, more than him. I think that was one of the keys."

Alcaraz will now face qualifier Hugo Gaston in the next round after the Frenchman impressively knocked out 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 7-5.

Interesting day for Turin hopefuls

It was a mixed day for others looking to secure a spot at the season-ending ATP Finals later this month as Felix Auger-Aliassime – ranked 12th in the ATP Race to Turin – lost in straight sets to Dominik Koepfer, who added to his impressive list of victims after beating three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray in the first round.

Koepfer will play another Turin hopeful, the 10th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz after he beat Tommy Paul in straight sets.

Cameron Norrie also impressed in his 6-3 6-4 win over Reilly Opelka, which was his 50th tour-level win of the year.

Taylor Fritz awaits after the American stunned fifth seed Andrey Rublev 7-5 7-6 (7-2).

 

Medvedev and Zverev ease through but Tsitsipas out

Second seed and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev had a routine first match of the tournament as he swept past Ilya Ivashka 7-5 6-4, while Olympic Games gold medallist and fourth seed Alexander Zverev also had few problems against Dusan Lajovic 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

However, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas exited after retiring hurt with an apparent arm injury against Alexei Popyrin in the first set with the score at 4-2 to the Australian.

Popyrin will now face fellow countryman James Duckworth, who followed up his impressive win against 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory against Lorenzo Musetti.

Elsewhere, 11th seed Diego Schwartzman was shocked by qualifier Marcos Giron 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4).

There were also wins for 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov against Karen Kachanov, and Sebastian Korda over Marin Cilic.

Gael Monfils will go up against world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round after the experienced French 15th seed came from behind to beat compatriot Adrian Mannarino 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Alexander Zverev captured his fifth title of the season at the Vienna Open after defeating Frances Tiafoe 7-5 6-4 in Sunday's final.

The Olympic champion claimed more silverware in Vienna, having also triumphed in Madrid, Cincinnati and Acapulco in 2021.

The world number four, who claimed his 300th tour-level career win against Alex de Minaur earlier in the week, is now 25-2 since exiting the fourth round at Wimbledon in July.

Tiafoe was appearing in his first ATP 500 final having defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner along the way.

The world number 49 stuck with Zverev during a tight opening set, in which breaks were exchanged early on.

However, the German broke again in game 12 to draw first blood, and went on to hit eight aces during the second set.

Tiafoe produced an inspired turnaround from 5-2 down in the second set of his semi-final victory over Sinner.

But there was to be no fairytale finish for the American, who was seeking a second ATP title and first since the 2018 Delray Beach Open.

Zverev subsequently held his nerve to move level with Casper Ruud on five titles for the season, the most on the ATP Tour this year.

Frances Tiafoe will face Alexander Zverev in the Vienna Open final after storming back from the brink of defeat to beat Jannik Sinner.

Sinner was on the cusp of another final after his triumph in Antwerp last weekend when he led 5-2 in the second set, but qualifier Tiafoe roared back to win 3-6 7-5 6-2 on Saturday.

Italian Sinner had moved into the last qualifying position for the ATP Finals by beating Casper Ruud to reach the semi-finals in the Austrian capital and appeared destined to extending his winning run.

The 49-ranked Tiafoe had other ideas, winning five games in a row to force a deciding set.

Tiafoe maintained his momentum, breaking twice in the final set to complete an astonishing comeback and leave seventh seed Sinner shellshocked.

Second seed Zverev earlier marched into his fifth tour-level championship match of the season with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz.

Zverev, who this week secured a 50th tour-level win of the season and a 300th of his career, needed only 68 minutes to knock Alcaraz out.

The German said: "I finally found my rhythm from the baseline because I was really struggling.

"I didn't feel the ball well and I spent some time on the court after the match yesterday and warmed up for an hour and a half before the match today and I finally got it."

Marin Cilic and Taylor Fritz will do battle in the St Petersburg Open final following contrasting wins over Botic Van de Zandschulp and Jan-Lennard Struff respectively.

Cilic did not face a break point in a 6-3 6-3 victory over Dutchman van de Zandschulp, while fought back to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff 5-7 6-1 6-3.

Top seed Andrey Rublev crashed out of the St Petersburg Open after a straight-sets defeat by Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals.

A recent US Open quarter-finalist, world number 69 Van de Zandschlup claimed the first top-10 win of his career on Friday.

The 26-year-old also advanced to the semi-finals of an ATP event for the first time.

There, he will face 2011 champion Marin Cilic, who was a 6-4 3-6 6-3 winner over third seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Denis Shapovalov was another big-name casualty in Russia, the second seed going down 4-6 3-6 against world number 53 Jan-Lennard Struff.

Although, there were better fortunes for fifth seed Taylor Fritz. The Indian Wells semi-finalist is yet to drop a set this week after prevailing 6-4 6-2 against John Millman.

Elsewhere, Matteo Berrettini was the victim of another upset at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The Wimbledon champion went down 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (5-7) following a two-hour 40-minute battle with Carlos Alcaraz.

Reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final, the Spanish teenager claimed another big scalp having defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas at Flushing Meadows last month.

However, second seed Alexander Zverev remained on course for a fifth title of the season, as he claimed his 300th tour-level win.

The Australian Open finalist beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 3-6 6-3, avenging his fourth-round defeat by the Canadian at Wimbledon in July.

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