World No. 1 Novak Djokovic could not reach his top level in Saturday’s semi-final at the Nitto ATP final.
Novak experienced a repeat of last year’s tournament when he was eliminated from the season final in the semi-finals.
Third-seeded Alexander Zverev beat top-seeded and five-time former champion Djokovic in three sets, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, guaranteeing his place in the title race.
Zverev delivered a high quality performance. He won the first set draw to take advantage. Novak fought back and broke into the ninth game of the second set to take the game to a decisive position.
The 2018 Nitto ATP final trophy holder regained his momentum in the third set and broke the Serb in the fourth game to advance after two hours and 29 minutes of play.
“I did not feel tired at all, could have gone a few more hours. Just a bad game, few unforced errors, difficult to get back against the server like that, especially on a surface like this, ” Djokovic said.
Match statistics: ace (15-14), double errors (1-1), total points won (90-98).
The German will play on Sunday against the No. 2 seeded and reigning champion Daniil Medvedev.
The Russian beat 10th seeded Noor Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2 in Saturday’s afternoon session.
Novak will lead next 2010 champions Serbia in the new season finale Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals is held on indoor hard courts at three venues – in Innsbruck (Austria), Madrid (Spain) and Turin (Italy), from 25 November to 5 December.
18 teams will compete in six round robin groups of three teams.
Serbia will play in Group F (Innsbruck) with Austria (26 November, 16:00 CET) and Germany (27 November, 16:00 CET).