Djokovic dispatches Zverev in straight sets, booking Alcaraz rematch at Cincinnati Masters

Novak Djokovic has defeated Alexander Zverev in two tight sets, booking a rematch against Carlos Alcaraz in the Cincinnati Masters final on Sunday

Novak Djokovic Cincinnati Masters 2023 ZUMA / Panoramic

Novak Djokovic has seen off a strong challenge from German Alexander Zverev in the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals on Saturday night, booking a spot in the final against Carlos Alcaraz tomorrow.

With Zverev serving brilliantly, this was a match of fine margins which saw Djokovic prevail in two tight sets 7-6 (5), 7-5. The Serbian is now through to a record-equalling eighth Cincinnati Masters final, drawing level with Roger Federer with the most appearances in the event’s title match.

Tight opening set sees Djokovic require six set points

The first set between Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev went down to the wire, with no breaks of serve across the first 12 games.

Both men came close, with Zverev having a break point in the opening game, and Djokovic failing to capitalise on three set points when the German was serving at 4-5.

With the set ending in a tiebreak, Djokovic played his typical error-free tennis, driving his opponent deep in the court with consistent depth. A 6-3 lead in the tiebreak quickly became 6-5, however, as Zverev’s serve took care of Djokovic’s fourth and fifth set points.

On Djokovic’s sixth set point, and the first on his serve, the 36-year-old made no mistake, sealing the tiebreak 7-5 with a forehand winner.

Djokovic shows class after wobble

Off the back of winning the first set tiebreak, Novak Djokovic drew first blood in the second set, breaking Alexander Zverev in the opening game.

From here, the match remained on serve, with both winning 80 percent of their first serve points across the two hour, four minute contest. Serving for the match at 5-4, however, Djokovic wobbled, playing several uncharacteristically tame shots and making back-to-back unforced error to allow Zverev back into the match.

However, the reprieve was brief for Zverev, with Djokovic showing his class and breaking straight back the next game at 5-5. This time, serving for the match would be no issue for the Serbian—with the exception of some pesky fireworks next door, that agitated Djokovic throughout the game.

Following the 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory, Djokovic praised Zverev’s level, and gave an insight into his own as well:

“He won plenty of games on his serve comfortably today,” said Djokovic of his opponent.

“I think I played well, particularly at 5-all when he broke my serve—I played a very poor game—but I managed to bounce back and seal the deal.

“[I’m] pleased, few things I could have done better, but overall, a straight sets win over a great player.”

Alcaraz vs Djokovic rematch booked for Cincinnati final

With the victory over Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic has set a rematch of last month’s Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz.

The 20-year-old won that match 6-4 in the fifth set to deny Djokovic a record-extending 24th Grand Slam crown, with many wondering what the defeat will mean for the Serbian’s mentality heading into the rest of the year.

“It’s great, it’s amazing for the sport, one and two in the world facing each other again in the finals of a big event,” declared Djokovic in his post-match interview ahead of the Cincinnati final.

“It’s what everyone expected, it’s what everyone wanted, so here we are.”

People in this post

Your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *