Zverev inflicts more ATP Finals pain on Cilic

Heather Diaz
November 15, 2018

Djokovic said: 'The match was great.

Djokovic's passage to an eighth semifinal at the season-ending tournament was confirmed when Marin Cilic beat John Isner 6-7 (2), 6-3 6-4 in the late match. "I had three breaks of serve of John which is sometimes mission impossible, but I managed to be at the right place at the right time".

"I think I'll take it as a normal quarter-final match at a normal tournament", said the German, who beat Croatia's Cilic in his opening match on Monday. Djokovic continued to dominate on his serve and immediately pushed for another break, eventually finding the breakthrough in the fourth game to lead 3-1.

"The court is hard", said Zverev. "But he still played like he felt at his absolute best".

Zverev's earlier win over Cilic in the round-robin means both those players still have a chance of reaching the semifinals for the first time.

Errors were starting to creep into Zverev's game and his first serve percentage began to fall as Djokovic increased the pressure at 5-4. Djokovic saved it with a service victor but then double-faulted to give the 21-year-old another opportunity.

In stark contrast to second seed Roger Federer, Djokovic hit just six unforced errors and won 86% of points on his serve.

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Zverev saved a pair of set points with an overhead smash and a bullet serve, but Djokovic wouldn't back down and a double-fault from the German finally surrendered the set.

He double-faulted to concede the set and despite hanging on to level at 1-1 in the second, his resistance crumbled quickly as Djokovic reeled off the last five games.

Victory in London would cap a remarkable season for Djokovic, who has already secured the year-end No. 1 ranking after dropping as low as No. 22 in June. Five-time ATP Finals champion Djokovic has been magnificent so far this week at The O2 Arena, beating American John Isner and world No.

The Croatian fifth seed had lost nine of his previous 10 matches at the Finals, and he looked in danger of another letdown when he dropped the first set against Isner. "I was playing great tennis towards the end", Cilic said.

Isner said it had been "very very difficult" to focus on the match after learning of the death of his close friend and former strength coach Kyle Morgan.

Speaking about the court conditions, he said: "It takes a little bit of time really to get yourself adjusted to the surface.it takes a lot of rotation, takes a lot of spins".

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