Alexander Zverev beats Hubert Hurkacz to set up Novak Djokovic showdown

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Alexander Zverev booked a semi-final date against Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals with victory over Hubert Hurkacz.

Third seed Zverev bounced back from his narrow loss to Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday with a 6-2 6-4 success against Pole Hurkacz, who has lost all three matches on his debut.

Saturday’s clash will be a fifth of the season between Zverev and Djokovic, all on hard courts, with the world number one winning at the Australian Open, US Open and ATP Cup but Zverev claiming a huge victory at the Olympics.

The German said: “We played basically every single big event this year on hard court against each other. We played at the Australian Open, we played at the Olympics, and we played at the US Open, so it’s only right that we play each other here as well.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s always interesting. It’s always close when we play each other, so I’m looking forward to hopefully another tough one.”

After a promising display in defeat to Medvedev in his first match, Hurkacz was well beaten by alternate Jannik Sinner two days ago and was all at sea in the opening set here.

Hubert Hurkacz lost all three matches at the ATP Finals
Hubert Hurkacz lost all three matches at the ATP Finals (Luca Bruno/AP)

The seventh seed won just two points in the opening four games and, although he improved in the second set, he could not build on some promising moments and dropped serve in the ninth game.

It has nevertheless been an excellent season for Hurkacz, who won his first Masters title in Miami and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Zverev’s victory meant Thursday evening’s clash between Medvedev and Sinner was a dead rubber, but that did not stop it becoming one of the matches of the tournament.

Medvedev, who will take on either Casper Ruud or Andrey Rublev on Saturday, had already won the group and was flawless in the first set, but Sinner fought back superbly and held two match points in the deciding tie-break only for Medvedev to triumph 6-0 6-7 (5) 7-6 (8).

Sinner, 20, looked devastated to lose, but he has shown more than enough in his two matches since replacing injured countryman Matteo Berrettini to indicate this could be the first of many appearances.

Fellow alternate Cameron Norrie was eliminated after losing his first match against Ruud on Wednesday but he still has a contest to play against Green Group winner Djokovic.

Cameron Norrie is looking forward to taking on Novak Djokovic
Cameron Norrie is looking forward to taking on Novak Djokovic (Luca Bruno/AP)

And the British number one is determined to make the most of the occasion, saying: “I can’t wait. I have never played Novak before, never practised with him. So it’s a first for me, and I’m not sure if I played a world number one before. I’m looking forward to it.

“He’s playing great. He’s firing. Really feeling the ball well. He’s really good in these conditions. It’s quite quick, the court. A little bit of altitude.

“It’s going to be difficult but I’m looking forward to it and another test for me. I’m going to go out and see if I belong and can compete with a guy like that.”

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