ATP finals: Djokovic knocks out Zverev, reaches semifinal

The top-ranked Djokovic set up a match against Dominic Thiem on Saturday as he goes for a record-tying sixth title at the season-ending event.

Novak Djokovic knocked out Alexander Zverev to reach the semifinal of the ATP tournament in the O2 arena.   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic advanced to the semifinals at the ATP Finals and eliminated Alexander Zverev on Friday by beating the German 6-3, 7-6 (4) in an empty O2 Arena.

The top-ranked Djokovic set up a match against Dominic Thiem on Saturday as he goes for a record-tying sixth title at the season-ending event, and a first since 2015.

Rafael Nadal will take on Daniil Medvedev in the other semifinal match.

Bouncing back from a straight-set loss to Medvedev on Wednesday, Djokovic broke Zverev to take a 2-0 lead in the first set when his opponent double-faulted on the second break point.

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Djokovic saved two break points at 4-2 before clinching the set with a backhand down the line as he closed in on the net following a serve out wide.

Zverev posed more problems for Djokovic in the second set, and led 2-0 in the tiebreaker. Djokovic then won five of six points and, on his first match point, sent a deep and penetrating forehand that Zverev could only slice into the net on the stretch.

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Djokovic reached the semifinals of the event for the ninth time.

Medvedev will be going for a third straight group victory when he plays already-eliminated Diego Schwartzman in the late match.

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