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ATP Italian Open: Novak Djokovic Vs Alexander Zverev

Novak Djokovic smacking a forehand

Novak Djokovic swept past Dominic Thiem to play for his fifth title at Rome on Sunday against the “rapidly rising” star Alexander Zverev.

Novak Djokovic celebrates victory

On Saturday, Djokovic dispatched off Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 in their quarter-final match which got suspended on Friday due to rain when Djokovic was leading 6-1, 1-2. About seven hours later, he emerged victorious against Austrian Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals 6-1, 6-0.

Djokovic described his performance on Saturday as the “best performance of this year and maybe even longer.”

Djokovic, who will be celebrating his 30th birthday on Monday, reached his first final since January 2017 when he won the Doha Title. But he has been struggling for form ever since then as he dropped his entire coaching team.

This will be the eighth final in Rome for the Serb, where he has won in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015.

On Sunday, he will be up against Zverev, who is the youngest (20) finalist at Rome since 2006 when Rafael Nadal (19) won the title and also the youngest ATP Masters 1000 finalist since 2007 when Djokovic (19) won in Miami.

Alexander ZverevIn addition to this, Alexander “Sascha” Zverev is the first German player to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final since 2008 when Nicolas Kiefer reached the Toronto final and the first German to reach the finals in Rome since 2002 when Tommy Haas reached the final but eventually lost to Andre Agassi.

Speaking of Zverev, he beat American John Isner 6-4, 6-7, (5), 6-1 in the semi-final where he won not only won most of the longest rallies but also made incredible drop shots and showed off “all-court” games. He struck 12 aces in comparison to Isner’s 8 to earn his victory.

Zverev will climb up to his career high ranking of World No.14 as he reached the final but would surely break into the Top 10 if he wins the title.

Although Djokovic and Zverev has never faced off against each other, the Serb will leave no stones unturned to win his first title since Doha while Zverev will try and add Djokovic to the list of top men that he has beaten alongside Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.

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