DSerbia’s tennis world number one Novak Djokovic reached the semi-finals alongside local Italian hero at the ATP Finals in Turin thanks to help from Jannik Sinner. Sinner beat Boris Becker’s Danish protégé Holger Rune 6:2, 5:7, 6:4.
This meant that Djokovic’s battle for a place in the semi-finals had ended with a happy ending after his previous 7:6 (7:1), 4:6, 6:1 against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz. If Rune had defeated Sinner, the six-time Balkan final winner would have been eliminated.
With Djokovic losing a set to Hurkacz, Sinner had already become the first Italian to reach the semi-finals of the annual season’s top eight final before his duel with Rune. Freed from any pressure, the South Tyrolean initially built on his strong performance two days earlier in group play against Djokovic in the group final. But when Rune, whose coach Becker had previously sat in the penalty area with Djokovic, was injured, the local crowd favorite was temporarily out of action but returned to play in the deciding set.
Zverev should be shaking too
En route to his second green group victory over Hurkacz, who replaced the injured Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece), Djokovic initially had problems with his opponent’s serve but maintained his composure in the tiebreaker. Having won the first set, the Grand Slam record holder put his sporting success in Sinner’s hands early, losing the second set before “The Joker” was still fighting for his twelfth appearance in the best round, winning the match. Was able to make four at the end of the year tournament.
Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, who won the tournament in 2018 and 2021, will no longer be able to reach the semi-finals, like Djokovic, alone. Hamburger is being challenged after a win and a loss on Friday night to Russian Andrey Rublev, and on top of his own win, to have a shot at reaching the semi-finals.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
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