Published: Wed, November 21, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Zverev's ATP Finals win vs. Federer tainted by ball boy flub

Zverev's ATP Finals win vs. Federer tainted by ball boy flub

Alexander Zverev of Germany kisses the trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia, right, in their ATP World Tour Finals singles final in London. I knew I had to take care of my service games, because he's serving really well. Three straight aces brought up three set points, the second of which he took when Djokovic sent another forehand long.

At Wimbledon, there was also the highlight of beating Federer 13-11 in the final set of an epic quarter-final, as well as the historic semi-final win over America's John Isner. "It is the biggest title I have ever won".

The world number one had played an nearly ideal match against Kevin Anderson on Saturday, but after his serve was broken three times in a row, his belief drained.

Eight-time major champion Lendl and Zverev have been working together since August.

"I lost my serve once against him today", Zverev said.

'I'm here now. So I'm a little bit disappointed there because I believe I was close.

"Sampras once upon a time said, if you win a slam, it's a good season", Federer told reporters.

Rather then being able to celebrate becoming the first German since Boris Becker in 1996 to reach the final of a tournament often dubbed "the fifth slam", he was shamefully booed and heckled during his post-match speech. The Swiss veteran eventually faltered in the 12th game of the opening set, watching helplessly as Zverev zipped a magnificent passing shot past him down the line on his way to breaking to love.

Novak Djokovic

Zverev's straight-sets victory at the weekend levelled their head-to-head record at 3-3, while he also has a 50 per cent success rate against Djokovic with two wins from their four meetings.

"Definitely the plan is to play again next year, and come up with a good schedule that suits my family, suits (my wife) Mirka", he said.

"There's a lot of similarities in terms of trajectory of professional tennis in our careers", added Djokovic.

"I felt bad for Zverev because you could see that he didn't deserve to be booed".

When Djokovic and Zverev had met in the group phase in London, the Serbian secured a dominant 6-4 6-1 win.

With both players going toe-to-toe from the back of the court, the first set went with serve until the ninth game, when Djokovic dumped a forehand into the net to concede the break. He's still quite young but he's had an wonderful career so far and I wish him all the best for his future. I mean, I have to be happy with that result.

Zverev faces a monumental task against the relentless Djokovic, who he lost to 6-4 6-1 in the round-robin stage, but he will surely have a fairer audience than against Federer.

"Overall, I'm happy how the season went", said Federer, who picked up his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. If we put things in perspective, it was an fantastic year, a great comeback so thanks for helping me get to where I am.

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