Novak Djokovic: Rival team events bad for tennis

Novak Djokovic I'm glad to be back I've missed playing at The O2 Arena

Djokovic displayed his typically brilliant defence to keep points alive, with his flexibility leading to his interviewer Annabel Croft calling him Mr Bendy.

It was the first singles match of this year's event to go to a deciding set.

The 31-year-old defeated Zverev 6-4, 6-1 in a clash that lasted 76 minutes.

The only result from Wednesday's late match that can prevent Djokovic from advancing would be a straight-set victory for Marin Cilic over John Isner.

It was a close contest, with both players delivering a ideal performance, but Zverev edged the 1st set 7-6.

'Unfortunately today hasn't been great in terms of that.

"Maybe he was a little bit sick or something like that, " Zverev said.

World No1 and top seed Novak Djokovic was looking as dominant as he had since June-32 wins from 34 matches-in beating John Isner, and was, understandably, the favourite to win his sixth title at the season's grand finale. "Hopefully I still give myself the best chance to be in the semifinals".

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"Obviously I had chances in the first set", said the 21-year-old world number five.

Zverev then made a spate of errors in the next game to bring up set point for Djokovic, and double-faulted to hand the Serb the lead.

In the second set, Djokovic broke for a 3-1 lead and then lost just one more point as he remained on track to equal Roger Federer's six titles at the tournament.

Despite requiring a tissue to blow his nose between points, Djokovic beat Zverev 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday to close in on a spot in the semifinals at the season-ending tournament.

Djokovic saved the first with heavy serve but then double-faulted, offering Zverev another glimpse.

"If I made the break, it goes the other direction a little bit, " Zverev said.

Although Zverev showed great character to hold on to his first service game in the second set, it proved to be the last one he would win during the match. His friend, Kyle Morgan, a former National Football League player who had worked the American player, died unexpectedly on Monday night, and Isner posted a moving tribute on Instagram that ended: "You were a friend, the best friend I could ever ask for". Not just an Isner win will carry the Serb to the semi-finals but a Cilic win in three sets would do the same.

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