Djokovic defends Zverev after Finals controversy

Kristopher Nichols
November 21, 2018

He collapsed to the ground and hid his wet eyes after producing the most important victory of his career.

After pulling off one of the biggest wins of his career, Alexander Zverev was left apologizing for an unforced error he didn't make.

It was the 6-foot-8-inch beanpole's best season to date and he ends the year No 6 on the ATP rankings - the highest-ever year-end finish for a South African man since the computer rankings began 45 years ago.

"He's an honest guy and has a really good relationship with players and Roger, so he didn't deserve to get booed, but I understand from a crowd's perspective that it all looked quite odd to happen at that point". "How I played today, how I won it, for me, it is just fantastic", Zverev said after the victory. Both of his parents are former tennis players with Alexander Sr qualifying for the first round of the 1985 Australian Open and Wimbledon the following year, losing on both occasions.

Djokovic moved effortlessly around the court, and while Anderson has clearly played better matches over the year, it's churlish to castigate him for a sub-standard percentage of first serves, if only because Djokovic was as adept at returning the first serve as he was the second.

Zverev then puts the trophy back on the stand and jokes: "I am going to cramp in a second!"

"We [Djokovic and Zverev] had so many talks, not only about tennis but all different types of subjects - I won't mention what - but you are a sharing person and you have shared some titles with me".

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"I want to apologise for the situation in the tie-break", Zverev told the crowd.

He is also the first 21 year-old victor since Djokovic in 2008, and we all know what happened after that for the Serb, becoming part of the great triumvirate. "And he's returning well, which definitely makes life hard, but that's why he's one of the best players of all time". "But Sascha, even though he's a leader of new generation, still kind of considered a young player, he's an established player". You are still quite young but you have had an unbelievable career so far and I wish you all the best for your future. I hope he doesn't have a sleepless night. Thank you for supporting tennis for 11 months in a year.

"Last but not least, you fans have made this tournament very special for all of us".

Alexander Zverev was thrilled to win the "biggest title" of his young career against Novak Djokovic and joked the Serb let him win!

The Croatian, however, was unable to maintain his level in the second set, dropping serve twice as Djokovic pulled away to win the last four games of the match. For him, it was the first defeat at the tournament in London.

This time the world number five didn't let it slip away, and showed no signs of nerves as he held on to complete a memorable 6-4 6-3 victory, sealing it with a fine backhand victor and collapsing to the ground in delight.

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