Novak Djokovic moved closer to an eighth appearance in the last four of the ATP Finals with a commanding 6-4 6-1 victory over third seed Alexander Zverev at the O2 Arena in London.
Five-time champion Djokovic opened his campaign with a straight-sets win over the powerful John Isner and he consolidated his place at the top of Group Guga Kuerten with an unwavering triumph against Zverev.
The world number one’s place in the semi-finals will be secured if Isner overcomes Marin Cilic or the Croatian wins in three sets later on Wednesday.
Djokovic said before the match he expected Zverev to play at a higher level than their previous meeting – a 6-2 6-1 win that only took an hour and saw the Serbian break four times without facing a break point himself.
While Zverev did provide a far greater test in the opening set, the 21-year-old was unable to keep his head in the match after falling behind and made copious unforced errors as Djokovic charged on to a commanding victory.
That’s why he’s No. 1 @DjokerNole turns it on vs. Zverev, 6-4, 6-1, cruises to – start at the #NittoATPFinals#ATP pic.twitter.com/NwdPrMyutq
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 14, 2018
Neither player gave anything away in the opening stages and it was not until the ninth game that either was able to engineer a break point, Zverev having benefited from a net cord that sent his forehand looping over Djokovic.
The German was unable to take his two chances to move in front as Djokovic held on, and the top seed was ahead when, on his third set point, the German frustratingly double faulted after his excellent start.
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.
A wayward shot from the German went long and gave Djokovic two break points, before a botched backhand put the 31-year-old 3-1 up.
Zverev’s poor volley at the net enabled Djokovic to take the first of three break points in game six and victory was complete after a long forehand from the world number five.
Djokovic  bt Zverev  6-4 6-1
Djokovic – 11/13
Zverev – 20/33
Djokovic – 1/3
Zverev – 9/2
BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 3/5
Zverev – 0/2
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic – 61
Zverev – 60
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic – 75/70
Zverev – 66/35
Djokovic – 61
Zverev – 41