Novak Djokovic produced a superb display to see off Kevin Anderson and set up an ATP Finals meeting with Alexander Zverev
The win also extended Djokovic’s winning run against South African Anderson to eight matches, including the Wimbledon final earlier this year, with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 victory on Saturday night.
Djokovic will now take on German Zverev, who has three Masters series titles under his belt in his short career, and is the youngest finalist at the event since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009, after he shocked Federer in the earlier match.
Djokovic, who has not dropped a single set in his four matches in London, has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in the second half of the season after elbow surgery and indifferent form earlier in the year.
He has lost just two matches since the start of July, winning Wimbledon, the US Open, and Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai along the way and emerging once more as the man to beat as he attempts to pull level with Roger Federer on six ATP Finals titles.
The 31-year-old Serb made his intentions clear from the opening game with a break and he continued to make life difficult for Anderson by squeezing the court and forcing a 17th error from the South African’s racket for a 5-2 lead.
He served out the set in 39 minutes, with an air of inevitability building around a capacity O2 Arena.
Anderson, who became the first African player to reach the semi-finals in the tournament’s history, cut a disconsolate figure when hot favourite for the year-end title Djokovic tightened his grip with an immediate break at the start of the second set.
He secured the double-break for a comfortable 4-1 lead with a crushing forehand and it was all over two games later, closing it out in 75 minutes, as he sealed his spot in Sunday’s finale.
Djokovic admitted after the game, it was the ‘best match’ he has played so far this week
“I think it was the best match I have played so far this week. It came at the right time. Kevin was playing some really good tennis this week. He lost the serve in the first game and that obviously makes a big difference,” said Djokovic.
“He relies a lot on his serve. His first serve percentage was quite low. It wasn’t working and the crucial stat is trying to win as many points as possible on his second serve. I was trying to constantly put pressure on his service games and use my serve accurately. It worked really well.”
Djokovic will next take on Zverev in a repeat of their round-robin match.
The Serb leads the meetings with Zverev 2-1 having beaten the 21-year-old German 6-4 6-1 earlier in the week in their round-robin group match. The Serb also defeated Zverev 6-2 6-1 in Shanghai earlier this year but lost to the young pretender 6-4 6-3 in the Rome Masters final in 2017.