Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a forehand return to Spain's Carlos Alcaraz during their singles semifinal tennis match of the ATP World Tour Finals at the Pala Alpitour, in Turin, Italy, Nov 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
TURIN, Italy - World number one Novak Djokovic outclassed Carlos Alcaraz 6-3 6-2 on Saturday to reach his ninth ATP Finals title clash where he will face local favorite Jannik Sinner.
In a rematch of this season's Wimbledon final, the winner of an all-time record 24 men's Grand Slam titles capitalized on the Spaniard's inconsistency to continue his quest for a seventh trophy this year and become the most successful player in 2023.
The world number two squandered double chances to break in the Serb's first service game before Djokovic rebounded by winning four straight points to avoid an early deficit
The 20-year-old Alcaraz, who also has won six titles this season, missed out on becoming the youngest finalist in the season-ending tournament since Pete Sampras in 1991.
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The world number two squandered double chances to break in the Serb's first service game before Djokovic rebounded by winning four straight points to avoid an early deficit.
Alcaraz piled on the pressure early in the match and had more winners, 11 to Djokovic's five, but unforced errors led him to drop his serve before the top seed secured the first set.
The twice Grand Slam winner bounced back early in the second set but then dropped serve before Djokovic took a 3-1 lead.
Alcaraz again missed two chances to break in the sixth game as US Open champion Djokovic grabbed a 4-2 lead and then broke before serving out for victory in one hour 28 minutes.
Djokovic, aiming for a tournament record seventh title, now prepares for Sinner, who beat Daniil Medvedev, and will be out for revenge after losing to the Italian in the group stage.
"I knew it was a high intensity match, we've played four times in the last 18 months," said Djokovic, who now has three wins in five meetings with Alcaraz.
"He is one of the most complete players I've faced. Dynamic, fast, capable of many things on the court. It was important to win in two sets," the 36-year old added.
"I faced a break point at the beginning, then everything changed when I managed to break and I started to feel good. I did everything right from that moment on."
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