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"Alexander Zverev's game can hurt Novak Djokovic" - Coach David Ferrer

Alexander Zverev (L) and Novak Djokovic
Alexander Zverev (L) and Novak Djokovic
ANALYST
Modified 19 Nov 2020, 16:06 IST
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After Novak Djokovic’s shock defeat to Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, his final round-robin match against Alexander Zverev has turned into a virtual quarterfinal. The winner of that match will secure the second and final spot in the semis from that group, with Medvedev having already cemented the top spot.

In that context, Alexander Zverev’s coach David Ferrer recently gave his thoughts on Friday’s match. The Spaniard asserted that his ward is more than capable of beating Novak Djokovic and securing his place in the last four.

While speaking to El Transistor, Ferrer claimed that the World No. 1 could be given a difficult time by Zverev's game - which is custom-made for indoor conditions. But Ferrer, who knows a thing or two about playing Novak Djokovic given that he faced the Serb 21 times during his career, admitted that the match wouldn’t be easy.

"Zverev's game can hurt Djokovic,” Ferrer said. "It will be very difficult to beat him, he is playing very well and we are going to have a tough game. Of course we can beat him but for that we have to do the best tennis."

Novak Djokovic will have to stare down Alexander Zverev's mammoth serve and expansive groundstrokes on Friday, but at the same time could benefit from the German's inconsistency. Zverev is often his greatest enemy, with a marked propensity to make double faults and forehand errors when put under pressure.

David Ferrer voiced a note of caution about that, and stressed that the result of the match would ultimately come down to whether Zverev can maintain his composure.

"The coach helps but the one who makes the decisions, the one who is on the court and decides and plays and wins is the player,” Ferrer added.

Novak Djokovic’s projected path to the final of the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
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Losing to Daniil Medvedev has not only put a question mark next to Novak Djokovic’s qualification for the semis, but has also made his path to the title a whole lot trickier.

As things stand, Novak Djokovic is slated to lock horns with Alexander Zverev on Friday in a virtual quarterfinal. With tournament survival at stake for both players, we can expect Alexander Zverev to throw the kitchen sink at Novak Djokovic, especially since the German is the underdog in the match-up.

Should the Serb survive his tussle against Zverev, he will face Dominic Thiem in the semis on Saturday. Given that the Austrian is in blistering form, Djokovic will likely have to play out of his skin to make the final.

If he reaches the title match on Sunday, the World No. 1 could face one of Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal or Stefanos Tsitsipas, none of whom would be easy opponents.

All things considered, Djokovic has his task cut out if he wants to win a record-equaling sixth ATP Finals title.

Published 19 Nov 2020, 16:06 IST
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