After both players won their semifinal matches, top-seeded Novak Djokovic will try to win a record-tying seventh ATP Finals title on Sunday when he squares up against home favorite Jannik Sinner.
In a match between the top two players in the rankings on Saturday night, Djokovic, 36, defeated Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 6-2 in less than 90 minutes. Earlier in the evening, Sinner defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1.
Sinner is the first Italian player to make it to the final of the season-ending tournament for the top eight players, and Djokovic and Federer are currently tied with six titles each.
The 22-year-old Sinner defeated Djokovic earlier this week, and he will face off against the fervent, politically charged audience once more on Saturday, which included the orange-clad “Carota Boys” as well as other supporters. Sinner raised his arms to the jubilant crowd after serving the match out to love against 2020 champion Medvedev, as many fans were chanting his name in between baskets.
At the ATP Finals, Sinner has won all four of his matches, including that thrilling triumph over Djokovic.
Previously, Alcaraz and Djokovic had faced off four times, with each player taking home two victories. In August, Djokovic emerged victorious from their most recent match, which took place in the Wimbledon final, while Alcaraz prevailed in five sets.
After overcoming the need to save two break points in the first game, Djokovic wisely took his chances in the most recent matchup between the two. The drama never reached those heights.
Playing in his first ATP Finals, Alcaraz saved one break point in the eighth game, but Djokovic won handily as he hit a backhand into the net to serve for the set. As expected, he did it out of love, finishing strong.
After winning the first set, Djokovic had won his previous fifteen matches. Alcaraz’s chances of winning were slim to none when his opponent went up a set and a break early in the second set.
In the sixth game, Alcaraz had an opportunity to tie the set, but Djokovic saved two break points, the second of which he executed with a magnificent cross-court forehand that had the crowd roaring with approval. With his arms extended, Djokovic soaked it all up, nodding his head, pumping his fist, and cupping his hand to his ear.
In the following game, Djokovic broke through and duly served to end the match. He’ll try to build on his 6-2 record in matches for the ATP Finals title.
Sinner has already risen to the fourth rank in the rankings, which is the highest ranking for an Italian since Adriano Panatta almost fifty years ago. He broke Panatta’s record by defeating the third-ranked Medvedev and becoming the Italian with the most victories over the top five players (10).
Before last month, Medvedev had defeated Sinner in all six of their meetings; however, the Italian player had broken that run with victories in the Beijing and Vienna finals.
After saving a previous break point, Sinner managed to take the only break in the opening set, but as the match went on, Medvedev seemed to get stronger.
When Sinner hit a forehand long on the second of three set points, Medvedev easily won the second set tiebreaker and leveled the match.
Before the decisive set, there was a long wait as Medvedev received treatment off the court. However, Sinner remained focused throughout the break and broke his opponent’s serve in the second game after an uncommon double-fault from the Russian.
Medvedev looked nervous, and a few moments later, he lost an exciting rally, threw his racket at the boards, and then became agitated with the spectators as the jeers grew louder.
While Sinner dominated the decider and broke once more in the sixth game before serving out the victory, Medvedev was able to contain his emotions.