London, Nov 17 (IANS) Alexander Zverev defeated John Isner 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 and became the first German player to reach the last four of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Finals since 2003.
Zverev, at 21 years and seven months, also became the youngest semi-finalist at tennis’ elite season-ending event (played under different names and at numerous venues in recent decades) since Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro reached the last four in 2009 at 21 years and two months, reports Efe news.
The fifth-ranked German needed just 81 minutes on Friday evening to earn his second win, having defeated Croatia’s Marin Cilic in his opening round-robin match and lost to Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
The German player relied on his powerful serve against the 2.08-meter (6 feet-10) American, who is not a strong mover and rarely earns service breaks.
Isner, who booked a place in the tournament due to an injury to Spanish world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, had a set point in the 12th game on the lone break point he created during the match.
But Zverev served his way out of trouble with a timely ace and forced a tie-breaker.
The players traded mini-breaks in the tie-break, but Zverev eventually came out on top when Isner misfired on a forehand on the 12th point.
By winning that first set, he also secured a maiden berth in the final four of an ATP Finals.
Zverev then earned the lone service break of the match with Isner serving at 3-4 in the second set and clinched the victory a game later.