Nole is one win from a record seventh Nitto ATP Finals crown.

The top four players in the ATP Rankings were in action in two semi-final clashes on Saturday at the Nitto ATP Finals.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic met his biggest rival of the 2023 season, Carlos Alcaraz, in the evening session at the Pala Alpitour. The 36-year-old Serbian star delivered an impressive display to defeat the 20-year-old Spaniard 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 27 minutes and book his spot in the title match.

Novak grabbed the initiative taking the first set 6-3, breaking his opponent in the eighth game and serving out to love. The Belgrade native took that momentum into the second set and went on to break Alcaraz twice more, in the third and seventh games.

It was the pair’s first encounter indoors. Nole now leads 3-2 in their ATP H2H series.

“After spending a lot of time on the court in the first three matches, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel tonight,” said Djokovic. “This year I wasn’t maybe as sharp in the second and third group matches, particularly, but I think tonight from the very beginning I felt the ball well. I approached the match with the right attitude, and I knew from the very first point it was going to be greatly intense. He had break points right away, 15/40 in the first game. That’s Carlos. He always brings out his best in these kinds of matches and starts with a lot of high quality tennis and intensity. You’ve got to match that, try to weather the storm, and I did that.”

Match statistics: aces (2-10), double faults (0-1), winners (11-22), unforced errors (8-22), total points won (64-47).

Novak will face home favourite, no.4 seed Jannik Sinner, in the championship match on Sunday at 18:00 CET.

The in-form Italian outplayed third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev in three sets 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1.

Djokovic is chasing his 98th career trophy in singles and a record seventh Nitto ATP Finals title.

He holds a 49-18 W/L record at the season finale and will look to seal his 50th triumph in the final clash.

Photo: AP

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