Novak Djokovic delivered a masterclass to beat Carlos Alcaraz within the newest instalment of their burgeoning rivalry to achieve the ATP Finals showpiece.
The Serb will intention for a report seventh title on Sunday after a 6-3 6-2 win put him via to face Italian Jannik Sinner in Turin.
Sinner turned the primary Italian to make the season-ending ultimate with a 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 win over Daniil Medvedev.
In doubles, Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram reached the ultimate.
The defending champions beat French-Mexican pair Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Santiago Gonzalez 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 10-7, and can face Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers of Spain for the title on Sunday.
Djokovic at his finest towards Alcaraz
In a blockbuster encounter between the 2 gamers who’ve dominated the tour this season, Djokovic, 36, was at his ruthless and relentless finest towards his 20-year-old opponent.
He confronted simply two break factors within the first set, in his opening service sport, and delivered beautiful back-to-back volleys on the web adopted by a smash to carry a seven-minute sport for 3-2 – however these had been the one actual instances he confronted stress within the opener.
A free service sport from Alcaraz handed Djokovic a break for 5-3 and the Serb served emphatically out to like.
Djokovic broke early within the second set to tighten his grip on the match however was then at risk of dropping the benefit when the Spaniard had two break factors in an enthralling sixth sport that featured one of the best tennis of the match.
However the 24-time Grand Slam champion saved them each, together with one by delivering an excellent passing shot on the finish of a 23-shot rally, after which went a double break up within the subsequent sport.
He then raced to 40-0 when serving for the match earlier than the uncommon blemish of a double fault, earlier than sealing victory with a smash.
Djokovic has gained three of the season’s Grand Slams, beating Alcaraz within the French Open semi-finals, whereas Alcaraz gained the opposite main by overcoming the Serb within the Wimbledon ultimate.
The pair traded the world primary rating via the season however Djokovic sealed the year-end prime spot earlier this month for a report eighth time, and his efficiency on Saturday underlined why he stays the participant to beat.
However on Sunday he faces a participant who has overwhelmed him very not too long ago, Sinner having ended Djokovic’s 19-match profitable streak on Wednesday with a three-set victory within the round-robin part.
If Djokovic performs at anyplace close to this degree on Sunday, although, the Italian might have to search out one other gear if he’s to repeat that feat.
“This 12 months I wasn’t possibly as sharp within the second and third group matches, significantly, however I feel tonight from the very starting I felt the ball properly,” Djokovic was quoted as saying on the ATP Finals web site.
“I approached the match with the appropriate perspective, the appropriate mentality, and I knew from the very first level it was going to be enormously intense.”
You’ll be able to comply with dwell textual content protection of Sunday’s ultimate (which is not going to begin earlier than 17:00 GMT) on the BBC Sport web site and app.
‘Unimaginable feeling’ as Sinner delights residence crowd
World quantity 4 Sinner’s victory was his third straight success towards Medvedev, having misplaced the earlier six encounters between the pair.
He has been backed by sturdy residence assist all week on the prestigious occasion and shall be hoping for extra of the identical within the ultimate.
“It’s a privilege to have this sort of stress. The group has given me a lot power,” the 22-year-old mentioned.
Sinner held an important service sport early within the first set to make it 1-1, earlier than backing that up with a break and happening to clinch the set.
The second set was a lot tighter as Sinner saved the one break level alternative, solely to lose out within the tie-break when he overhit a forehand.
Medvedev handed Sinner the higher hand within the decider, dropping his serve with a double fault, and the Italian by no means appeared again.
Sinner produced an excellent backhand winner to offer himself three match factors towards the world quantity three, closing the match out on the first try.
“I felt that he was taking part in extra aggressively, particularly within the first set. In some way I made the break and from that time I felt higher,” added Sinner, who has by no means been past the semi-final of a Grand Slam.
“The second set was actually tight, however then he performed an excellent tie-break. Within the third set I simply tried to remain a bit extra aggressive, mixing up my sport somewhat bit.
“It’s an unimaginable feeling as a result of it was a very robust match. I’m completely happy to be within the ultimate.”