Zverev makes Finals last four after seeing off Hurkacz
ermany's Alexander Zverev celebrates after defeating Poland's Hubert Hurkacz during their first round singles match of the ATP Finals at the Pala Alpitour venue
World number three Zverev claimed a spot in the semis behind already-qualified Daniil Medvedev in just over an hour and will face Djokovic on Saturday for a place in the final in Turin.
The 24-year-old hit 22 winners and made only eight unforced errors compared to 20 by Hurkacz, who had an uphill battle to win after a dreadful opening set.
Zverev's victory means that Thursday evening's match between Medvedev and local hope Jannik Sinner is now a dead rubber with the Italian alternate denied a chance to make it out of the Red Group.
"It wasn't easy mentally because I knew I had to win in order to go to the semi-finals... I'm happy to be through in straight sets," Zverev said.
Zverev looked set to qualify in short order after sweeping to the first set in just 26 minutes with a dominating display of tennis.
However Hurkacz unloaded his powerful serve to put the breaks on his opponent, rattling off 10 aces in the second set to grab a foothold in the match until finally losing his serve in game nine to leave Zverev with his chance to strike.
He made no mistake by winning his serve and ensuring a clash with Djokovic at the weekend.