Third seed Zverev, who won the title in 2018, was rarely troubled by an off-colour Hurkacz as he registered a comprehensive 6-2 6-4 win. The 24-year old played aggressively and consistently, hitting 22 winners and committing just eight unforced errors to secure victory after 62 minutes.
"Today was a tough match mentally because I needed to win, so I was hundred per cent focused," Zverev said.
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"It was very up and down, and I am happy to be through and win in straight sets. You can always improve. The margins are always very small between the top players, but to win you have to do the details right. I hope I can do that on Saturday," he added.
The German will face World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Saturday after the Serbian secured top spot in Green Group with victories over Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev.
"I have played Novak in every single big hard-court tournament this year. We are making a habit of playing in the later rounds at big tournaments. It is going to be an entertaining one I think," said Zverev.
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It is the third time the World No 3 has advanced to the last four at the season finale. He is making his fifth appearance at the ATP Finals and arrived in Turin in strong form.
Zverev captured the Tokyo Olympics gold medal and clinched his second ATP Masters 1000 crown of the season in Cincinnati in August. Zverev then triumphed in Vienna in October and has now won 30 of his past 34 matches. .