The 21-year-old broke serve once in the opening set and three times in the second to pull off a shock victory in a packed 02 Arena -- denying Serbian Djokovic a record-equalling sixth title at the ATP's blue-riband event.
Djokovic was a firm favourite having looked unbeatable all week, not dropping a set or even a service game, but 24 hours after being booed following a semi-final win over Roger Federer, Zverev had the crowd drooling over an audacious display.
Zverev is the first German to win the title since Boris Becker in Frankfurt in 1995 and the youngest since Djokovic won at the same age in Shanghai in 2008.
Djokovic had beaten Zverev comfortably in the round-robin phase on Wednesday, but he looked edgy.
At 4-4 in the opener a couple of poor Djokovic forehands gave Zverev the chance to serve for the set and he sealed it thanks to three consecutive aces.
With victory looming world number five, Zverev showed no sign of nerves and clinched the title when he sent a backhand winner past a stunned Djomovic.
He collapsed onto his back before Djokovic sportingly walked around to the other side to congratulate him. (Editing by David Evans)
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