ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic dispatches Matteo Berrettini to kick-off in style

Jose Verdugo
Noviembre 11, 2019

On the verge of an nearly flawless performance against Matteo Berrettini at the ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic still found a reason to berate himself.

The Austrian is now the leader of the Bjorn Borg Group, together with Novak Djokovic who dismantled Matteo Berrettini in the first match of the day, hoping to reach the semi-final for the first time in his fourth appearance in London. Although the second-ranked Serb, who won four straight titles at the year-end event in London between 2012-15, only needed to hit a total of 10 winners in the match as Berrettini's 28 unforced errors handed him an easy victory to start round-robin play.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his group stage match against Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

Berrettini was making his debut at the event for world's top eight players and had never faced Djokovic before.

"He missed a relatively easy forehand for him that gave me a break (in the first set)", Djokovic said. Roger got broken at love in the 11th game following a deep return from Thiem who fended off a couple of break chances with good first serves in the next game to convert the second match point with a service victor that carried him over the top. Both players served well in the next six games to stay locked up at 5-5 before Dominic grabbed another break when Federer sent a backhand long, closing the set when the Swiss placed a backhand wide in the next game for a 7-5 in 43 minutes.

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"I've been enjoying the conditions here for many years", he added.

Djokovic must reach the final at the O2 Arena to stand any chance of dislodging Nadal but there are major questions over the Spaniard's fitness.

Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Zverev are in the Andre Agassi group.

The 32-year-old Djokovic began the match 640 points behind Rafael Nadal in the race to end the year on top of the rankings, but victory chipped that advantage down to 440.

Nadal begins his campaign on Monday against defending champion Zverev.

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