LONDON (Information) – Novak Djokovic ruthlessly took Matteo Berrettini aside on the ATP Finals on Sunday as he started his quest to reclaim the primary rating by successful his opening group match 6-2 6-1.
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 10, 2019 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after successful his group stage match towards Italy’s Matteo Berrettini Motion Photos through Information/Tony O’Brien
Roger Federer already faces an uphill process to win the title for the primary time since 2011, nevertheless, after being outplayed by impressed Austrian Dominic Thiem, dropping 7-5 7-5.
Thiem had by no means received his opening group match in his three earlier appearances however took full benefit of a unusually sluggish Federer to make a flying begin.
Whereas six-time champion Federer will fancy his probabilities of steadying the ship towards Berrettini on Tuesday, he’ll possible have to beat Djokovic on Thursday to achieve the semi-finals.
Solely as soon as in 16 earlier appearances has Federer not survived the group stage, again in 2008.
Berrettini, the primary Italian to play within the season-ending showpiece since 1978, was given a harsh lesson by 16-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic on the O2 Area.
The 32-year-old Djokovic started the match 640 factors behind Rafael Nadal within the race to finish the 12 months on high of the rankings, however victory chipped that benefit all the way down to 440.
Djokovic should at the very least win two group matches and attain the ultimate to have any probability of matching Pete Sampras’s file of ending six separate years as world primary.
Spaniard Nadal, who has issues over an belly harm sustained on the Paris Masters, performs his first group match on Monday towards defending champion Alexander Zverev.
As a gap singles match in a match that includes the world’s finest eight gamers, it was a disappointing spectacle because the 23-year-old Berrettini succumbed all too simply.
The primary 4 video games have been shared however as soon as Djokovic obtained into his metronomic groove he appeared untouchable and the errors started to circulation off his opponent’s racket.
Berrettini snatched at a forehand at 2-Three to reward Djokovic the break and very quickly in any respect he was a set and Four-Zero down.
Djokovic had a momentary lapse to drop serve however was in no temper to hold round as he racked up his 36th win on the occasion.
He did have some sympathy for his opponent although.
“I bear in mind after I performed for the primary time within the ATP Tour Finals in 2007, I misplaced all three matches within the group,” he mentioned.
“I used to be tense. It’s a number of stress mentally, that you must ship your finest, the place for us guys which were taking part in on the highest degree for a few years, we’ve got the expertise.”
The night match was way more entertaining as Thiem, runner-up on the French Open to Nadal in June for a second successive 12 months, took his profession file over Federer to 5-2.
He broke serve within the opening recreation and though Federer hit again impressively Thiem was the extra aggressive participant all through, utilizing his forehand to maintain Federer on the again foot.
Federer buckled below stress at 5-5 within the opener and Thiem confidently held within the subsequent recreation.
It felt like Federer was simply hanging on within the second however he provided up three break factors at 5-5 with a volley error.
Serving for the match, Thiem missed one match level and needed to save a break level as Federer dug in however he made no mistake on the second time of asking, pummelling away a forehand to seal a 3rd win over Federer this 12 months.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, modifying by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis