Sensational Djokovic dispatches Berrettini to kick-off ATP Finals in style

Carrie Guzman
November 11, 2019

Serbian tennis icon Novak Djokovic confidently began his campaign to reclaim the year-end number one ranking by beating Italian debutant Matteo Berrettini 6-2, 6-1 in the ATP Finals opener.

The first four games were shared on serve but Djokovic seized the opening break when Berrettini missed a routine forehand at 2-3 and quickly took charge.

But the unflappable 16-time Grand Slam champion broke immediately and completed victory with a routine forehand victor off his own serve to take the set 6-1.

Federer and Djokovic, who has won the end-of-season event five times, will meet later in the week in a repeat of this year's Wimbledon final, with two players advancing from the four-man group.

Berrettini claimed a brilliant point in game two of the second set, managing to reach for a low backhand that Djokovic could only skew into the air, providing his opponent with a simple volley.

Djokovic, who is looking for a record-equaling sixth title at the season-ending event, only needed to hit a total of 10 winners in the match as Berrettini's 28 unforced errors handed the Serb an easy victory to start round-robin play.

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Federer fizzed a majestic backhand victor down the line and saved a break point before levelling at 2-2, while Thiem continued to pepper his veteran opponent with powerful, accurate ground strokes.

The Serbian was last week nudged off the top position in the rankings by Rafael Nadal, who is also in the eight-man field in London.

Djokovic, 33, saved two match points on Federer's serve to win his fifth Wimbledon crown despite overwhelming support for the Swiss from the crowd in July.

Earlier in the day Djokovic thrashed Matteo Berrettini 6-2, 6-1 so he will take on Thiem on Tuesday. "Earlier this year I had a great stay in London, and over the years I've played well in this arena".

"It's not easy for Matteo, playing his first tour finals match, I knew he'd be a bit more nervous at the beginning, I tried to use my experience". The 33-year-old said he was happy to be in London after being forced to pull out of last week's Paris Masters at the semi-final stage with an abdominal strain, but admitted he was not serving at full tilt ahead of his opening match against defending champion Alexander Zverev.

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

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