Published: Mon, November 11, 2019
Sport | By

Djokovic breezes past Berrenttini in hunt at ATP Finals

Djokovic breezes past Berrenttini in hunt at ATP Finals

He has often struggled with injuries towards the end of the season - missing the ATP Finals previous year through injury and pulling out after just one match in 2017.

Berrettini, who is the first Italian to qualify for the season-ending event since 1978, could do nothing to best the 16-time Grand Slam victor who fully controlled the rhythm of the game.

The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam victor recovered quickly from being broken in the first game of the match but the Austrian fifth seed repeated the dose in the 11th game and took the opening set 7-5.

Thiem, beaten by Federer in the group stage past year, upped the power in the second set to keep Federer under pressure and unable to dictate and pounced again to break at 5-5.

In the first match of this year's season finale, Djokovic - who is aiming to oust Rafael Nadal as world number one after he was dethroned by the Spaniard earlier this week - made a statement of intent in the Bjorn Borg group.

World number two Djokovic can overtake Nadal to become year-end number one this week in London but must reach the final to stand a chance.

Novak Djokovic ruthlessly took Matteo Berrettini apart at the ATP Finals on Sunday as he began his quest to reclaim the number one ranking by winning his opening group match 6-2 6-1.

The 26-year-old, who dumped his first match point into the net but converted at the second attempt, said: "It was a great performance, my first opening win here at the Finals".

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.

Nadal said, "Obviously, I would like to end the year as a No. 1 player, but that is not my personal goal".

The eighth seed went toe to toe with Djokovic at the start of the match but the Serbian set off on a run of eight straight games to lead 4-0 in the second set.

"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".

Nadal has never won the ATP Finals but is hoping for a positive result which would help him seal the year-end No.1 position.

Nadal, in Group Andre Agassi, begins his campaign on Monday against defending champion Zverev.

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