Djokovic eases past Berrettini in ATP Finals opener

Rafael Nadal Year-end No. 1 finish wasn't one of my goals for this season

Thiem joined Novak Djokovic as the victor on the day after the Serb earlier on Sunday crushed tournament debutant Matteo Berrettini.

Matteo Berrettini has had an outstanding season as he has managed to establish himself as an elite player on the ATP tour.

"It feels great to be back in London", Djokovic, who won Wimbledon this year by beating Roger Federer in an epic final, said on court. Considering his current form, I am predicting that Novak Djokovic wins this match in straight sets.

It was certainly the same Djokovic that the O2 Arena crowd has become used to seeing.

Nadal, who has never won the event, is bidding to clinch the year-end number one spot in the ATP rankings for a fifth time.

Berrettini's forehand was responsible for 18 of those errors, including two shots into the net to hand Djokovic the only two breaks of the first set.

Djokovic, four times a victor of the title since the tournament moved to London in 2009, had never played Berrettini before but quickly got to grips with the aggressive style of the 23-year-old Italian.

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Leading 4-0 in the second set, Djokovic hit a backhand wide to concede a break to the Italian, and then angrily turned toward his player's box and shouted out his frustration.

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.

The season-ending tournament, featuring the year's best eight players, is contested in a round-robin format with the best four players and doubles teams reaching the knockout semi-finals stage.

"But, yeah, I've got to recover, I've got make sure I play better than today, and hopefully I can win that match". "I think it's better when I have a little bit more time and the ball takes more spin".

"It's overwhelming to enter this arena and we had a good and close match".

They will be divided into the Group Andre Agassi where there will be Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, and in the Group Björn Borg, where there will be Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini.

Nadal begins his campaign on Monday against defending champion Zverev. He trails the Spaniard by 640 ranking points, with a maximum of 1,500 points up for grabs.

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