Novak Djokovic made a strong start at the ATP Finals on Monday as he began his campaign for a record-tying sixth title at the season-ending tournament by beating debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-2.
Schwartzman’s first ever match at the finals went a similar way to fellow debutant Andrey Rublev’s, with the Russian having barely laid a glove on 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal during a straight-sets defeat on Sunday night.
And Schwartzman was equally powerless at the O2 Arena in London, failing to prevent a sixth loss from six matches against the clinical Djokovic en route to his own straight-sets loss.
Djokovic dropped his serve early on at the virtually empty arena, where on Sunday he was presented with the ATP’s end-of-year world No1 award for a record-equalling sixth time.
- Nadal off to flying start at ATP Finals with win over Rublev
- Thiem wins three-set battle against Tsitsipas at ATP Finals
- ATP Finals day two schedule plus TV and radio coverage info
- Djokovic on ‘mixed emotions’ of finishing as year-end world No1
But from that moment on he was immaculate.
The Serb broke back immediately and then pounced again when Schartzman served at 3-4, outmanoeuvring his opponent before pummelling away a forehand winner into the corner.
With no fans in the 18,000 arena to rally to the Argentine’s underdog cause, world No9 Schwartzman – who qualified here in the absence of the injured Roger Federer – never looked capable of turning the opening Group Tokyo 1970 match into a contest.
Djokovic secured two breaks in the second set and clinched victory with minimum fuss.
“I was very happy with the way I played in the second set when I started swinging through the ball,” Djokovic said on court.
“It was close I think until I broke at 4-3. It was tough for Diego, first match in the arena, he maybe wasn’t playing his best in the closing moments of the first set.”
Later on Monday, 2018 champion Alexander Zverev takes on Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Source: Read Full Article