ATP World No. 1 Novak Djokovic continued his impressive performance as the best in the game with a straight 6-3, 6-2 victory against Diego Schwartzman at the Nitto ATP Finald in London.
The best eight tennis players converged at the O2 Arena in London for the 2020 Nitto ATP finals and Djokovic proved why he the champion with a winning start.
The Serbian won 65 per cent of his second-serve return points (13/20) to move to 1-0 in Group Tokyo 1970 after one hour and 18 minutes.
He only loss in an opening match at this event came on his tournament debut in Shanghai in 2007 (l. to Ferrer).
The 33-year old showed great consistency in his first tournament appearance since his quarter-final loss to Lorenzo Sonego at last month’s Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
With his sixth win in as many ATP Head2Head matches against Schwartzman, he equalled Andrey Rublev’s Tour-leading total of 40 wins this season.
He spoke with atptour.com in an on-court interview after his Monday victory that there is so much motivation in the tournament.
“Back in 2007, [it] was my debut in Shanghai and I lost all three matches in the group…
” I think the format allows you really, even [if] you lose a match, to still have a chance to qualify for semi-finals,” said Djokovic.
“You have plenty of motivation in terms of points, in terms of financial incentive.
“Every match that you win, you get to win 200 points, which is almost as [much as] winning an ATP 250 event.
“There is plenty of motivation for Diego. I’m sure that he wants to try to play better than he did today.”
“The beginning of the match wasn’t that great for me.
“He broke my serve in the third game and I managed to break [back].
“It was a close encounter until I broke his serve at 4-3 and managed to close out the first set.
”In the second set, I started swinging through the ball a little more [with] a bit less hesitation from both corners.
“I was very pleased with the way I played, especially in the second set.”
Both players will now prepare for their remaining Group Tokyo 1970 matches against Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.