LONDON, November 10, 2019
The 50th edition of the Nitto ATP Finals, which began in Tokyo in 1970, kicked off on Sunday afternoon with top seed Novak Djokovic beating Matteo Berrettini, who is the first Italian player to qualify for the season finale in singles since Corrado Barazzutti in 1978. The World No. 2 from Serbian won 6-2, 6-1.
In the pair’s first meeting, Djokovic was the dominant player right from the beginning. The 31-year-old Serbian hit 10 winners and only produced eight unforced errors to secure his first victory in Group Bjorn Borg in one hour and three minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 10, 2019
“It feels great to be back. Earlier in this year I had a great stay in London at SW19,” Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon champion, said.
“It was not easy for him playing him to play his first ATP Final match. I tried to use my experience and the right tactics to perform well. I was fortunate to get the break midway of the first set and after that I started to read his serve better. I have been enjoying the conditions here for many years. It’s suitable to the style of my game. It’s not easy to play against big servers like Matteo but I have been fortunate to have a good return throughout my career.”
Klaasen/Venus make winning start in doubles
Earlier in the day, Raven Klaasen from South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand opened the doubles competition in Group Jonas Bjorkman with a 6-3, 6-4 win over US-American Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury from Great Britain in only 64 minutes.
“It shard to walk into this arena and not feel a little bit of nerves,” Klaasen said. “To get a good start is key and we focused on that. Fortunately we capitalized on some good shots and kind of settled down in the match.”
Klaasen and Venus captured two ATP 500 titles this season, lifting the trophies at the Noventi Open in Halle and at the Citi Open in Washington.
“We worked all year to get here,” Venus added. “We are really excited to be here and we are looking forward to the next match.”