Djokovic Tested In ATP World Tour Finals Opener

Novak Djokovic (photo: ATP World Tour Finals)

LONDON, November 13, 2016

The 2016 season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals kicked off on Sunday, headlined by eight players from as many countries. This is the first time since the 1974 Masters in Melbourne the year-end championship features eight players from eight different countries.

New World No. 1 Andy Murray is trying to finish the season as the top player in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time while reigning four-time champion Novak Djokovic is attempting to regain the top spot and end the year No. 1 for the third season in a row and fifth in six years. This is the eighth year the season finale is being held at The O2 and this will be the third time in the past four years the year-end No. 1 player will be determined in London.

The 29-year-old from Serbia gained his first win in the opening match of the Ivan Lendl Group, fighting past eighth seed Dominic Thiem, a first-time qualifier, 6-7, 6-0, 6-2, in the pair’s fourth meeting. Djokovic saved the only break point he faced, converting five of his own to prevail in two hours and two minutes.

“Even though I lost the first set, I thought I didn’t do too many things wrong. It was just the very high quality of his game that prevailed in the first set,” said Djokovic. “I started swinging more freely in the second set. He started making more errors, which I used. I was on top of his second serves, putting a lot of pressure. I thought I played very well in the second set especially, but the third as well.”

Raonic With Winning Start Against Monfils

In Sunday’s evening session, Milos Raonic, who has returned to London’s O2 for the second time in three years, defeated Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4. The 25-year-old from Canada fired 12 aces and didn’t face a break point to seal victory in one hour and 25 minutes.

Monday’s schedule of play contains the start of the Group John McEnroe, when third seed Stan Wawrinka takes on Kei Nishikori of Japan and world No. 1 Andy Murray opens his campaign against Marin Cilic from Croatia.