Djokovic romps to victory in ATP Finals opener

Novak Djokovic on battling for year-end No. 1 spot

The six-time champion was in action in the evening match after Novak Djokovic had swatted aside debutant Matteo Berrettini in the earlier Group Bjorn Borg contest in London.

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

Leading 4-0 in the second set on Sunday, Djokovic hit a backhand wide to concede a break to the Italian - the only blip in an otherwise dominant 6-2, 6-1 victory - and then angrily turned toward his player's box and shouted out his frustration.

"It feels great to be back in London", Djokovic said after his win. "But I guess that's me, you know".

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.

If the Serbian does claim the year-end number one spot, he would match the record of Pete Sampras and victory at the end-of-season event would equal Federer's mark.

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.

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"When I said that I was kind of trying to transform the chanting into "Novak, Novak" when I heard "Roger", that's really what I try to do", he said. "He's got big weapons with his serve and forehand but I managed to play really solid". He also said he struggled a bit with the speed of the indoor hard court at the O2.

Roger Federer plays Dominic Thiem in the same group later on Sunday as the season-ending championships. The top seed said he had only started practising his serving on Thursday and it had been 'very slow.

Spaniard Nadal, who has concerns over an abdominal injury sustained at the Paris Masters, plays his first group match on Monday against defending champion Alexander Zverev.

Thiem served out the set with great composure and both players had a packed crowd purring as they showed their athleticism with classy winners at the net early in the second.

Djokovic has a chance to overtake Nadal for the year-end No. 1 ranking with a strong showing in London.

The 32-year-old Djokovic began the match 640 points behind Rafael Nadal in the race to end the year on top of the rankings, but victory chipped that advantage down to 440.

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