Novak Djokovic makes impressive start at ATP Finals with straight-sets win over Stefanos Tsitsipas

Novak Djokovic started his bid for a record-equalling sixth Nitto ATP Finals win with a straight-sets victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Former world No. 1 Djokovic was tested in a tight second set but came through 6-4 7-6(4) in one hour and 40 minutes to secure his ninth straight win over Tsitsipas.

Djokovic is now top of the Red Group above Andrey Rublev, who upset fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev earlier in the day in Turin.

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Djokovic last won the ATP Finals in 2015 and a sixth victory would move him level with Roger Federer’s record.

“The first game was very important to break his serve,” said Djokovic in his on-court interview.

“After that with a break it boosts the confidence. We both knew this was going to be a tough and tight match. It was very important to start off well, I did that and held my serve well.”

He looks the strong favourite to lift the trophy despite a tricky group featuring two former ATP Finals champions in Tsitsipas and Medvedev.

Djokovic has looked in excellent form over the last few months and was especially impressive in the first set against Tsitsipas.

Having pushed Djokovic close in a three-set semi-final in Paris just nine days ago, Tsitsipas made the worst start in his bid for revenge as he dropped serve in the opening game.

The break proved decisive as Djokovic looked supreme behind his serve, only dropping four points before wrapping up the set.

Tsitsipas threatened more in the second set and had his first chance to break in the fourth game after two double faults from Djokovic.

But the 21-time Grand Slam champion closed the door and then did the same when Tsitsipas had another slight opening at 30-30 on the Djokovic serve in the eighth game.

As the set headed to a tie-breaker it was Djokovic who struck the first blow with a tremendous backhand passing shot to move 3-1 ahead.

Tsitsipas rallied from 5-1 down by winning three points in a row, but Djokovic stuck away a forehand at the net and then fired a serve down the middle to clinch victory.

Djokovic will face Rublev in his next match on Wednesday while Tsitsipas meets Medvedev.

Tuesday’s action sees Rafael Nadal take on Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz face Casper Ruud.

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