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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Djokovic makes winning start in Turin


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Turin: Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-4, 7-6(4), moving 1-0 up in Red Group.

With a win on Monday night, Djokovic ended the Greek’s year-end No.1 ATP Ranking chances.

Djokovic now leads Tsitsipas 10-2 in their ATP Head2Head series, having overcome the 24-year-old en route to the title in Astana and the final in Paris in the past month.

The 35-year-old has won 14 of his past 15 matches and demonstrated his match sharpness to down the Greek again, saving the one break point he faced to improve to 42-17 at the ATP Finals.

Djokovic, who last lifted the Brad Drewett Trophy in 2015, is aiming to tie Roger Federer’s record six triumphs at the tournament, which is being held in Turin for the second time.

The former World No. 1 Serb will also play Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev in the round-robin stage, with Rublev defeating Medvedev earlier on Monday.

Tsitsipas has earned a Tour-leading 60 wins this season and was trying to finish the season as the year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. However, his chances of ending 2022 atop tennis’ mountain are now over.

The Greek, who captured the crown at the year-end event in 2019, had to win the title as the undefeated champion.

Spaniard teenager Carlos Alcaraz will finish the season as the World No. 1 if Nadal does not clinch the trophy in Turin.

We have played some really close matches in the past few tournaments against each other,” Djokovic said. “It was very important to start off well. I held my serve really well throughout the match. I played a great tie-break, very solid all the way through.”

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