Novak Djokovic earned his second win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in as many tournaments as he started his ATP Finals campaign with a 6-4 7-6(4) win over the second seed. The Greek star was in with a shot at the year-end No 1 ranking this week but will now be unable to make his debut at the top after losing his opening match in Turin.
Djokovic and Tsitsipas were facing off for the second time in nine days after a dramatic Paris Masters semi-final that saw the Serb get his ninth win over the 24-year-old in thrilling fashion as he edged out the victory in a final set tiebreak 6-2 3-6 7-6(4). After getting mixed-up with their ball boy mascots for their walk onto court ahead of the match, Djokovic picked up exactly where he left off against Tsitsipas by breaking him in the first game.
It proved crucial as both men continued to routinely hold serve for the rest of the opener before the five-time former champion closed it out 6-4, outclassing Tsitsipas as he hit 16 winners to the second seed’s seven and made three fewer errors. It was bad news for the Greek, who was bidding to earn his first win over Djokovic in more than three years, having lost their last eight matches.
And the nine-time title winner did manage to step things up in set number two as he carved out the first break point in the set but was unable to convert it as the Turin crowd continued to cheer on their man in Djokovic. It was Tsitsipas who started firing more winners around the court but both men struggled to get much of a look-in on each other’s serve.
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