Federer faces early exit at ATP Finals after Thiem defeat

Ross Houston
November 11, 2019

Berrettini, the last player to qualifier for the finals, walked towards the wrong exit after Djokovic's win was sealed on a first match point, and given the beating he had just taken, it was perhaps no surprise the Italian seemed slightly shocked.

Novak Djokovic flew out of the traps at the ATP Finals but Roger Federer's return to London fell flat.

The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam victor recovered quickly from being broken in the first game of the match but the Austrian fifth seed repeated the dose in the 11th game and took the opening set 7-5.

But Djokovic, who won four straight titles at the O2 Arena between 2012 and 2015, broke right back and then clinched the victory with an easy forehand putaway at the net.


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.

Federer fizzed a majestic backhand victor down the line and saved a break point before levelling at 2-2, while Thiem continued to pepper his veteran opponent with powerful, accurate ground strokes.

Novak Djokovic eased to a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Matteo Berrettini in his ATP Finals opener on Sunday as he targets a record-equalling sixth year-end number one ranking.

World number two Djokovic can overtake Nadal to become year-end number one this week in London but must reach the final to stand a chance.


The second seed saw off the challenge of Berrettini in just 64 minutes, converting five of seven break points and out-serving his 23-year-old opponent.

"There's no other reasonable explanation (to that reaction) than trying to play as ideal as possible", Djokovic said from London. The eight finalists are: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini.

And he will likely need a faultless display from here on in if he is to make it to the semi-finals at London's O2 Arena.

"It's not easy for Matteo, playing his first tour finals match, I knew he'd be a bit more nervous at the beginning, I tried to use my experience".


Novak Djokovic is bracing himself to battle Roger Federer and his army of fans as he seeks to equal the Swiss player's record tally of six ATP Finals titles.

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