Alexander Zverev tastes first victory over Nadal — ATP Finals

Alexander Zverev tastes first victory over Nadal — ATP Finals

Alexander Zverev tastes first victory over Nadal — ATP Finals

Recapturing his ATP Finals magic from last year is the last hope to salvage the year.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC flew out of the traps yesterday as he began his ATP Finals campaign with a crushing win over Matteo Berrettini.

Federer recovered the early break but a couple of lazy strikes at 5-5 cost him his serve again before Thiem closed out the opener in confident fashion.

Tsitsipas and Medvedev are two of four singles players aged 24 or under at this year's championships although familiar names Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer are the top three seeds.

He broke serve in the opening game and although Federer hit back impressively Thiem was the more aggressive player throughout, using his forehand to keep Federer on the back foot.

They would head to a tie-break, but the Greek was serving the better-by this stage, he had dropped not a point in 20 first serves, and made 10 points at the net.

Nadal, who earlier was not sure if he would be able to participate in the year-ending tournament, did not feel any abdominal pain and that was a huge positive element for the Spaniard.

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.

The five-time champion, jousting with Rafael Nadal to finish the year as world No.1, swept aside O2 debutant Berrettini 6-2, 6-1.

The 38-year-old, bidding for his seventh title at the event but his first since 2011, struggled to handle Dominic Thiem on Sunday as he went down 7-5, 7-5, his third loss to the Austrian this year.

The Spaniard has qualified for the year-end championships for 15 years in a row but has only made nine appearances due to injuries.

The first to really step up was defending champion Zverev, with his three titles from six Masters finals. But the competitors between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev - the 2 fastest-rising younger stars of 2019 - is displaying exact promise.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece serves to Daniil Medvedev of Russian Federation during their ATP World Tour Finals singles tennis match at the O2 Arena in London on Monday.

On Monday, the sixth-seeded Greek earned the only break of the match to lead 5-4 in the second set and clinched the win with a forehand overhead at the net. The pair have a spiky relationship.

Tsitsipas recently labelled Medvedev's playing style as "boring" after losing to him in Shanghai. He has often struggled with injuries towards the end of the season - missing the ATP Finals previous year through injury and pulling out after just one match in 2017.

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