London – Novak Djokovic started his hunt for the world number one spot at the end of the year by easily defeating Italian novice Matteo Berrettini (6-2, 6-1) on Sunday for the first day of the Masters in London .
The two players had never met and the revelation of the year Berrettini will not necessarily keep an unforgettable memory of his first match against the five-time winner of the event.
Djokovic, who tries to equal two records, that of the American Pete Sampras who finished 6 times world number one in the season and that of Roger Federer who won the Masters six times, could indulge in a little bit of satisfaction.
"It's very nice to be back. Earlier in the year, I already had a great time in London"he said, referring to his victory at Wimbledon after an incredible five-set final against his Swiss rival.
"It was not easy for him to play his first match at the Masters. I knew he would be nervous at first and I used my experience to play well", added "Djoko".
Undoubtedly blunted by a season that saw him enter the top 10 just before the competition, the 23-year-old has committed too many direct mistakes to hope to shake the hierarchy.
He held well until 2-2 in the first set, but the games then went on.
– Federer-Thiem to follow –
On the heels of his victory at the Masters 1000 in Paris, Djokovic was very serious and solid on his commitment to 6-2, 4-0 with 5 points lost in only 6 games and no break points against 4 converted.
Berrettini was not discouraged and took risks that ended up paying briefly when he managed to take the number two world service to return to 4-1.
But the Serb has tightened the game by immediately taking two breaks ahead of time before concluding on his commitment with an easy forehand to the net after just over an hour of play.
Defeated by Germany's Alexander Zverev in the final last year, Djokovic confirmed his favorite status this year and will be able to watch his two opponents in the group.Björn Borg", Federer and the Austrian Dominik Thiem to fight in the evening.
Monday night it will be the turn of Rafael Nadal, reduced by an abdominal injury that forced him to retire in Paris before his semifinal, to compete in the group "André Agassi"against the defending champion, while in the afternoon, two representatives of the young guard will explain the match between the Russian Daniil Medvedev and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Before the match, the doubles tournament opened with the N.5 seeded victory, South Africa's Raven Klaasen and New Zealander Michael Venus in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) against the pair N.4, the American Rajeev Ram accompanied by local stage Joe Salisbury.