Novak Djokovic tops Matteo Berrettini in ATP Finals opener

Federer defends decision to withdraw from ATP Cup

Federer defends decision to withdraw from ATP Cup

Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title and sixth year-end number one spot on Sunday with an imperious 6-2, 6-1 victory against Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

Djokovic entered the tournament 640 points behind Rafael Nadal and has now cut the deficit to just 440 points in the battle to end the year on top of the ATP rankings.

Djokovic has a chance to overtake Nadal for the year-end No. 1 ranking with a strong showing in London.

The 32-year-old needs to reach the final of the season-ending showpiece to reclaim the number one spot from Nadal and match Pete Sampras's incredible record of finishing six separate seasons as the world's number one player.

The first four games were shared on serve but Djokovic seized the opening break when Berrettini missed a routine forehand at 2-3 and quickly took charge.

Djokovic then raced into a 4-0 lead in the second before Berrettini earned his only break when the Serb sent a backhand wide.

"It feels great to be back in London", Djokovic, who won Wimbledon this year by beating Roger Federer in an epic final, said on court.

"It was not easy for him at his first Finals match, I knew he would be nervous at the beginning and I used my experience to perform well".

The unflappable 16-time Grand Slam champion broke back in the following game and served out to take the set 6-1.

The tournament, featuring the year's best eight players, is contested in a round-robin format with the best four players and doubles teams reaching the knockout semi-finals stage.

Spaniard Nadal, who has concerns over an abdominal injury sustained at the Paris Masters, plays his first group match on Monday against defending champion Alexander Zverev.

The other two members of Group Bjorn Borg are Federer and Dominic Thiem of Austria, who meet in the evening match.

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