Novak Djokovic sent a statement to his rivals as he wasted no time dispatching Matteo Berrettini in the first round of group matches at the ATP Finals.
The Bjorn Borg group’s top seed needed just 62 minutes to get his first win on the board in his maiden meeting with Berrettini.
However, unlike when the Serbian clinched the Paris Masters title a week ago, it was not all down to his own doing.
Djokovic made a statement smashing though the opening service game in rapid time and then attempted to break at the first attempt but Berrettini held his nerve on deuce.
But he was not so consistent through the remainder of the first set as 17 unforced errors saw Djokovic break twice in a row to seal the set in half an hour.
Berrettini began to play his best tennis in the second game of the second set and received an applause from Djokovic after ending a thrilling point with a brilliant volley.
The 23-year-old sent Djokovic wide with an inch-perfect dropshot and when the world No 2 defended it with an acute pass Berrettini responded with his own stunning shot down the line.
But again mistakes cost Berrettini as he double faulted later in the game to hand Djokovic an early break in the second.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner took his eye off the ball in the fifth game as he lost his serve while 4-0 up which drew a brust of frustration aimed at his corner.
But Djokovic’s response was to break for a third time in the second set before rallying to victory in a little over an hour.
After the match, Djokovic admitted he preyed on Berrettini’s early nerves.
“It was not easy for him of course playing his first ATP Finals match,” he said.
“I knew he would be a bit more nervous at the beginning and I tried to use the experience and the right tactics to perform well.
“I was fortunate to get the break midway through the first set and I started reading his serve better.
“Obviously he has got big serves and weapons and I managed to play really solid throughout the entire match.