In search of his sixth ATP Finals title, Novak Djokovic takes on the eighth seed Matteo Berrettini to start off the proceedings at the O2 Arena today. The match couldn't be any more contrasting, with the two on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of the experience of playing at the prestigious season finale.
For the 23-year-old Berrettini, a debut appearance at the year-end championships caps off what has an incredible breakthrough season. Highlighted by a stupendous run to the semi-finals of the US Open, the 6'5" Italian collected a couple of titles on clay and grass at Budapest and Stuttgart respectively, underlining his improved versatility.
His powerful strokes and consistent performances at elite tournaments helped him become the fourth Italian to break into the ATP top 10.
With so much confidence from his exploits this year, Berrettini will be upbeat to take on the second-seeded Serb in what would be their first-ever showdown. As the underdog, he won't have to deal with the pressure of expectations and that might actually free him up in his clash with the 16-time Grand Slam champion.
That said, Djokovic, who has won five titles this year, has a lot at stake at this tournament and he would be careful not to make any slip. The Australian Open and Wimbledon winner had been dealing with fitness issues and lack of form for a few weeks but winning the Paris Masters was just what the doctor ordered.
Not only did it bolster his confidence, but it also helped him remain in the race for the Year-End World No. 1 ranking with his nemesis, Rafael Nadal. Having just surrendered his top position to the Spaniard, the Serb would be keen to get it back and this would doubly motivate him to be at his best during this week in London.
That sounds ominous for anyone standing across the net and more so for Berrettini, who will be competing with the creme de la creme of men's tennis for the very first time in his career. Berrettini would still put in his very best efforts to make Djokovic work hard for the win, but an upset looks unlikely on the cards today.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic wins in straight sets.
Here are all the details you need to know about the Nitto ATP Finals 2019
Tournament Name: Nitto ATP World Tour Finals 2019
Date: 10 November - 17 November 2019
Category: ATP Finals
Location: London, United Kingdom
Venue: The O2 Arena
Prize Money: US$9,000,000
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Schedule: (2) Novak Djokovic vs (8) Matteo Berrettini on Centre Court at 7:30 pm IST on 10th November 2019
Where to watch Nitto ATP Finals 2019 in India
The Nitto ATP Finals 2019 will be telecast on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD.
Live stream details for Nitto ATP Finals 2019
Nitto ATP Finals 2019 live stream is available on Tennis TV (a subscription is needed for the service).
Sony Liv will also be broadcasting the matches.
Published 10 Nov 2019, 14:08 IST