Novak Djokovic began his run in the ATP Finals with a straight-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas while Andrey Rublev downed fellow countryman Daniil Medvedev in the night’s other encounter as men tennis’ season-ending event continued in Italy.
Rublev, up first, battled back from a set down to defeat Medvedev 6-7(7) 6-3 7-6(7) in the pair’s sixth career meeting.
The 25-year-old squandered seven set points in the opener eventually losing the tiebreak before bouncing back with the help of 25 winners in the next two sets. The Russian then avoided similar mistakes in the deciding tiebreak to eventually seal the win on his fifth match point after a 37-shot rally.
Djokovic meanwhile experienced no hiccups in handling Tsitsipas in his opener in the ATP Finals.
The Serbian used every skill he has acquired in his tennis career against the Greek with his serve, forehand and otherworldy defence causing Tsitsipas all sorts of trouble.
Djokovic got the break in the very first game before riding the momentum to seal the first set. Tsitipas battled back briefly in the second stanza with the Serbian crushing the only break opportunity to cue the tiebreak.
Tsitsipas managed to hang on at 5-4 before Djokovic unleashed his serve once again to ensure the win.
Novak Djokovic will now take Rublev next while Daniil Medvedev faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in their second match in the Red Group.