Djokovic cruises to opening win at Nitto ATP Finals

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[November 13, 2018]    World No. 1 Novak Djokovic gave away only six points on serve and easily dispatched American John Isner, 6-4, 6-3 for the win on Monday at the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals in London.


Djokovic, this year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, was able to break Isner three times, and gave credit to his "solid" play for helping him wrap up the match in one hour and 14 minutes.

"I managed to have three breaks of serve which is sometimes mission impossible," said the top-seeded Djokovic, who missed last year's event due to injury. "I just managed to be at the right place at the right time. I held my serve well and backed it up well from the baseline. From the back of the court I was solid."

Third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany shook off a slow start to eventually prevail over fifth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia in straight sets, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1).

Zverev, 21, won 75 percent of his first-serve points against world No. 7 Cilic to clinch the win after two hours and six minutes.

"That first set was key because against Marin you never want to fall behind. He's such a hard-hitting, aggressive player, when he gets confidence it is tough to play against him," Zverev said.

"I wanted to fight back from every score, he was up a break in both sets. I knew it was a very important match, you don't want to start the group stage with a losing record. it was very important to get the win."

Zverev will face Djokovic of Serbia in their second round of round-robin play on Wednesday, while Cilic will take on eighth-seeded Isner.

In doubles action, top seeds Oliver Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia recorded a win over No. 8 seeds Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, 6-4, 7-6 (3), in one hour and 47 minutes.

Americans Mike Bryan and Jack Sock also got their campaign off to a winning start Monday. The fifth seeds, who won Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles this year, saved one set point in the second set en route to beating last year's finalists and No. 3 seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil, 6-3, 7-6 (5), in 87 minutes.

--Field Level Media

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