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Novak Djokovic opens ATP World Tour Finals with victory

Novak Djokovic opens ATP World Tour Finals with victory

Novak Djokovic Serbia celebrates victory in his men's singles match against Dominic Thiem of Austria on day one of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Murray has replaced Novak Djokovic atop the rankings heading into the ATP World Tour Finals.

After missing a break point in the second game of the third set of that 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win against Tomas Berdych, Djokovic went to smash his racket into the dirt, only to see it slip out of his hand and fly into the back wall on Philippe Chatrier Court.

Djokovic, who is aiming to win the season-ending title for the fifth year in a row, was immediately more focused from the start of the second set as Thiem faded fast on his maiden appearance in this tournament. Four more set points came and went before he took the tie-break 12-10 with a big forehand victor.

Djokovic was warned for smashing a ball in anger in the direction of his support team sitting courtside, but firing himself up worked and he raced through the second set without dropping a game. I like that. It's good.

The Briton will play world number three Wawrinka, number five Nishikori and number seven Cilic in the John McEnroe Group, with only two progressing to the semi-finals.

However, Djokovic saved all three and then three more to take the tie break to 10-10, and it was only at the seventh time of asking that Thiem finally clinched the set.

"I lost a little bit energy, not much, but just a little bit (after the first set)", Thiem said.

The Portuguese is a big tennis fan, claiming a year ago that he cried when Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title.

The Serbian, victor of the season-ending event for the last four years and five times in total, lost an opening set tiebreak to Austria's debutante Dominic Thiem 12-10.

"It was a good match with a great first set, After that I lost some energy, which is required to play Novak", he said. "My overall aim now is on how much I can achieve".

He will play the victor of Sunday's late match between Raonic and Monfils on Tuesday.

They could have very different paths to the trophy as Djokovic holds a remarkable 23-0 combined record against Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils and Dominic Thiem, who comprise his group stage opponents.

Djokovic will next face Raonic while Monfils takes on Thiem on Monday.

"I managed to get the break in the opening game. At the end of the year, when the players have played a lot of tennis, to play on the slowest court with really, really long rallies is tough, so it will shorten the points a bit and maybe make for some better tennis".