Djokovic pummels Schwartzman at ATP Finals
Argentine underdog has no answer to Djokovic’s power as Serb targets sixth title
London - Diego Schwartzman suffered a similar fate to fellow ATP Finals debutant Andrey Rublev the previous night as the Argentine was brushed aside by five-time champion Novak Djokovic on Monday.
Russian Rublev barely laid a glove on 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafa Nadal during a straight sets loss and Schwartzman looked equally powerless to prevent a sixth loss from six meetings with the clinical Djokovic, subsiding 6-3 6-2.
The Serb dropped his serve early on at the virtually empty O2 Arena, where on Sunday he was presented with the ATP’s end-of-year No 1 award for a record-equalling sixth time.
But from that moment on he was immaculate. He broke back immediately and then pounced again when Schartzman served at 3-4, outmanoeuvring his opponent before pummelling away a forehand winner into the corner.
With no fans in the 18,000 arena to rally to the Argentine’s underdog cause, world No 9 Schwartzman never looked capable of turning the opening Tokyo Group match into a contest.
Djokovic secured two breaks in the second set and clinched victory with a minimum of fuss.
“I was very happy the way I played in the second set when I started swinging through the ball,” Djokovic said on court. “It was close I think until I broke at 4-3. It was tough for Diego, first match in the arena he maybe wasn’t playing his best in the closing moments of the first set.”
The 33-year-old world No 1 is bidding to win the title for the first time since 2015 and equal Roger Federer’s six.
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