“Wasn’t Playing His Best”: Novak Djokovic Breezes Past Diego Schwartzman at ATP Finals 2020

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic asserted his presence at ATP Finals 2020 by marching to victory against Diego Schwartzman. After facing an early jitter, Djokovic allowed no room for error and cruised past the Argentine in straight sets (6-3, 6-2). 

“Beginning of the match wasn’t that great for me. I think he broke my serve in the third game and I managed to re-break. Was a close encounter until I broke his serve at 4-3,” Djokovic said after the win. 

Djokovic is coming off a tough campaign at the Vienna Open where he lost to qualifier Lorenzo Sonego quite cheaply. However, the Serbian looked dangerously good in his victory against Schwartzman at O2 Arena’s center court. 

Novak Djokovic at ATP Finals 2020
Mandatory Credit: Reuters/Paul Childs

Schwartzman was wary of Djokovic’s big serve prior to the tournament. The Argentine was finding ways to counter it, but the 17x Grand Slam champ fired seven aces past him en route to victory. 

Furthermore, Djokovic won 78% of his first-serve points which propelled his confidence in the match. He hardly allowed Schwartzman to retaliate and did not have his serve broken more than once. 

Managed to close out the first set and the second set I started swinging through quite a little bit. Less hesitation from both corners and very pleased with the way I played; Second set especially,” the 33-year-old added. 

Novak Djokovic sends a statement of warning with a comprehensive victory

Winning the first set dictated the tone of the match. Djokovic never looked like relaxing once he got off on a strong note. In fact, he played even better in the second set and wrapped up the match in just 1 hour and 18 minutes. 

However, everything unfolded in front of empty stands which indeed goes down as a disappointment. Djokovic sent back a message to the fans at home saying: “We love you guys and we miss you guys.” 

This victory adds to Djokovic’s impressive H2H record against 28-year-old Schwartzman. He is now 6-0 against the maiden ATP year-end finalist as he’s hardly been tested in the past. 

Though Schwartzman is a genius of a player, his serves aren’t that lethal. Djokovic is familiar with his style and used his strengths to break the Argentine four times in the match and eased to victory. 

“Good stuff from Diego obviously. He probably wasn’t playing his best during the closing moments of the first set and gave me some unforced errors which obviously allowed me to be in the lead,” Djokovic stated. 

Diego Schwartzman and Novak Djokovic at ATP Finals 2020
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 16, 2020 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman after winning their group stage match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

A title at the year-end tournament will cap off a roller-coaster year for Novak Djokovic. He’s experienced a load of different emotions right from the Australian Open triumph to the Roland Garros loss. Can he put all this behind and emerge as champion in London?

WATCH: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic Succeed in Emulating British Accent at ATP Finals 2020

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