The Serbian Novak Djokovic, the world number one, started in tennis, campaigning towards the equation of the number of Swiss Roger Federer in terms of the number of titles in the final Master’s tournament together annually the best 8 players during the season, Djokovic beat Argentine newcomer Diego Schwarzman 6-3, 6-2, on Monday, at the “Tokyo 1970” group.
Djokovic did not find any difficulty in renewing his victory over Schwarzman, who participated in the tournament for the first time, after he had previously defeated the Argentine this season in the final of the 1000-point Rome Masters tournament, achieving his sixth victory over the 28-year-old out of 6 confrontations between them so far.
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In the absence of Federer, who is recovering from knee surgery, the opportunity will be available for Djokovic to equal the Swiss number in terms of the number of titles (6) and lift the trophy for the first time in 2015.
The players were divided into two groups, the first was called “Tokyo 1970” and included Djokovic, Schwarzman, German 2018 champion Alexander Zverev and Russian Daniel Medvedev, and the second as “London 2020” and included Spaniard Rafael Nadal, Austrian Dominic Thiem, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russian champion Andrei Rublev.
Swiss Roger Federer scores a comeback against Novak Djokovic during the men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 30, 2020 - AFP
The first two places in each of the two groups qualify for the tournament’s semi-finals, which is held for the last time in London behind closed doors due to the repercussions of the new Coronavirus, before it moves next year to Turin, Italy.
It took Djokovic, who equaled the record set in the name of American Pete Sampras by finishing 6 years at the top of the professional league rankings, it took an hour and 18 minutes to end his confrontation with Schwarzmann, who took advantage of Federer’s absence from the tournament to book his card for the first time in his career.
Zverev will later meet Medvedev in this group called “Tokyo 1970” to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the tournament’s start, which was held for the first time in the Japanese capital in 1970, and won its American title Stan Smith at the expense of Australian Rod Leifer.
Djokovic, who is in the championship for the thirteenth time in his career, shares the second place in terms of the number of titles with Sampras and the last citizen Ivan Lendl (5 each), and behind them Romanian Elie Nastasi with four titles.