The first day of the final year in London at the O2 Arena was full of world class tennis seeing the best in singles and doubles kick off their final event of the year at the ATP Finals.
Koolhof & Metkic defeat Krawietz & Mies
The day began with a tense doubles match as the German pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies who won Roland Garros for the second consecutive year took on Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Metkic.
It was the German pairing who looked the more likely in the early stages to make a break-through but a tie-break was required to separate the two.
The German pairing took it 7-3 and at that point looked in a good position. Koolhof and Mektic got a break but quickly lost it but it didn’t hamper them on route to levelling the match in a second tie-break winning 7-4.
During the match we were treated to one of the most bizarre points of the year with Koolhof and Mektic colliding and losing this wild point…
It didn’t stop them in their tracks as the pair pulled it out of the bag to win 6-7 7-6 10-7 to secure their first win at the O2.
Thiem arrives with strong performance over Tsitsipas
The Austrian put behind his disappointment of losing last years final to Tsitsipas from a set up and return the favour with an impressive opening round robin win in London.
There was a lot to like from Thiem, he revved up his speed as the games went on and found that killer instinct to defeat Stefanos in three sets.
We saw a blip in the second set early on which he didn’t recover from but once he got going in the third he was tactically perfect behind his serve, forehand choice of backhand which you can read more on below:
Ram & Salisbury begin with a win!
The only British representative at the final ATP Finals in London this year, Joe Salisbury has begun his week with a win with his partner from America Rajeev Ram.
Joe and Rajeev had been in insolation and their participation in London was in doubt but having not long come out of isolation they held their own having had to withdraw from Paris not long ago.
It was a close first set but towards the latter the stages they took control to win it 7-5, the control didn’t last for too long however as Kubot and Melo found a way in.
The Brazilian/Polish team took the second set 6-3 but despite a valiant effort from the pair it was the Brit/American team who won the match-tiebreak and sealed a first win 7-5 3-6 10-5.
Nadal brushes past Rublev
As debuts at the O2 Arena go it wasn’t bad from Rublev but he will want to build on a disappointing performance against a solid Rafael Nadal.
From early on in the match Nadal looked happy on the court and more at home than he did on the hard courts in Paris a few weeks back.
Playing in London isn’t just about playing against the best but it is a major tactical challenge and I felt lost watching Rublev. He looked a little nervous at the net, he was trying to power past Nadal and just hit errors.
I liked the defence from Rafa who didn’t face a break point and won his opener in London for the first time since 2015. He performed well but with Tsitsipas and Thiem up next for him on Tuesday and Thursday he will need to bring something different and a bit more front-foot tennis to proceedings.