By Ros Satar, at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

  • Novak Djokovic [1] v John Isner [8]
  • H2H: Djokovic leads 8-2
LONDON, UK – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will close out the first of the round-robin group stages as he takes on debutante John Isner at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals.

 

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Novak Djokovic [1] v John Isner [8] | H2H: Djokovic leads 8-2

With the season-ending No. 1 safely wrapped up, all that remains is for Novak Djokovic to eye up a dream finish to the season with a sixth title. It has been quite the star-studded return to form for Djokovic whose injury woes at the start of the season saw him finally take time out for surgery on his elbow.

READ MORE | Nitto ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Latest Schedule & Draws

Nitto ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Latest Schedule & Draws

Coming into Wimbledon ranked No. 21 in the world he won four titles, wrapped up the top spot, and in doing so made the biggest single-season leap to the year-end No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings.

Now add to that a commanding lead over the newest face on the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals block, and we should see a confident start to the undoubted favourite to win the whole shebang.

ohn Isner, Western & Southern Open, ATP Cincinnati Masters 1000 2017

Photo by TANNEN MAURY/EPA/REX/Shutterstock | John Isner, Western & Southern Open, ATP Cincinnati Masters 1000 2017

John Isner quipped in his pre-tournament press that this was an easy opening round, but he will be looking to snap a five-match losing streak against the Serbian, dating back to Cincinnati 2013 for the American’s last win over him.

Since then, Djokovic has conquered the bug-bear that had been that final Masters crown ahead of a successful run at the US Open while Isner has been getting to grips with… nappies. Having recently become a father, Isner’s year has been pretty solid. He won his first Masters title in Miami, and was close to making his first Slam final, and now finds himself in his first ATP World Tour Finals after Rafael Nadal withdrew.

Isner of course will be relying on his serve to keep his service games in check and will look for his favoured one-two serve and clubbing forehand combination to keep himself in contention. However, he is up against one of the best returners in the game, and the variety and court coverage that Djokovic can bring to the match will see Isner more often than not burned, despite being a lot fitter specimen than he perhaps was back in the day.

Still, it would be a shock, even if the sets all went to tie-breaks to not see Djokovic on the board with an opening win.

Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets.

Djokovic & Isner are scheduled not before 8pm.

 

 

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