Novak Djokovic sent a clear message to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with his opening ATP Finals victory over Matteo Berrettini, according to Tim Henman.
World number two Djokovic needed a little over a hour to clinch a 6-2 6-1 victory over Italian debutant Berrettini at the O2 Arena in London.
Djokovic reached the final of this event last year and can finish 2019 as world number one if he goes on to win the season-ending tournament.
Novak enjoying his time with the fans 😅@DjokerNole | #NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/VLKIojSl9C
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 10, 2019
The 32-year-old produced a dazzling performance against Berrettini and the victory sent a message to his arch-rivals Federer and Nadal, according to former British number one Henman.
Following Djokovic’s masterclass on Sunday, Henman told BBC: ‘He just put on an absolute clinic. Berrettini should not dwell on that too much.
‘He was aggressive and served well but Djokovic was in a different league.
‘The beauty of the round-robin is that Berrettini can still go through so I wouldn’t want him to pay too much attention to it.
‘But certainly Djokovic has laid down the gauntlet not only to Roger Federer in his group but Rafael Nadal as well in the other group. It was mighty impressive.’
Henman added: ‘When you see Novak play like that you think he’s going to be very tough to beat [in the tournament]. It’s the perfect start for him and he’ll be delighted.’
Fellow former British number one, Andrew Castle, also heaped praise on 16-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.
He said: ‘We all know how hard the game is to play. That standard and that level of performance is simply remarkable.’
Djokovic and Berrettini both return to action on Tuesday.