Matteo Berrettini has nowhere to go but up after Novak Djokovic thumped him on Sunday, 6-2, 6-1, in his first-ever ATP Finals appearance. To make matters worse, the last time Berrettini played Roger Federer, his upcoming opponent on Tuesday, he was beaten so badly that he felt obligated to pay the Swiss for his time.
Federer is in danger of losing back-to-back ATP Finals matches for the first time in his career after an uncharacteristically sloppy performance against Dominic Thiem. Federer couldn’t seem to find his range on his groundstrokes, missed plenty of second-serve returns, and converted just 25% of his break point opportunities compared to Thiem’s 60%. It was a rough outing, but Federer’s notoriously short memory should serve him well.
“It's a normal tournament from here on forward. I’m not allowed to lose anymore,” Federer said. “That's how it is every week of the year for the past 20 years, so from that standpoint, there is nothing new.”
Now that Berrettini has gotten his first-match jitters out of his system, he should put up a more respectable fight. The Italian has nothing to lose and will come out swinging for the fences. Berrettini’s opening-round dud did not impress the oddsmakers, as Federer is, not surprisingly, a hefty favorite. With his back now against the wall, look for the great Federer will bounce back, like he’s done his entire career. Winner: Federer
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