Novak Djokovic is relishing his match against Diego Schwartzman on Monday after hailing the Argentine’s form this season.
Djokovic has a perfect record of five wins from five against Schwartzman, although none of them have come on an indoor court.
They have faced each other three times at Grand Slams and twice at the Rome Masters – most recently the final just two months ago.
Djokovic, though, says he cannot afford to take anything for granted.
“I [will] play against Diego for the first time, I think, indoors,” said Djokovic. “I’ve played him several times outdoors on clay, played him last in the final of Rome.
“Obviously different conditions here. He has never played on this court but at the same time that probably is kind of releasing him from any pressure that he has to do well.
Schwartzman has been one of the stars of the Tour since it restarted in August, reaching a Masters final and a Grand Slam semi-final.
Those are the performances that have propelled him into the top ten for the first time, and Djokovic says he has absolutely earned his spot in London.
“Diego is in great form this year, this year has been the best season of his life,” Djokovic said. “He deserves to be part of this tournament.
“I have lots of respect for him he’s a great guy, fierce competitor. One of the quickest players on the tour.
“Very solid on both forehand and backhand, it’s very difficult to get the ball past him.
“So you have to be patient and at the same time try to dictate the play. I hope I can kick off the campaign with a win.”
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