‘It felt very strange but I am very happy,’ says Novak Djokovic after win

Novak Djokovic says it was a ‘strange’ experience playing at the O2 without any fans there after making a winning start to his ATP Finals campaign. 

The event is being held in London for the last time before heading to Turin next year, but it is having to be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus crisis.

That means that there there is usually up to 20,000 fans in the arena reacting to every point, there is now near total silence.

“I’ve been playing the finals here for many years, some incredible matches and atmospheres, and I must say it feels very strange to play in front of empty stands,” he said.

If he was at all uncomfortable against Schwartzman, though, you would not have known it from his tennis.

The world number one was in dominant form against Schwartzman, who had a tough debut in the competition.

“At the beginning of the match it wasn’t that great from me,” Djokovic said. “It was a close encounter until I broke him for 4-3 [in the first set].

“In the second set I started swinging for the ball a little bit more with a bit less hesitation. I was very pleased with the way I played.”

“It was a good opening match and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

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